Rules for sitting on public transportation

It should be noted that there are certain rules for sitting on public transportation in Norway. One does not simply sit next to a stranger in this country. If you see open seats or open benches, you must always take them. Don’t just take the closest seat, which might already have someone sitting next to it. This will make Norwegians nervous, and they’ll wonder why you’re sitting so close. That’s because Norwegians only get very close to strangers when they’re incredibly drunk, not on the commute home from work at 3:30 p.m.

You also don’t talk on public transportation, ever. You don’t take loud phone calls, or even chat with a friend you’re traveling with. You just sit there quietly and look out the window. Whatever you do, do not strike up a conversation with a stranger on public transportation or give them a compliment.

Finally, if you happen to be in the unfortunate situation of being on a bench and blocked from the aisle but needing to get off, don’t ask the person to move or say “excuse me.” You just kind of make a brief motion of getting up to signal them. That or you smash the stop button repeatedly so they can anticipate your move without having to speak to you.

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