Of late the city “marshrutkas” (shuttle-buses) are allowed to take in and let out passengers only at designated stops, which are also the stops for other city transport – buses and trolleybuses. Earlier you could wave to the marshrutka driver at any place on the road and he would stop and pick you up no matter where you were. Or, while in the marshrutka, you could “order” your stop for getting off by naming some landmark on the route: “At the crossroads, please”, “Just round the corner”, etc.

Yesterday I heard a lady in the back of the marshrutka shouting to the driver the name of an “unofficial” place where she would like to get out. When the driver disregarded her plea, which was both a request and a command, the lady got really angry. To my remark that the driver has no right to stop anywhere, but only at fixed places, the lady retorted indignantly: “Others have the right and he hasn’t!”

That is the beginning of all our problems, I thought. We are growing indignant over the law being broken by our politicians, by their going scott-free from crimes committed, by unjust trials, by pervasive corruption. But it looks that law-abidance, like charity, begins at home too.


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