Naturally, customs differ from country to country. Take for example the interjection “sorry” and the phrase “you’re welcome”. The former is used much oftener in Glasgow, the latter in Budweis.

This, however, I knew before coming here. What I didn’t know was you customarily thanked a municipal transport driver when leaving his bus, not just one driving an inter-city coach.

There are other differences. When your bus approaches, you gesture to the driver that he should stop for you. (In Budweis you’d sooner gesture he needn’t.)

You don’t have a ticket bought at a newsagent’s to mark in a machine after getting on by one of the doors; there’s just the door opposite the driver, to whom you show a pre-bought time ticket, or buy a ticket directly from him – and you need the exact amount, no change is being returned.

Bus stop names don’t read “At factory X”, “Hotel Y” or “Housing scheme Z”; the usual format is “District X, before/after street Y on street Z”, and bus stops opposite each other consequently don’t bear the same name.

What suprised me most was the bus stop named “Carntyne, after Abbeyhill Street on Carntynehall Road”. It’s placed on a roundabout. The first time we stopped there I wasn’t sure my eyes weren’t deluding me (it was already dark too) and had to check it in Google Earth when I got home. It was true. They had really made the roundabout wide enough to accomodate a bus stop – two in fact, because across is the one serving the other direction.


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