A bus etiquette in Finland

A drawing with simple signs how to sit in a bus In Finland.

This is the way in Finland…you understand?

by Tero Lahtinen, degree student in Environmental Engineering

In Finland going to a bus is not some messy bazaar where people do whatever they want to. It is a very delicate and sophisticated situation where you have to know what to do. Otherwise you might ruin the day and maybe the whole month of some innocent person.

Two smiling girls sitting in a bus, at a window

Quite fun in a bus anyway! Picture: Heidi Mattila.

In the picture above you can see one person example of non-written areas around this person: a hazardous-, a semi-hazardous-, a danger- and a safe zone. In the hazardous zone awkward level is approximately 75 but if you start to talk to the person awkward level will increase to 100/100 (there is no existing data of entering awkward level 100). So the hazardous zone is a no go zone! In the semi-hazardous (awkward level 50) zone the person in the bus most likely will avoid you in the future thinking ‘’ that’s the person who sat near to me even there was plenty of space in the bus!’’ In danger zone (level 25) you have a fifty-fifty chance that person will not remember you in the future and you will be able to make contacts with him/her (in some other place than a bus!).

Lowering of the hazard-, semi-hazard- and danger zone will occur in case if the bus is so full that you don’t have any other option but to sit in some of these areas (stand to play it for sure). Lowering of the awkward level is always -25 units of awkward level.