Inexpensive beauty care! I got a full facial and upper back massage today for $600 NT, about 1/3 the cost of one in the USA. Maybe 1/4.
I had a particularly stressful day today, capping off an almost-complete stressful week. Six new one-on-one social etiquette and writing skills classes (six!) at the Taipei offices of a major IT firm have just started, and I'm well on my way to breaking my monthly earnings record at this job.
Although that's not normally a priority - free time and quality of life are at the top of the list - it's certainly welcome cash as we plan our trip to Egypt, India and the USA next year.
As a special treat to help me unwind I stopped in the beauty care shop in Jingmei Night Market (towards the southern end, just before the food stalls) and got The Works.
First they wiped me down, laid me down on a comfy massage bed and covered my face in sticky goo. Then they covered the goo with layers of paper until I looked (and felt) mummified. While chatting in Taiwanese they rubbed that Icy Hot stuff all over my shoulders and gave me a good old-fashioned pounding until I relaxed and my vertebrae cracked into place. It feels nicer than it sounds.
"Don't talk while it's drying!" they insisted in Chaiwanese - that night-market-centric language that seems to be half Chinese and half Taiwanese.
After it dried, they pulled it up, bringing lots of gunk with it, covered me in more lotion and proceeded to use an electric scrapey thing to coax even more gunk out.
After I'd been scraped down like an Orwellian torture victim, they painted me with runny, milky goo.
I won't tell you what that reminded me of. Heh.
Then they covered me in a face-shaped felt thing and let me sit for about 10 minutes while they pounded me some more (which felt really nice, but slightly violating considering what my face seemed to be covered in).
Then they took that off and wiped me down again.
My skin has never looked better or felt cleaner, and the tension I've carried in my shoulderblades all week is finally gone.
I might just have to get this done every month...