Many times than I can count, especially as a new student visiting Europe to study for the first time, I had missed my direction several times and could hardly find the place that I wanted to go. Most of the time I had to get to my destination a little late or extremely late or never.

As a Nigerian, for me the method of locating a particular destination is different from that of Estonia. The typical way of describing or pointing out routes all around the world is through road signs and descriptions. But according to cultural norms, in Nigeria, a description through mouth and hand is the most common.

For example:

Human 1: Excuse me sir, can you help me with a description of how to locate the Bus station?

Human 2: Ok, I can help. When you go straight, enter the first street to your left and walk straight to the end of the street, then turn right and then turn left again and you will locate where you are going.

But in Estonia, no one seems to have time for a long chat in helping in locations. Many times the first action you will see is bringing out phone and seeking the help of Google map. Then the next is a usual hand pointing with the regular statement of telling you how many meters you need to walk to get to you destination. Whereas, other details like where and when to turn are usually omitted.

Very often, when I followed the description by them, I get lost even more.

But later I understood that in Estonia, distance is measured in meters and kilometers and all Estonia routes are updated virtually I learned the Estonian ways. Estonia is a very organized country especially with regard to  transportation. So it is important to learn how to use Google maps, although the map doesn’t work as good as it was supposed to. Also, there are many applications you can download that can help you to find your location easily since you can find free internet almost everywhere. E.g.: https://transport.tallinn.ee/

Written By:
Bello Hakeem Kolade (Nigeria)
MA Wellness and Spa Service Design Management