Leave a comment

Bus Etiquette 101: How to act like an Educated and Intelligent Citizen

In these days of LAMATA and LAGBUS buses, there exists a need to clearly define personal and public boundaries. The buses aren’t public places, per se, like restaurants but neither are they private enclosures. At any one time, a bus holds on the average forty people, standing or seated quite closely together. As such, it demands different habits from the usual norm. Do I sound quite formal? Well, it’s either that or spew in tear-my-hair-out-in-frustration style. So here goes:

1. Do shower. And change your clothes. Please. It’s a public service to the rest of humanity who have to squash up against you standing in the bus.

2. Do keep to the queue. Yes, you’re faster and smarter than the rest of humanity. Yes, you have a job interview in ten minutes. But if we can’t obey a simple rule like waiting our turn, why do we expect better of our leaders? Keep to the queue. And thump on the head anyone who doesn’t! OK, don’t 🙂

3. Do smile and acknowledge with a hello anyone you happen to sit beside, especially if he/she got there first. Your fellow Nigerians are not your enemies; there’s no reason to get on the bus all belligerent.

4. Do stand up for elders, pregnant women and women carrying babies. Rather tricky explaining the sequence but here goes:
Guys should stand up for older men (looks more than twenty years older than you) and older women (Looks more than ten years older than you). Use your church mind when it comes to standing up for young women. With younger women, you can be chivalrous (personally, I would appreciate it) but it’s not compulsory.
Young women stand up for older women (old enough to be your mom’s younger sister) and much, much older guys (55 and above). Caveat: Most older men will refuse to take a young woman’s seat though, so if you insist and he refuses, you can reclaim your seat.

5. Don’t insult/abuse the driver/conductor. Their jobs are just as important as that one you’re running off to sanctimoniously. If you’re on the bus, chances are you don’t own a car. If all the bus drivers and taxi drivers decided to quit/strike for a month, you’d be, to put it mildly, screwed!

6. Don’t hold loud telephone conversations, especially when you’re in conflict with the other person. I’ve heard people scold their children, spouses, family and employees quite insultingly, eyeballs bulging and shouting at the top of their lungs. Really? Do we need to know all the sordid details?

7. Don’t play music on your latest toy. Yes, we noticed you have the new iPhone. You don’t have to blast Forever Young. Terribly uncouth. Do the world a favor and get head-phones.

8. Don’t do your make-up on the bus. Retouching lip-gloss is one thing, applying kohl quite another. It’s rather vulgar making faces, pouting and wincing at your reflection in the mirror while you apply purple lipstick.

9. Don’t toast/hit on/ ask out on the bus. Yes, she’s the cutest thing ever. Yes, (and luckily for her) you may never see her again. But if she refuses to give her number, please don’t beg. Don’t narrate your love history, either, and don’t insist on what a nice guy you are. It embarrasses her. And it embarrasses us, standing overhead or sitting within hearing distance.

10. Couples, don’t argue on the bus. Asking him if he loves you in that firm, drama-queen voice is ok when you’re at dinner in a private restaurant. Demanding the identity of the guy who just texted her is best reserved for a more private location. Not in a public place and definitely not on the bus!

11. Don’t brag on the phone or in conversation. Should be obvious, but there was this fellow standing beside me who boasted to a long lost friend all the way from Marina to the Stadium of how he’d gone on WWTBAM and won one million and how Aroma’s winning was staged etc. I dearly itched to slap him. Shut up already!

*Sigh*…feels so much better to let it all out. Hope you’re having a better day.


  1. Reblogged this on busetiquette101 and commented:
    Fantastic insight. My personal favourite is “Don’t toast/hit on/ask out on the bus”. The amount of times I’ve heard uni students attempting to flirt with the opposite gender is as equally vomit worthy as it is entertaining.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *