At dusk one rainy day I picked up our car from my Indian mechanic here in Vanuatu, and drove it home.

He had said to keep an eye on the temperature after some major engine work, and so I was peering at the gauges when suddenly I realised the bus in front had stopped. Slamming on the brakes, the car slid on the wet road until it just nudged the back of the bus.

The driver leapt out, looked at the damage, and said we should move the vehicles off the road. I agreed, and once we were in a safer spot I too examined the damage. Not much to my car, but his rear door had been pushed in an inch or two.

He suggested we sit in my car while we discussed the matter. So we jumped in and started swapping identification etc… as you do.

Shortly a police officer arrived on a four-wheeler. Now here is the interesting part. In many countries this would have been a trigger for a full-blown investigation. Officialdom would have come down hard and made a big deal of everything, checking both vehicle's and driver's paperwork, assigning blame, and writing tickets.

Here, he said to us both, “Are you working this out?”

Visibility was not good, technically I was in the wrong for hitting him in the rear, but the bus driver had stopped to make a turn across the oncoming traffic on a busy road without indicating, so there was fault on both sides. Neither of us wanted to point any fingers.

So when the policeman added, “Do you need any help?” We assured him we had the situation under control, and so he just left the scene.

And so the bus driver and I came to an arrangement that suited us both. I had his bus repaired the following weekend. Neither received any demerit points, neither lost our no-claim bonus.

This is a classic example of how things work in Vanuatu. Officialdom is available to help, but with a light touch. People are accorded the freedom to live their lives and sort things out for themselves.

Do you want the same?

To live your own life, on your own terms, seeking true freedom and opportunity wherever you may find it?

Then let's make the right to visit, or live in, Vanuatu one of your tools.

Book a consultation:

Lance in (freedom-loving) Vanuatu