Auntie, makcik, ah yi — in Singapore this is what we usually call the vendors when ordering food from their shop.
One lady boss in Taiwan, however, prohibits her customers from doing so, and has even put up a banner at the entrance of her cafe to let patrons know that “humans above 18” are barred from calling her auntie.
Fuyun Chen, a member of the Facebook group Baofei Commune, posted about his experience on Monday (June 20) with the owner of a breakfast cafe in Zhongli District, Taouyuan City, Taiwan.
Chen said he tried ordering a thick slice of smoked chicken with onion and a glass of cold milk, referring to the owner as auntie.
His request was ignored, and Taiwan News reported that another diner next to him pointed to a banner at the entrance of the cafe that said: “In order to maintain the quality of food orders, humans who are aged 18 and over, please do not call the proprietress auntie.”
Chen then made a second attempt to request for his food, this time referring to the owner as “beautiful lady boss.” He wrote that the owner looked at him and said, “That sign was made for you.”
Chen ended the post by saying that he hopes to not “find anything weird in his breakfast.”
The incident sparked a debate among some Taiwanese netizens about the appropriate term to call strangers.
Some posted about their difficulty in guessing people’s age, saying that it is better just to call men “mister” and women “miss”.
Another netizen commented that all women should be addressed as “older sister” while all men should be called “big brother”, said Taiwan News.
Unfortunately, such seemingly disagreeable F&B owners can be found everywhere.
In Singapore, a patron at Grain Alley in Orchard Central allegedly had her one-star review of the cafe on Google sent to her employer. Another patron of the same cafe was allegedly insulted and told to “grow a spine” after leaving a negative review.
Earlier this month, a Malaysian woman took to Facebook to share her experience with a rude owner, claiming she was criticised for arriving late. The owner had allegedly insinuated that woman was poor for ordering an omelette dish.