I've never been in one, since to be honest I'm a little weirded out by them. The whole "sexy girl serves you food" spin never appealed to me (suck it, Hooters). In fact, I actually don't know anyone who has ever been inside one, and so these cafes have an urban legend feel about them. Some of the more popular claims surrounding these cafes, which mind you I can neither verify nor deny:
- You can get a little extra action if you pay more, but only a little bit of action. You can signal this interest by turning over your coffee cup.
- Others will say that these women are strictly on the up and up (I mean beyond the whole "I wear a bikini at work" thing), and that touching any of the women will result in quick retribution by Vietnamese gangsters/Chinese gangsters/elven rangers (that last group is probably least likely).
It's surreal to hear about these things in the blogosphere,
since growing up in Orange County, I was accustomed to seeing these cafe om (literally "Hug Cafe") type establishments in the various strip
malls that make up Little Saigon.
Seeing them in the news and on the Internet is sort of like seeing the New York Times talk about Vietnamese sandwiches, or CNN talk about how your mom is always shading herself with her
purse. They make it seem like they just "discovered" it when all it means is
that Joe McAmerican now can look it up on Google and there are more
hits in English.