I can barely describe the title of this post (moe) in English.
It's like...that feeling you get when you see something that is literally so cute that you're not necessarily in love, but you get all giggly and fuzzy and go "awwwww" about a billion times in your head and just want to reach out to the object of your 萌え and hug it to pieces while simultaneously dying inside over how cute it is. Like a crush, kind of, or extreme infatuation.
萌え will be relevant in a bit, when I get to the part about the maid cafe. Oh ma gawd y'all.
So this day started off with Mint cooking me a Thai breakfast of "crispy" eggs (they turned out mildly crispy lol) and some salmon. Omnomnomz. Grace came down and was like "You guys are going to a maid cafe today? ...CAN I COME PLZZZZ" so our party increased from 3 to 4! Yayy, the more the merrier for adventure-type things.
So as we're bouncing along in the train, excited for our day, I take a quick glance around and notice goodness gracious me, Japanese girls got their shoe game on point
|Shout out to the little girl. WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN. If only my feet weren't so big...|
|Like a scene out of a movie or something. um, this edition of spot-the-fashionista is sort of NOT DIFFICULT AT ALL. Damn damn damn why can't I dress like them and make it look so effortless?|
|JUSTINE. JUSTINE. 'I DIE' DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO COVER THIS.|
Ok before I go on, let me explain a lil' bit:
So as I mentioned before, Akihabara (shortened to Akiba) is おたく central, pretty much. I touched on it before, but basically it's for people that have such extreme obsessions i.e. games, manga, anime, etc. that they're known to not really leave the house much as they accumulate their nerdom. cough. Maid cafes were kind of constructed for these awkward shut-ins to get an opportunity to meet women. If it sounds wrong, it's because it kind of is. MORE ON THIS LATER.
So my inner おたく squeed when we walked through this little mini-mall thing where they had amazing figures on display and omg guys it's Haruhi
Explanation: been watching this Anime since the 7th grade, and kind of sort of learned the entire dance sequence that ends each episode (and yes I mean the entire thing, just ask me to do it and I will)
YEAH ANYWAY...UH... THERE WERE SOME THINGS THAT I DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZE?
|I don't know who you are but I'd like 839438 of you please.|
|Idk what this was, but it was really shiny and kind of epic-looking, plus it was something in Japan as tall as me so I carpe diem'd and all that.|
I feel like this will become one of those posts where (if you don't know me that well) you awkwardly discover just how strange I am. Oh the fuck well.
We continued our trek through Akiba (which by the way I'm in love with, can we take another picture break and just look at this plz?)
Neat thing about this amazing place is that on Sundays (which is when the 4 of us went), before 6 pm there are no cars allowed on the roads so people literally can just walk up and down the street, do cartwheels, pose for corny pictures, that sort of thing...
|Yes, I took advantage of this. Me and Lhriza :)|
|Yes, I wore my Harajuku Girls shirt. Life is funner when you just admit that you have no shame.|
Spotted these 2 adorable little ones and figured that they were inspired by my shameless posing in the middle of the street
|socute. Every single child on this island. SOCUTE.|
Anyway, I got very very VERY excited when we spotted a Taiko: Drum Master game hidden in a Sega store, and immediately had to play:
|It's similar to DDR, but with drums. And also really, really fun.|
We did a lot more procrastinating on our way to finding maid cafes, and went inside a little store filled with UFO Catchers. These are really big in Japan; I mean I see the odd UFO Catcher in the little front lobby-thing in Wal-marts and Jewel's and whatnot, but nothing this intense. it was really bright and there were so many machines and I really was tempted to just win everything I saw.
So, more about maid cafes. As I mentioned, every waitress is dressed like a maid. But like...RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE maids. They're dripping with jewels and charms and fluffy things and are all curly bobbed hair and wide eyes. It's the kind of thing where you're shocked and mildly disturbed but simultaneously having the best time ever. So the building we went to was 7 stories high, with a different cafe on each floor (the whole multi-level store thing is big in Japan. They're fans of conserving space.) we went aaaalll the way to the 7th floor, and only had to wait in line for about 20 minutes. When it was our turn we were greeted by a group of 3 disgustingly cute maids with a "おかえりなさいませっ、お嬢様" which is pretty much "Welcome home, mistress."
Ok, take a minute. Deep breaths. All together now: WTF.
So, yeah....remember that whole おたく thing from earlier? About how these shut-ins couldn't interact with girls? Yeahh, the entire time in these cafes the maids treat and address you as if you're their master (lol). They put ketchup on your food for you (lol) cut up said food before you eat it (lol), even let you pick the color of what straw you want with your drink. WHAT. The 4 of us felt out of place, but decided that this situation was too hilarious to not exploit.
The first maid we encountered asked if we understood Japanese (I'm kind of a blatant display of foreign-ness) but she should have asked if we could comprehend cute because I swear that's all they were speaking. I looked around at all the maids flouncing about, and found myself judging them with Lhriza as they passed by ("oh! she's adorable! Look at that bracelet! Meh, she's alright. Could have dressed a little cuter.") and was further mortified when we were asked to pick a maid out of the lineup of all the staff to get to take a picture with later (you could also play a game with them, but I wanted a memento of this crazy ass day). Is anyone else picking up on how atrociously dehumanizing this process is? But still hilarious. You get sucked into the atmosphere. Oh right, there were also 2 awkward おたく dudes sitting near us who were obviously not there for the lulz. Awkward.
Right, 萌え (moe). The maids were definitely a fan of this word. Before you drank your drank or ate your foods, the maids would bless it by instructing everyone to make a hand heart (no joke) and sing "萌え, 萌え, ちゅう~!" while bouncing from side to side. ちゅう means kiss, or rather the sound you make (chuuuu). She was literally inserting love and over-the-top cuteness into our meal. Like, what is this I'm trapped in some sort of cotton candy nightmare.
The 4 of us were seated at tables right in front of the stage where people could get their pictures taken, and I had a moment of extreme face palm-ness when I commented to Lhriza that the maid up there taking pictures with the poloroid was also adorable, and the maid turns and looks straight at me and waves. I'm like o___o ... then she goes "I can speak English." LOL. LAWL. PERFECT. It turns out the first maid we got could also speak English since she had lived in Canada for 6 years, and she was just too shy to speak in front of us (similar to my whole fear of speaking Japanese to native speakers...I could relate.)
Anyway, we were all called up on stage when we were ready to get our picture taken, and when it was my turn I awkwardly stood up in front of my maid and this woman was probably a couple inches shy of 5'5'' even with 4 inch heels on and sort of just stared at me and went "OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!!!" -_- sigh. Endless struggle of a tall person in Japan. Anyway, you could choose animal ears to wear in the picture, and OF COURSE I CHOSE THE LAMB EARS~. Me and...whatever her name was took a picture, which was promptly printed out and decorated with marker (another big thing in Japan: taking pictures and then drawing on them. More on this later.)
|Notice the giant "萌". Good god. ISNT' THIS SO CUTE THO|
|A picture of all our maid pictures (I don't have a scanner, shoot me). BASK IN THE CUTE.|
|I feel like a certified pimp or something. AWW YEAH.|
Shit this is the part where the post gets too unbearably long. Okay so after trolling the maid cafe came to a sad close (we have every intention of returning, fyi) we went to a プリクラ (Purikura; photo booth!) I've always always ALWAYS wanted to do the whole photo booth thing in general, but especially プリクラ's because they looked so amazingly fun and just so...Japanese, you know? When in Rome....
So we went to the basement of a shop that had many different booths, all different themes. I think the one we chose was fashion-themed or something? I couldn't tell because when you walked inside and had to choose settings everything was timed and it was all very stressful so Lhriza just ended up wildly pushing buttons and I think the setting she chose enhanced your features, because I ended up with big ass eyes. Like, my eyes are pretty naturally wide as it is, but...yeah it was pretty ridiculous. But necessary. I think that's a recurring theme in my stay here: Ridiculous, but necessary.
So after we were done giggling and posing and being 15 year old girls, we ran around to the back of the booth for the editing station. THIS IS WHERE SHIT GOT INTENSE. You had 90 seconds to customize your picture, i..e adding crowns to people's heads, drawing squiggly lines, adding sparkly stars banners, etc. Basically cute-vomiting all over the place. It was intense but also fun because we were sort of breathlessly picking features and squealing when the time got closer to zero. Too too fun. I need to do more of these.
|Love. Love love love.|
Sorry if this post was unbearably long...reeling off of the disappointing news that Winter/Spring 2012 will not, in fact, be spent at the University of Sydney and I'm kind of figuring out housing and what I'll do with my life at NU and whatnot. I'm thinking of taking a quarter off and just going the fuck to Sydney anyway. Thoughts?
To everyone I promised a postcard to; SORRY THIS IS TAKING ME SO LONG. I still haven't gotten paid yet, but know that I have not forgotten about you!! I'll write something sweet :)
Instead of going to bed like a sensible person, I am now going to re-watch ever Haruhi episode because I can.