Souvenir Sunday: Soothing salves from Singapore airport

On my way home from Singapore, I considered buying a souvenir at Changi Airport tied to the country’s national flower: the orchid.

But I gravitated instead to the many displays of Tiger Balm in the airport pharmacies and gift shops.

Tiger Balm, made by the Haw Par Corporation of Singapore, is a pungent ointment made with menthol, camphor, clove oil, cajuput oil and mint oil, and is said to be able to cure everything from headaches, migraines and colds to arthritic pains, muscle strains and, according to one sign I saw at the airport, flatulence.

I was ready to buy a few Tiger Balm tins when a saleswoman sidled up to me and suggested I take a look at the tins filled with Electric Balm, which were stacked nearby.

“This product is also made in Singapore,” she told me, “But it’s less expensive and smells better.”

A box of 16 menthol-scented tins was 20 Singapore dollars, about US$16.

Sold. And this week’s pick for Souvenir Sunday.

Next time you’re stuck at the airport, take a moment to check out the stores. If you find something that’s fun, inexpensive and ‘of’ the city or region, please snap a photo and send it along. If your souvenir is featured on Stuck at The Airport, I’ll send you a special airport-related souvenir.

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