Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Embassy Shop

The Embassy Shop was located in building 302 in the West Compound, just around the corner from the service station. It was basically a discount liquor store, and without all those bothersome federal and state taxes that you have to pay here in the States.

No doubt there are many stories to be told about this place, but I'm afraid that mine isn't among them. I think the only time I was ever in the place was when I purchased a bottle of Napoleon brandy there. I had been invited to a local home for Moon Festival dinner and someone told me that it would be an appropriate gift to bring.

I know that booze was rationed, but I don't recall if there were separate ration cards for the commissary, certain Navy Exchange items, liquor, etc.

It's probably safe to say that some of the alcohol purchased at the Embassy Shop found its way downtown to the local clubs. For the record, I have no personal knowledge of any such goings-on.


sarj said...

If the couple in the photo would wait until after a typhoon or flood hit,which happened quite often,they would only have to pay about 15cents for the selection the woman was showing them.
I drank mostly beer but since I did buy a bar along with my other rattan furniture, so I stocked a few items for guests.
There was a rationing as I remember and I think there was a punch card or something, but when they had the Typhoon sale everyone used a shopping cart and filled it up with 10 cent scotch and 5 cent wine, with only a few big name things going for 15 or 20 cents.
They would hand out a paper at the door telling you how to clean the bottles with Clorox etc., and a disclaimer for any sickness etc.

Anonymous said...

The AF on Taiwan was not issued a ration card 1970-71 (I was issued a ration card in the PI).

There was a limit on the number of TVs, stereo system, and appliances you could purchase during your tour. Paperwork for the items was generated by the Exchanges at the time of purchase.

You had to clear PMO in the West Compound prior to departure. They would verify the purchases, sale of any items and how many items remained in your possession.


Bill said...

ttoIn 1973 and beyond there were seperate ration cards for the PX and the Embassy Shop.
Thinking back on the prices, it was really amazing.
I started a decander collection while there and had many Taiwanese try and buy it from me when I left. I think most of them were Jim Beam bottles.....

Don said...


After seeing your comment, I do remember that there was a separate ration card for alcohol during 1973-1974. Mine hardly ever got used, but I remember that some guys would ask others to buy them something when they reached their own limit.

I don't think that beer was rationed because (as I recall) you could buy six-packs at the bar in the the 63 Club and the Linkou annex.