On a recent trip back to the US, I had a one-night stopover at Taipei Taoyuan International – or for the more militant readers, Chiang Kai-shek International – Airport in Taiwan. No big deal, I speak some of the language, can get Japanese hamburgers and most importantly, can speak some of the language. Oh, did I write that already? Read on…
My backpack was filled with dirty clothes, and that time, I didn’t have “a rainy season in Asia” to blame. Regardless, why not explore Taoyuan – sweet, an airport suburb! – somewhere I never visited before, for my last hurrah of that trip. Finding a laundromat would be key, for I was carrying around the inedible equivalent of the average Taiwanese night market.
The journey paid off, because there were signs for self-service laundry along the main drag (if you wanted to get there from Taoyuan Airport, hop on a bus). However, what those signs said remains a mystery drowning in Engrish:
More polite than the average animate object. Or inanimate.
What I glean from the Chinese in the red column is, “before putting (literally “throwing”; for that part of the world, it makes sense) money in, please close the (dryer) door).” You may not need a translation here, because eventually you’ll figure out that the narrow metal slot wasn’t where you put the clothes.
I’m hungry too.
Have you spotted any Engrish lately? If so, care to share?
As a side note, I’d be glad to help you out with your translations if you’re in the market.