English signs in non-English speaking countries are always good for a bit of comic relief.
The condo I’m living in here in Chiang Mai is about a 30 to 40 minute walk from the old city. How long really depends how many scooters and tuk-tuks I have to dodge or climb over along the way. Walking is my thing, so I don’t mind the trek into town. By the time I get there I’m usually in need of the lady’s room, so I usually creep into McDonald’s. I always feel a little guilty because there is almost always a yellow sign on the stairs up to the second floor that says “out of service”. The other day I’m coming down the stairs and I see this guy standing there looking at the wall, and I can see his lips moving. At first I thought he was talking to someone outside, but then I realized there’s no window there. I’m thinking… crazy person!
I get down to where he’s standing, and I started to laugh. He’s trying to figure out this freshly posted sign.
We had a good chuckle together, and figured that the staff must be tired of people asking if the toilet is out of order because of the ‘out of service’ sign. When in fact it’s okay to use the toilet, but they don’t want customers eating on the second floor unless all of the first floor seats are full. No more guilt trips when I use the lady’s room at McD’s.