Taiwanese Massage: A Harrowing Tale Of Survival
It was 10am in Taipei and my friend and I were looking to get breakfast in the Ximen area. After realizing most places weren’t going to be open until 11am, we had to wait an hour for better food. Best way to kill an hour? A massage. While in Taiwan, a Taiwanese massage.
After a quick search online, we found this place:
No. 80, Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
I have no idea what the English name is but that wasn’t going to stop us. There was a guy in a pale yellow uniform standing outside (he worked there) and started talking to Andy in Mandarin. Of course, trying to promote the massage place. The price was 850NTD ($28USD) for a 60 minute full body massage as stated by the guy and the advertising on the wall. Good deal! I’m in.
There were several floors inside the building. On the first floor was the section for foot massages. To the left of the entrance is an area to change from shoes to slippers. The staircase to upper levels was also on the left.
After taking off our shoes and changing into slippers, we were guided upstairs into two separate rooms. The rooms were big enough for a massage table, a sink, and a small restroom. As we walked into the room, a wave of hot humidity hit me. It was worse than being outside. This room had not been used in some time.
The guy who guided us in instructed me to change into some light massage clothes and then walked out of the room. He came back a few minutes later and the massage started.
FUUUUUUUUUUCKKKK. I got the guy who brought us in. This guy looks strong. There were a bunch of old ladies sitting around in the lobby. I was hoping for someone with less strength.
I thought this was just a massage, but this was a Taiwanese massage. The pain started immediately. I would describe the massage as finger acupuncture. He’d pick a point on your body then put his full weight and strength into that point (in a non-sexual way). I didn’t speak much Mandarin and he didn’t know much English. I said “less strength” many times and he seemed to respond like he understood. The pain continued for an hour.
At the end of the massage I was in pain but happy to alive. I guess that’s what happens in a near death experience. I thought my body would be bruised after that but I actually did feel relaxed for a few days. Still, that won’t be an experience I would repeat.