The sign you see below is a very surprising sight in Japan. I saw it at the entrance of a traditional Japanese restaurant in Tokyo (near the fish market). It stood like a sore thumb in a country, where politeness is a national obsession. That is even more valid observation with regard to business. The most common way sales clerks address customers is “o-kyaku-sama” – an extremely polite expression that has no equivalent in English and could be roughly translated as “your customer excellency.”
So it was funny to see the warning at the entrance of that restaurant:
Would you like to order now?
1. Oder is call the number. please
2. My house is not salmon.
3. no credit card. no receipt.
no doggie bag. no take it out.
4. one seat aperson.
one order a guest.
and all menu is no sharing.
5. sorry… no baby.
no baby carriage.
About the spelling and message – English is often used by businesses in Japan, but because of the fact that most people don’t speak that language, most of the names or phrases are used without checking how correct they are. Because of that, usage mishaps are a common problem.
While I was taking the photo, I looked through the glass door to see a mean guy behind the sushi counter, who gave me a dirty look. He must have been the owner and the author of the note. I didn’t want to push my luck by going inside to check what kind of person he is.
The whole note was written in the finest tradition of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. Showing it to my Japanese friends and relatives brought quite a surprise – none of them had seen anything like this before.