“You’re not living in Switzerland!”

I’m on my way home with Transmilenio, and fortunately for me, I got a seat. I’m staring out of the window into the dark Bogotan night and think about nothing in specific. At the next stop, many people get in and the bus becomes crowded. As we continue the ride, I hear the voice of a man announcing his goods: the new police code (of conduct), and some drawing books for children. He patiently explains in detail some of the news, that police may now control your ID, that they may enter your car or your house for searches, and some other rules that to me actually sound a little encroaching. Then there is a short moment of silence, until he continues to speak. His voice is patient, but also more assertive and very tired, as he exclaims to someone I can’t exactly make out in the crowd who apparently told him to stop selling stuff on the bus: “You’re not living in Switzerland, sir. This is not Sweden, either. 54% of the people living in this country make their living doing what I do. You have to be a little more realistic, and face the kind of country we’re living in.” The other man stays silent to this, and he continues to explain the new police code. At the next stop he gets of. No-one bought anything.

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