Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Hi Neil,
Sorry to hear that it wasn't the flu; I hope you'll be able to spend more time upright soon. But since you asked - it was a Chinese herbalist called Aw Chu Kin who created Tiger Balm, though he invented it as an ointment rather than patches. He lived in Rangoon and it was his sons, Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, who turned Tiger Balm into a commercial success. They moved from Rangoon to Singapore, where they built a villa with a large garden filled with statues inspired by Chinese mythology.
The garden was opened to the public and though I didn't get a chance to visit the old Tiger Balm Garden before it was renovated, from most accounts, it was terrifying. The Courts of Hell were, unofficially, the Exhibit Most Likely To Make Your Kids Burst Into Tears And Behave Themselves For The Next 10 Minutes.
I'm not sure how there came to be a connection between selling health products and putting up statues of people having various body parts yanked out, but I like knowing that there is one.

Janice Tay

and also You can find their web site at, but I'd suggest waiting 'til you're completely recovered - their choice of fonts is enough to make your eyes cross!

Best wishes - Leslie

I'd known about the ointment for years. But the patches were a new one on me and worked astonishingly well. Thanks both of you for the additional background.

Your latest're not dying on me, are you? Sorry if I sound straightforward, but since I'm only 20 years old, whenever someone I admired (e.g. a writer) has passed, I either haven't been around (born, I mean), or was too young to even notice, so it'd be kinda weird.

Nope, not dying, except the usual, one day at a time, way. It turns out I've got something called viral meningitis (it never was 'flu), and the worst of it is over - I lost the second half of last week. Now it still hurts to type (I just woke up and knew I had a few minutes of typing time before I'd have to stop) or to do anything much except stare supine at the ceiling. I'm doing a little reading but am mostly listening to Radio 4 on the web, along with MP3s of old Jack Benny radio shows, and sleeping. (It will get better on its own over the next week to ten days.)