The Berlin U-Bahn is OK with you being weird

The Local Germany
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The Berlin U-Bahn is OK with you being weird
Pugs in shark costumes? It's a 'yes' from BVG, apparently. Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

Ever wondered whether you can ride your horse on the tube? Grate cheese? Do the splits? We know we have. But happily, the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) has made a video to answer all these burning questions - and more.


The latest advert by BVG has whipped up a storm across Europe - and it's not hard to guess why.

In "Ist mir egal" ("I don't care"), rapper Kazim Akboga - in uniform as a BVG official - gives passengers the low-down on proper etiquette when travelling with BVG.

"The whole meaning of the video is to have fun," BVG spokesperson Josefin Langer told The Local.

"We want to tell everyone that it's not important how you look, where you come from, or what skin colour you have - we're just here to take you from one place to another."

It's a message that's particularly important as thousands of refugees arrive in Berlin, she added.

The track appeared on YouTube on Friday 11th December, and BVG's link to the video received almost 9,000 shares within the first five hours of appearing on Facebook.

"It's gone through Europe!" said Langer. "We've had calls from Finland, France, Austria..."

It turns out there are quite a few things Akboga "doesn't care" about.

Whether all of these correspond with BVG's official rules is another thing - but it's pretty entertaining, either way.

So what exactly are you allowed to do on a BVG train, according to Akboga? Well...

1. Yawn at the conductor on a Monday morning

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

Ok, this isn't weird. Actually, it's pretty unavoidable. 

Bonus points to anyone who can resist the urge to yawn when looking at this picture. We didn't manage it.

2. Wear a crop top

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

Oh come on. It may be surprisingly mild for December in Berlin... but it's not that warm. 

3. Play loud music

The guys in the video are sombrero-clad and playing guitars - but we reckon you'd get away with most genres. Even techno, probably.

4. Bring a dog in a shark costume

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

Because why not.

5. Carry your sofa on the train

What's a Berliner to do when they move house? Pay for a removal company?! 

Of course not. If the sofa fits on the tube, it's travelling by tube.

6. Ride a horse

Because if there's one thing more exciting than cantering through grassy meadows, it's getting the U2 to Pankow.

7. Sit on another guy's lap

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

It does save seats, we guess.

8. Give a free striptease

Little known fact: the poles most passengers use to stay standing are also the perfect platform for a cheeky pole-dance. (Apparently)

9. Be a bearded woman

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

We have a sneaking feeling we've seen something like this before.

10. Have no small change

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

Do those things even exist?!

11. Not give a tip

He really doesn't care. 

12.  Cut onions

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

If nothing else, it's a good way to make sure no-one wants to sit next to you.

13. Grate cheese

Well, you've already done the onions. You might as well.

14. Bring a robot and a jar of mustard

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

...nope. We genuinely have no idea what this one's about.

15. Play a drum


16. Have a big nose

Or as Akboga puts it, a "potato nose."

We think that's pretty mean. The girl in the video doesn't even have that big a nose.

17. Wear a rabbit costume

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

Cute alert.

18. Take selfies

Because if you didn't take a selfie on the tube, did you even go on the tube?

19. Camoflage yourself against the seats

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot


19. Do the splits

"Only we love you just as you are." Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

Of course, some of the video's points should definitely be taken with a pinch of salt - but BVG aren't about to let that get in the way of their fun.

"Some lines contradict the terms of transportation? We don't care," the company commented on its Facebook post about the video.

Image: Facebook screenshot

"Of course we're joking about many things in the video," Langer told The Local.

"This is just our way of saying: it's not important to us what you look like or where you come from. It's just important that you're a nice person - and that you buy a ticket!"

Yep: even BVG draws the line at some things.

Basically, you're not allowed to:

1. Not have a ticket

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

It's all fun and games until someone dresses up as a ticket machine to hide from the conductor.

2. Not have any cash on you

Image: BVG / YouTube screenshot

In conclusion: bring your horse, your onions, your robot, your crop top and your pug. Just don't forget your wallet.

Happy travelling!

(Oh, and if the video doesn't go viral, BVG doesn't care.)

By Hannah Butler


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