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The Time When Actually Having ID Gets You Into Trouble

, , , | Right | August 5, 2021

I am a UK expat living in Gothenburg, a cosy town on the West Coast of Sweden. I get a job in “Biljettkontroll,” which roughly translates to a ticket inspector in English. We basically board the town busses and trams and make sure all aboard are paying for their transport. The penalty for not having a valid ticket is rated at 1500kr, which is roughly £130. We are all dressed in work uniforms, so it’s hard not to spot us. My team and I board a tram, and I make my way to a younger chap who’s on his phone.

Me: “Hi, can I see your ticket, please?”

Young Passenger: *In an English accent* “Oh… yeah, hello! I’m going to [Town Destination], please.”

This is a very common tactic most people try to employ: feigning being a tourist or unfamiliar with the rules in order to get out of a penalty. He’s not faking his accent, but straight away I know something’s not quite right with his routine. We go back and forth for a bit, and he says he’s “in town to see his friends.” I point to his phone wallet.

Me: “Okay, so what’s that?”

I pointed at his Swedish identification card, which he would not have had if he was “in town to see his friends.” He sighed and I issued him a penalty fee. If you’re going to lie, at least make some effort to make it believable.