Day in the Life of a Street Vendor


Street Vendor's Wares in Florence
Street Vendor’s Wares in Florence

We were sitting on the upper deck of a tour bus in Florence, Italy when I took this photo.

I was watching “closing time” for a street vendor.  The vendor was carefully wrapping up her jewelry then placing the items in her car when a wave of customers came by.  She greeted them as they briefly looked at her products.  They walked on without buying anything.  She continued to pack her items into the trunk of her car.

Then a mother and son walked by.  Again, the vendor greeted them.  The mother looked at the items and seemed interested enough.  I was fascinated by the patience of the street vendor who was clearly trying to leave but still had a customer– potential business.

The mother continued to take her time browsing.  The son, by this time, lost interest and was standing nearby.

I was hopeful our 30 minute stop on the bus wouldn’t end soon.  I wanted to see how the story would unfold.

And why is it taking so long to make a decision?  It’s just a piece of jewelry from a street vendor.  I didn’t understand.

The mother continued to audition items — and eventually made her selection.

Before leaving, she did something rather unexpected.

She hugged the street vendor.  That jewelry and experience meant that much to the woman.  It was a very touching moment to witness from the upper deck of a tour bus.

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