Sweden Lesson 2: getting off a bus


You’re on a bus and you wish to disembark. You are however blocked by somebody sitting next to you, or standing. How do you get off the bus?

Two stops ahead of your preferred stop, start indicating with your body that you might want to soon make a move. Move your knees towards the other person, shift your weight to one buttock. As you approach your required stop, make a demonstrative move to press the stop button and hope that they see this. If they do not start to move, turn your body directly towards them. Look at the side of their heads. Under no circumstances speak to the person. Just look at them. If they still do not move, start to rise slightly in your seat. As they move out of the way, push quickly past them. Avoid eye contact. Do not say thank you. If they do not move, as an absolute last resort, say ‘ursäkta’. The person will then move. Do not make eye contact. Do not say thank you.

Embarrassed on a bus

Riding home on the bus today, a woman squeezed in through the back doors and didn’t show a ticket to the driver. Suddenly, a voice boomed out over the loudspeaker. 

” You. Do you have a ticket?”

No response. Then, again…

” You. Back doors. White bag. Do you have a ticket?”

No response. People started looking round to see who the culprit is. The woman with the white bag stands firm, but starts to blush. 

Then, over the loudspeaker….

White bag, red face! You got a ticket???!!!”

And just like that, the woman ran out of the back doors and away into the Stockholm darkness.