Monday, 15 November 2010

Curing all ills


Q: What is blue and white and red all over?
A: The unmissable Hong Kong medicinal oil lorry.

These rather natty lorries are a common sight around town.
I don't think these trucks actually deliver the medicinal product they advertise on the side (if that were the case, based on the frequency these lorries are seen, Hong Kongers would be glugging more medicinal oil than Coca Cola.). Rather, these are general-purpose vehicles with a permanent advert on the side. Or maybe the Chinese medicine company also owns a fleet of trucks.

一. Lorry sporting the classic look:
Yellow panel reads: South Seas Yi Ma Ta (name of company) Four Seasons Peaceful Oil
Blue panel reads: South Seas Yi Ma Ta Golden Dragon Wind* Relieving Oil

二. Variation on the theme:
Product on left: type of soothing herbal throat syrup
Product on right: Hundred-Step Chasing Wind* Bone-Soothing Oil

*most unhumorously, 'wind' doesn't have the same meaning in Chinese and western medicine. In this case, 'wind' refers to headaches rather than the other thing.


I looked into Four Seasons Peaceful Oil, and found that it is quite an extraordinary concoction, therefore it deserves a special mention here. Here is a translated extract from the product description:

一. [...] Very potent medicinal power. For both internal and external symptoms. Primarily treats men, women, old and young. Brings the dead back to life. Awakens your brain. Small dosage needed. Fast acting.

二. Pleasant fragrance like an orchid in a deep valley. Definitely does not have the revolting smell of medicinal oil from the market.

三. Elegant and compact packaging. Much favoured by society ladies.

四. At home or on holiday, at school, in the factory, in mountain, mine or inaccessible village [...] in an emergency, when it's not easy to find a doctor, don't hesitate to use this multipurpose elixir. [...] It is truly a good medicine for the populace.

What more can I say. Get yourself a bottle today! I personally am ordering an entire truckload...

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