Free tissues are quite a common thing in Taipei. They are usually given out to drum up trade for some business or other, often outside MRT stations. During elections you get the various candidates giving them out with airbrushed pictures of themselves and their running mates raising clenched fists and their respective electoral numbers on the front.
As with the handing out of most flyers, foreigners are usually given a wide berth with these things. So when a gaggle of heavily made-up slappers in purple uniforms approached me on Guangfu Road the other day and foisted their packets upon me, I was taken aback – in a good way, of course.
These were advertising a massage parlour called shining star. I’m not sure whether they offer “special” massagey there, but “basic consumption” for a mere NT$550 certainly sounds promising (the tissues might well come in handy at the end). For those looking to, ahem, splash out, there’s the “healthy massage” at NT$1,650 for 90 minutes. But what will catch any discerning gent’s eye will surely be the offer of “picking thy ears” for a bargain NT$450. Ace.