Lost in Translation

There are many things that I am missing here in Japan, but one of the oddest is the “Maid Cafe.” Here’s what I am talking about….

Maid Cafe image

This is an image from the web site of MaidDreamin.com. We went into one of their cafes in Tokyo near the electronics district. Here’s the very strange deal. Twenty-something girls dress up as maids and serve food and alcohol to the guests. They act like they are in their early teens, and upon asked their age, will say something like “forever 14.” They clap their hands like little girls, squeak cutesy expressions in little girl voices, and draw pictures on your food when it is served (like a bear or a kitty). Most of the guests were kids the same age as the girls (early 20s) who seemed to enjoy the regression atmosphere. I guess the pressures of working in the big city as a young person meant that regression to an earlier age was welcome. Other than that, I don’t know how to explain it.

There was one creepy sixty-something guy eating his lunch watching the maids. He appeared to know the girls, had his photo taken with them, and I suppose he was a regular. Creepy to me, but what do I know.

If the people in the place were in their 30s and 40s, I would have had a different opinion about the place. But with the guests seemingly just kids playing the silly games that the kids who worked there were offering, I guess it serves a function. Very strange though. When I was 20, I wanted to act like a 35 year old, not 14.

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