Bidets are by no means an exclusively Japanese experience, but public Japanese bathrooms are known for their high-tech toilets accompanied by an array of complicated buttons. But one bidet system confounded even a seasoned user of the country’s advanced toilets, because it required the assistance of an understanding comrade in order to function properly.

Due to a system error, this bidet is synchronized with the one in the next stall. If the adjacent stall is occupied, please use the bidet comfortably through mutual communication and understanding.

Posted by Japanese Twitter user @k_yzf_r, this picture was originally sent from a surprised friend who found the notice taped inside a public bathroom stall. The natural response from both was that of befuddled amusement, not only because most people would be hesitant to ask for help when they want to freshen up down there, but also because they had no idea what to make of the words “mutual communication and understanding.”

Were they expected to yell over the thin wall, inevitably announcing to all the other patrons of the bathroom that they would be washing up with the bidet, or were they to use another, less obvious form of communication like morse code or telepathy?

But assuming that the facility was well aware that most people in Japan wouldn’t openly ask a stranger for help with the bidet, it’s safe to say that the notice was just a roundabout way of saying, “You probably don’t want to use the bidet.”

By - grape Japan editorial staff.