As you can see, I went ice skating today at the Taipei Ice Arena with the boy and some friends. And as you can see, we had a great time even though we had to wear silly helmets and gloves because they are required unless you sign a waiver.
But the whole process of getting in and out was quite inefficient.
In Nashville, when you go ice-skating, you walk up to the admissions counter and pay for entrance fee/skate rental, and they give you a little ticket similar to the ones you get from arcade games or at the state fair. Then you go inside to the rink, walk up to the skate counter, give them the ticket and your shoes, tell them your shoe size, and they’ll give you your skates. The rest is up to you – you wear whatever you want, and you go skate, have fun, and leave whenever you want. When you’re done, you go back up to the skate counter, give them their skates back, get your shoes, and go along your merry way.
But today was not like that at all.
We waited in line at the admissions counter, told them our shoe size (because there were signs EVERYWHERE telling us to), and paid the $190NT ($5.89USD) entrance fee and $60NT ($1.86USD) skate rental fee. They then told us if we had gloves, and we said no so they told us to go buy some because we had to wear gloves. They handed us three cards to get inside. We went and bought the gloves, which were $50NT ($1.55USD) a pair. We swiped our cards at the turnstiles to get through and went to the skate counter, told them our shoe sizes AGAIN (what was the point the first time?), handed them the cards to swipe, got our skates and helmets. It’s about 3:45pm in the afternoon, and we’re taking our sweet time because we’re in no rush. You’ll see why this is important later.
So we skate for a couple of hours, and they were going to zamboni the ice at 6:00pm so we decided to leave. When we left, we returned the skates, swiped the cards, and tried to leave through the turnstile by inserting our cards. But it wouldn’t let us. The machine told us to go to the office. Apparently, we had gone over our 2-hour limit by like ten minutes. They didn’t tell us we only had two hours when we paid to get in! So instead of letting us through to pay the difference at the admission counter, they kept us on the inside of the one and only turnstile and blocked the rest of the arena from exiting until we paid up. (It’s an extra $45NT ($1.40USD) per half hour overtime.) Actually, they wanted us to step to the side at the “problems counter”, but that was already taken up by a group of ten-year-old hockey players and their parents being held hostage because they didn’t have their cards to exit either. Anyways, the whole process was quite frustrating because I felt like a prisoner who got caught doing something wrong.
I understand the reasoning behind the two-hour limit because the ice rink is pretty small, and there are too many people in Taipei for unlimited anything (because the Asians would probably stay all day just to get their money’s worth). But it was still highly inefficient.
In summary, I went ice skating today. It was fun. I paid too much for it. (It’s not really about the money, but more about the principle.)
Fun Fact: I learned that I ONLY GET 2 HOURS OF ICE SKATING next time.