My House in Taiwan is filled from the top to bottom with free gifts. I am tripping over them on the floor,Taiwanese Free Gifts Articles cursing them when they fall out of cupboards and stuffing them into cupboards when and where I can find a space. Free Gifts are becoming annoying yet there is not much I can do about it. I cannot refuse or ignore a free gift now can I?
Everybody and his dog own a credit card in Taiwan: Visa or Master Card. Most people in Taiwan have more than one Credit Card and many have hundreds of them. Credit Cards are easier to obtain than a pint of milk and are freely available at every store, garage and shop and in any color or design that you wish for. All one has to do is go along to the shop in question give an ID number, a current address (that could be false), sign a form and wait a few days for the card to arrive.
Once the Card arrives, a high spending limit is freely given and a free gift is thrown at you. Get the idea? Apply for a credit card and you get a free gift. Once you have the Credit Card and the Free Gift both are thrown into a drawer and forgotten about until the Company offers another free gift. The action of freely throwing Credit Cards at people has caused many persons to run into serious debt and to find themselves in big trouble – but that is another story.
This story is about “freebies”. The shops attract customers in a variety of ways. The latest one at the President Department Store was that anybody that spends over 200NT Dollars could buy one handy-sized traveler’s bag for: an additional 290NT Dollars. NB: 100NT Dollars is about 2 UK Pounds or 3 US Dollars, so I must admit that the incentive is there. You could of course only get hold of this Superb Bag if you have the store Visa Card. Three visible queues where formed on this day that the bags where on offer. One for people trying to spend the minimum amount of 200NT Dollars at the Candy store to keep their children happy. The other queue was for those collecting their treasures and the third was for those starting the whole purchase off by obtaining the Credit Card. Too late for the handy sized bag but ready for the next time.