Japan is greedy as h**k with their ketchup.
There are few things that really irk me while living in Japan:
Being told my Japanese is good simply by my saying “Thank you”.
The wait time at a Docomo shop.
But today I want to talk about one thing that irks me in particular:
Or the lack thereof.
You see, Japan is a country that likes to take things such as restaurants from America and add little Japanese twists. In every city you will (unfortunately) find a McDonalds or the like. And the picture menu is such that you can easily order without understanding Japanese.
Let’s say you place your order to eat in, and a few minutes later they bring you your large fries and Big Mac (I am an American after all). But lo and behold, they forgot the ketchup for your fries.
So you say in a questioning voice, one word: “Ketchup?”
The staff understands your requests and hands you… one. Little. Packet.
Thinking this is simply a misunderstanding, you request in one word: “More”.
The staff member nods understandably, reaches down and gives you….
ONE. MORE. PACKET.
At this point you are confused. Do they not see that this is a LARGE order of fries? Do the Japanese actually use soy sauce instead? Is the tomato famine of 2020 beginning?
Nah, they’re just greedy.
It is one of the most confusing and angering things about eating out in Japan.
AND IT’S NOT JUST MCDONALDS.
You go to Mosburger (Basically, the Japanese McDonalds), Lotteria, or even Burger King or Wendy’s and you’ll find this same greed of ketchup.
And many places won’t even bother to give you a packet in your to-go bag. THEY FOLD THE BAG AND HAND IT TO YOU KNOWING DARN WELL THAT THERE IS NO KETCHUP TO GO WITH YOUR FRIES.
And they SMILE while doing it.
I know you’re thinking, “Rinaldo, Bro, just grab some from the condiment bar on your way out.”
How quaint. As if you think they’d just have packets there for you to take.
Next, you’re thinking, “Just pump it into the little paper bucket cup and carry it with you like a Neanderthal.”
Bruh… I can’t make this any clearer. THERE IS NO KETCHUP PUMP.
They keep it on lockdown, behind the counter. Sometimes even in the BACK of the kitchen possibly to make you feel bad for asking for it. It’s as if Scrooge McDuck kept all the ketchup in his bank, and each time you needed one McDonalds had to fill out a loan form.
The only good point to this condiment driven communism is that there is no condiment drawer at home. You know, the one with all the soy sauce, duck sauce, plasticware, ketchup, disposable chopstsicks and occasional Kraft mayonnaise.
Not that Japanese kitchens have room for them anyway…. But that’s a complaint for another day.
Until next time, STAY AWESOME!