Haircut Vending Machine
I was hanging out at an MRT station in Taipei last week waiting for my ride when I saw this little cubicle. I love anything that’s automated, so I wandered over to check it out. It turns out it’s a little barbershop. You purchase a haircut coupon or ticket from a vending machine. I believe it costs NT$100 for a basic cut. You just insert a bill or some coins into the machine and it spits out a numbered ticket.
A color-coded light shows you before you purchase your ticket how long you might have to wait. Green means almost no wait at all. Yellow indicates a five- to ten-minute wait. And red means you’ll have to wait at least fifteen minutes. I assume there is a number on each ticket, and your number will appear in a “Now Serving” window when it is your turn.
I went up to take a closer look, and I saw that there was one hairstylist inside this little cubicle waiting for customers. She seemed to be staring intently at a video monitor over her head. I think she could see me – a potential customer – on that monitor. I’m not sure if she was crossing her fingers and hoping for a customer or hoping that I’d just go away.