Friday, October 5, 2007

Much better...less ouchy massage.

I decided to try out one of Taiwan's day spas last was called "Jour de Ness," and is one of a large chain all across Taiwan, and even has 600 locations in China.

I had signed up for an 80 minute full-body massage, but I was on my period, so they decided to forgo doing that and only wanted to do my back for 60 minutes. As soon as I checked in, they handed me slippers to wear and a drink that tasted like sweet and sour plums, which was actually quite good. I had to fill in an intake form (which was a bit tough for me, since my Mandarin is not perfect and yet I have to pretend all the time that it is!).

Then, my service began by having me lock up my items and lie face down on a massage table. My only thought was that the table was extremely short...even at 5'4ish, my feet were touching the wall...that is very strange. There are plenty of people walking around here taller than me...what happens to them?

My massage therapist was extremely pleasant, she rubbed an oil containing menthol on my back, and also swung over an infrared lamp to "knit my bones back together" in my back. The massage was a lot more like acupressure, concentrating on certain meridians and "pressure points" - was actually quite painful in the sense that those parts are very sensitive. She told me, in one particularly sensitive spot, that that spot corresponded to the general health of my ovaries and my uterus, and that mine were "not optimally healthy." I told her, despite the pain, to press it some more - hee hee!

I was pretty pleased with the massage, except that at one point, my massage therapist got up in the middle of the massage to go into the hallway and talk to her younger sister. I thought that was a little strange, and not something we would countenance doing in the States. I asked if she had an emergency, and she said it was just to say goodbye.

After my massage, the management corraled me and tried to get me to buy a 15-service series. Apparently, yesterday being my inaugural visit to their company, I was charged the ridiculously cheap rate of 450NT, which is something like $15 USD. However, each and every time in the future that I wanted to go would cost 1500 NT (or about $50 USD). So they wanted to sell me a package of 15 for 11,300 NT...and they were quite assiduous about it and would not let up, despite the fact that I don't even live in the country and only return once every 2 years or so. They spent a lot of time trying to convince me that it would still be worth it!?!

Well, I have to give them kudos for trying. It is certainly one way to "wrap" the customer around your finger and lock them into your services, but I got the sense that they just wouldn't take no for an answer, and that the only reason they did was that I did not live locally. They even said, "Well, you can gift the services to your family who live here!" Haha, good marketing, I have to admit - pull them in too!

I don't know if the hard pushy sell is something that would work so well in the States, but this makes me think perhaps I should be marketing series more. Hmmm, food for thought.

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