Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Tokyo maid cafe experience

Maid cafe experience
Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson
Maid cafes are located in the Akihabara neighborhood of Tokyo -- the mecca for electronic, computer, and gamer junkies. Tiny little maid cafes are sprinkled through the district. Clued in by Time Out Tokyo guidebook, we had to try this only-in-Tokyo experience.

We picked one at random located on the 4th floor. At the entry, we traded our shoes for house slippers and shuffled to the right where the parlor was located.

To the right were curtained off areas. For "massages." Yep, it was that kind of place. The three maids ("masseuses?") hardly knew what to do with a group of 5 gaijin of mixed gender sitting in their little parlor.

There was a creepy guy sitting in the corner when we first arrived. He left about 10 minutes later. Must have been transitioning back to the real world after his massage.

After we ordered beverages, a second maid prepared a snack: artfully arranged nacho cheese Doritos and chocolate-flavored hard candy on a saucer. Surreal.

I don't think the "maids" had ever mixed a drink or brewed a cup of coffee before. It took 15 minutes and much discussion between them to serve coffee, beer, and a bacardi with soda. I suspect the girls were hired due to other skills. (We didn't try any of their other potential skills.)

Lee was able to get a photo of a maid before we were told, in sign language, "no photos."

It was very odd, sleazy, and funny.

Here's to embracing all sorts of experiences and opportunities in life!

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