Working girls

Don't let those colorful, sexy silhouettes fool you. This is not a poster for a new Charlie's Angels movie. This is a sign for Girls Office Tokyo, an OL-style maid cafe and bar. OL stands for "office lady," a term used for female staff who do clerical work. It's a more modern take on the maid cafes that started years ago in Akihabara and are now all over the country. (I just saw one on my recent trip to Hiroshima.) There are maid cafes where the staff wears French maid outfits, rabbit ears, and even traditional Japanese kimono. I guess someone thought those costumes were too fantastical or realized that some men fantasize about the women in their offices. In many Japanese companies, OLs wear uniforms (that means skirts). I went out with an OL on a date once, and she wore her uniform because she thought I'd be turned on by it. Wrong. Touching the stiff material (polyester?) just made me think of old people in a hospital.