Slice of Norge: Cartoons on the Bus

I ride the bus to work every day. Luckily for me, the closest bus stop is a brisk two-minute walk so I leave the house three minutes before it’s scheduled to depart. I am a terror in the morning and usually running late. I didn’t used to own a Calvin & Hobbes t-shirt with Calvin yawning and the words ‘I HATE MORNINGS’ for nothing. I truly hate mornings. I really do.

What if the bus leaves early, I hear you ask. Well, my bus stop is the first on the route to the city centre. This ensures that I always get a seat and most days, my choice of seat. There are normally plenty but the 'summer schedule' buses contain fewer seats. This makes no sense whatsoever because it always fills up as usual and many patrons are left to stand.

At the start of summer, I noticed a series of cartoons on the windows and backs of the seats to point out what we should or shouldn’t be doing when riding the Kolumbus. So here goes:

Remember to read the card.

The giant rabbit - let’s call him ‘Elegant Rabbit’ of Easter chocolate fame - is seen reading his card aloud while the pudgy dog (I still say a small bear, but Andrea begs to differ) says “I’m not sure that’s what they mean”. The joke, my friends, is that the sign on the bus saying, ‘Please read the card’ refers to scanning it on the card reader before sitting down.

Do not write on the seats.

Granny Marie is seen tracing over some red graffiti with a black pen, presumably to cover it up. But Granny, you can still see it! That’s five minutes of your life you’ll never get back. She does have an angry look about her though, so for all we know she’s doing the tracing just to reinforce the adage we all know too well – School Sux. The young boy peeking his head up looks guilty, so she should put her pen away and give him a slap across the back of the head. Lesson learned.

Remember to take the bag on your lap!

This one is obviously a huge sticking point because the exclamation mark says it all! Pudgy dog won’t give up his seat, saying “No, it’s not free! Here is my good friend, Louis Vuitton”. I can say from personal experience that people are ALWAYS doing this. It’s never a problem for me other than when smokers get on and sit next to me because the person across has their bag on the seat. The stench of a fresh cigarette is not what I need first thing in the morning! What peeves me even more is when a person takes the aisle seat, thus blocking the window seat for no reason at all.

There are other cartoons but I thought I’d just give you a snippet. Riding the bus is not fun at the best of times but if everyone followed these simple rules, the transit world would be a better place.

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Great use of public transportation!

Just loved these cartoons! We haven’t travelled on public transport since we moved to France with a car, but I now wonder if we have anything comparable in any of our larger cities. I too like the idea of the ‘Grumpy Grandma’ — but your cartoon animals are precious.

Thanks Deborah. Ah France, nice memories!

That’s funny Emily. Nothing like using mean grandmas to shame people. Something tells me the elegant rabbit and bear-dog are not being taken so seriously…

Chile has pictures of grandma’s wagging their finger at people who don’t pay the fare – I want elegant rabbits and bear-dogs instead!

Looks like public transport in Stavanger is a bit more entertaining than here in the eastern parts. The inconsiderate ones who occupy an entire seat with their bags, though… ugh! Just have to stand your ground and demand the seat.

The other tactic is just to sit on their bag. Whilst uncomfortable, it can still be the highlight of the day.

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