A Flock of Reindeer at the Taipei Duty Free Shop

Taipei Travel Blog

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I am in Taiwan (airport)

It's early in the morning, and the very first thing I do when I land in Taipei Airport is to head straight to the duty free shop. I'm still wearing my reindeer antler headband. (Hey, if I have to spend Christmas on a plane, I'm going to celebrate quietly, on my head.) I have one goal for the duty free shop: buying myself a late Christmas present of a carton of David Teng cigarettes.

David Teng is a guy I used to work with who had been gainfully employed in every job under the sun. Like, he's been a computer programmer, a valet, a professional chef, an insurance adjuster and worked for Boeing. David Teng talked with this weird slow swaggering Chinese accent, with the confidence of a man who could be top salesman at Taipei's finest used Lexus dealership.

520 Cigarettes (of love)

One day, we're outside the office, smoking, and he whips out a pack of cigarettes, imported straight from Taiwan. "You'll like these," he says.  I'm skeptical. I flip over the cigarette and, wonder of all wonders, there's a pink recess in the filter shaped like a tiny heart. It's like smoking love! I should know better than to doubt David Teng.

So that's why me and my reindeer antlers are hightailing it to the first duty free shop past customs. When I get there, I totally stop short 

Oh my god, it's my flock.

Every cute little Taiwanese shopgirl manning the duty free counters is wearing a pair of little red reindeer antlers. They all turn and at look at me. We blink at each other. I feel like the bee girl at the end of that Blind Melon Video!

We compliment each other on our antlers and I ask them if they've heard of cigarrettes with heart filters.

Happy Condom, one of several informative posters at the Taipei Airport
"Yes!", the lead reindeer says, "but they're not here. They're at the other duty free shop."

I tell her I'm running a bit late, could she point me in that direction?

"Don't worry", she says, "I'll take you. You won't be late if we run!"

So off we go, running down the people mover, like a stampede of little asian christmas reindeer, plowing over surprised tourists as we go.


Luckily, I find success at the other duty free shop, thanks to my flock. Asia, you so funny. Even your cancer sticks are made to look cute. Soon, me and my heart shaped cigarrettes are off to Kuala Lumpur!

Ann_Hells says:
BahahaI guess this time the reindeer didn't bring you the presents, they brought you to the present!
Posted on: Jan 16, 2008
rintjez says:
I'm glad you met your flock! and one of them even helped you to get your love cigarrettes!! ^_^
Posted on: Jan 15, 2008
jteddyb says:
I think that every country in Asia has a daily quota of surreal experiences that they have to fill up. Hence the antlers. That shopgirl sounds incredibly nice, though.
Posted on: Jan 15, 2008
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I am in Taiwan (airport)
I am in Taiwan (airport)
520 Cigarettes (of love)
520 Cigarettes (of love)
Happy Condom, one of several infor…
Happy Condom, one of several info…
520 Cigarettes (of love)
520 Cigarettes (of love)
520 Cigarettes (of love)
520 Cigarettes (of love)
photo by: Deats