Ten Commandments for Maid Cafe customersNo shirt, no shoes, no service...
yes, things were much simpler in the days of yore, before there were such things as Maid Cafes. How did we ever live without them? Now that they're here, in Japan at least, cafe customers seem to have difficulty discerning the servers from what's being served. One Tokyo establishment has addressed the issue by posting a handy list of ten things one should not do when visiting a Maid Cafe.
1. Do not touch the maids
No matter what the sign above says, the hired hands aren't on the menu so keep your hands to yourself. As for the maids touching the customers, well, if that were on the menu it'd give "Happy Hour" a whole new meaning now wouldn't it? (Maid image via Personal Touch Maid Service)
2. No asking for a maid's phone number
This seems rather mild - I mean, the maid can just say "no"
or perhaps give out the number of an actual maid service. The latter might be a good money-making venue for the cafe, by the way. In any case, if your fantasy revolves around maids and phones, this li'l Felix the Cat
(in a maid outfit) cellphone charm may be just what you're looking for. That, and a therapist. (Maid image via Strapya World)
3. No asking for a maid's email address
Even milder, and more like Rule 2b than a separate commandment. Handing the customer the cafe's business card (which will typically show their website address)
ought to nip that problem in the bud. It may be, though, that some Otaku just get a kick out of emailing maids - especially using their freaky geeky maid computer case. Insert floppy drive joke here... (Maid image via C-Scout Japan)
4. Don't infringe on a maid's privacy by asking what time she gets off work
Is there a trend here? Only at Rule #4 and the main issue seems to be clients harrassing the maids. I've been to the i-Maid Cafe
here in Toronto (now closed, sadly)
, and though the maids were pretty, kind and attentive, they were still just waitresses. It's a curious commentary on Otaku culture that so many of Japan's geeks can't separate fact from fantasy. Maybe they should just stick to their Maid RPG
s. (Maid image via Yarukizero)
5. Do not stalk or persistently pick up a maid
At some point, being a pest turns into something darker. Yes, stalking a cafe employee is a no-no. Yes, persisting in bothering her is not cool. You'd think guys would know this already without having it posted on a signboard, thus stigmatizing the entire male gender. Then again, if you offer her a ride home in the Maid Taxi
, all bets are off. (Maid image via Dark Diamond)
6. Don't linger outside the cafe waiting for her to come in or go out
Not to belabor the point, but they're belaboring the point. What we'll call "stationary stalking"
is only cool if you're a groupie and your fave band is in town. Basement-dwelling anime fan? Not so much. Erm, disguising yourself as a Coke vending machine may earn you points with cosplayers but not with your stockinged stalk-ette. (Maid image via New York Times)
7. No harming the employees, guests, or neighbors of this cafe"Do no harm"
- isn't that one of the rules for doctors? Or, say, anybody?
But maybe the cafe owners had noticed a recurring pattern of harm directed towards their employees, guests, even neighbors and thought such behavior should be addressed. I can wholeheartedly state that violence, especially when directed at sweet, innocent Japanese maids, is never to be condoned... unless they look like Colonel Sanders in drag
, not that there's anyth- umm, actually there's a LOT wrong with that. (Maid image via Internet Siao)
8. No taking photos of the maids or the interior and exterior of the cafe
I can understand the first part of this rule, which especially applies to those pesky shoe-cammers. As for the second part... whomever took our title image is guilty as charged. There ARE a few maid cafes like Maid Ice
in Osaka's Shinsaibashi ward that charge a fee - 400 or 500 yen (about $5)
is typical - to get a hand-decorated photo of yourself with a maid. If that's what you're into. Though why would you be? (Maid image via MichaelMcKinlay.com)
9. Don't bring outside food or drink into the cafe
All restaurants hate this, and with reason. Unless you're the Pillsbury Doughboy, or a unicorn, or their improbable love child - in which case you get to join the staff on stage for the daily floor show. (Maid image via Pingmag)
10. No smoking on the stairs outside the cafe
In the traditional, Judeo-Christian or (Charlton Hestonian) Ten Commandments, number 10 is "Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's wife."
At this Maid Cafe, it's "Thou shalt not smoke on the stairs outside the cafe."
To be fair, the business about coveting wives (brides -> bridesmaids -> maids)
was pretty much covered in Rule #1. (Maid image via JP BizDirect)
One final point: according to Lisa Katayama at TokyoMango
, my source for this topic, "The sign at the bottom claims that the cafe has teamed up with the secret service for surveillance and enforcement of these rules."
Whew, as if protecting the leaders of Japan's government isn't enough to keep the mirror-shade set busy! Now I really need a latte - "oh Fifi....