I was taking the train back from Yaoundé the other night when I learned about some new usages for VapoRub, popular American remedy for chest colds. But in
I was taking the train all by myself, and so was particularly susceptible to the distraction of the wandering salesmen who peddle their wares up and down the aisles. I was also exhausted and desperately trying to sleep. Side note: in
Well the particular Doctor/Salesman wandering the aisle of train car 683 while I was trying to sleep was selling VapoRub. He parked himself almost right in front of me as he started to give his spiel for the benefit of all in the train car who were willing to listen. “I have a product here,” he proclaims, “that will help you work in your fields. Grandmothers rub this on themselves, and they are able to walk tens of kilometers in just a couple hours! Your feet hurt? Rub them with VapoRub! Your back aches from being in the field? Rub it with VapoRub!” I don’t think the actual usage of VapoRub, was in fact, once sited. Ah well, sorry, Vicks.
At this point I was no longer trying to sleep, but eyes open and eagerly awaiting to learn what else I could do with a dollar’s worth of VapoRub! The salesman made a point to note that the product comes from
Fortunately, I’d say my fellow passengers didn’t seem to be falling for the Vapo-Magic spiel. I figure if you’ve got enough money to be taking the train, you’re probably well- informed enough to know that VapoRub will not turn you into Barack Obama (sadly.) I think the Docteur had better luck with the herbal tea he began selling next; his voice singing its virtues lulled me to sleep. Just another night on the Trans-Cameroon Pharmaceutical Express.