What floor am I on?

At a shopping centre in Bangkok, I asked for directions to the lavatory
“second floor sir”
For a moment, I paused, as my brain processed the information: “when she said ‘second floor’ what does she mean?”

The world is divided into different types of conventions regarding how to count the levels of buildings:
1. The Ground floor is numbered 1 and all subsequent floors follow. In this case my lavatory would be a short escalator ride up one floor.
2. The ground floor is labelled G, the floor above is 1 so my lavatory would be two levels up
3. The ground floor is labelled 0, the floor below is -1 and the floor above is 1
4. The countries with no standard system!!

It can cause mild confusion but is not usually an issue -unless one is in a hurry!



  1. That always throws me off when I go to Europe (being an American). If I’m on the second floor of a hotel I take the stairs, go down until the next door, and then realize I still need to go down another flight.
    I accidentally got off on the First Floor of the elevator in the Hilton near DUB and walked through an event with many kids. The lady didn’t understand why I was there and I was confused as to where the lobby went.

    It helps to have an elevator with a star to indicate the ground floor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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