Monday, September 22, 2008
The Three Legs Brand has been around for a long long time. It can be taken without prescription and is sold over the counter in Sibu since the beginning of the Foochow settlement. It is also a popular medicine in Malaysia.
Three groups of people generally like to take them. Firstly the older men and women seem to be very fond of this brand whenever they suffer from mild pains or tooth aches or headaches. An uncle of mine once pour two packets of the medicine into his gaping wound on his leg when he was cutting trees in his farm. He almost fainted from the bleeding but it worked for him and he limped home. It was only the next day that he was able to take the motor launch to go to Sibu to see a doctor. This was before the days of aloe vera and over the counter iodine.
Iban men and women of longhouses buy this brand by the dozens as they live far away from doctors and hospitals. I was told by a lady once that this "ubat" really worked for her when she worked on her padi fields. It was too far away for her and also too expensive to visit a "doktor bayar" (Private practitioner). I thought that she was quite addicted to this medication when I saw her pouring out the medicine into her drinks every now and then. She looked quite normal and healthy to me. Perhaps she was just very fond of the powder.
Another group of people who are fond of this medicine are those who work in the sun. They would always have them ready whenever they feel hot and tired. They would just pour the white powder from the paper packet into their drinking water and in a little while they would feel better.
A sign board for Cap Kaki Tiga in Kota Bahru attracting the public to buy the brand.
(sourced from bus_wrecker at Flickr)
This Chap Tiga Kaki or Three Legs Brand is therefore a boon to the rural hardworking folks. And if you ask any of the Chinese drugs store proprietors you would be informed that the rural population do indeed buy this particular brand. They like this as much as Panadol, a convenient cure for headaches and mild ailments.
But I think it is not so advisable to add this white powder to one's tea or coffee every day for a long period of time.
What is your experience with Chap Tiga Kaki?
If you take a closer look at the packet you can see three men . One man is covering his ears,the second man is covering his head with his hands and the last man covering his chin . Looks like the proverbial three wise monkeys of Japanese folk lore who "say no evil,see no evil and hear no evil" or "mizaru,kiazaru,iwazaru" (literally don't see,don't hear and don't speak".
there is also a Chinese phrase in the analects of Confucius: "Look not at what is contrary to propriety;listen not to what is contrary to propriety;speak not what is contrary to propreity;make no movement which is contrary to propriety." There is a lot to chew in this idealistic philosophical phrase.
I am wondering if the man who designed the package was thinking of the three monkeys. Just a thought. And what's the story behind this brand?