Head On Collision on the Carrera Septima, Bogota

Head on collision

Bogota’s traffic today was eternal, unmoving and riddled with accidents, but the most evocative sight I spied as I inched along the Carrera Septima towards downtown was this poor guy, head on resting against the back of a bus. In fact, I am actually pretty pleased I was bumper to bumper at this moment to have been able to snap the photo. This horse is obviously harnessed to a carriage that is out of shot, from my angle I could not get the whole piece together and so what you are missing is a cart laden up high with bric-a-brac and two young boys at the reins. The horse and cart phenomenon here in Bogota is somewhat emotional. The zorreros as the drivers as are known, are people of low income who ply their trade up and down the city streets, recycling cast away goods, from wood to every day waste we have no need for but that can serve as building materials and so on. Essentially these people are “rag and bone men”, a term known to those of us that grew up in England in the 1970s. The zorros, their long suffering horses (just check out his ribs) can be seen stopped at traffic lights, holding up traffic and like this guy, looking very forlorn. At some point or another this industry – which currently numbers in the region of 2,470 carts as quoted in El Espectador – will be outlawed. Personally, I just feel it needs to be regulated better as I find the sight of the horse and cart a very atmospheric and welcoming image in Bogota, perhaps taking the edge of the bustle and mayhem of the city.

 

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