The snake oil salesman
March 10, 2006
I went on an adventure with Zdene last week. She and a handful of my neighbors got a flier in the mail advertising a trip to a castle with free gifts if they would listen to a sales pitch. I had my suspicion about it but I didn’t have anything else better to do so I said I would go too. We got on a bus in Orel at 6:00 in the morning. The bus took us to a small town two hours away where we disembarked and filed into an old conference hall. There were tables and chairs in rows across the room where we found a seat. The meeting started soon after when a snake oil salesman stood up and started to sale vitamins, cooking pots, creams, ointments and a dozen other things. There were drinks served during the morning, a lunch at mid-day and more drinks in the afternoon, all of which we had to pay for out of our pockets. Finally at 3:30 he finished his spill and let us go. After 7 hours I thought we were going to get to see the castle but no. They loaded us up on the bus again and took us to another town where we visited a cookie factory then we were ushered into a room full of their product for us to buy. We stood there an hour listening to another salesman describe all of the cookies the factory makes. We manage to get out of the factory at 5:30. We boarded the bus again and at this moment they told us we could either go see the castle or go home (everyone knows that the castles close at 5:00 in the Czech Republic). We all shouted go home, which we did. Needless to say it was a bad day. It was snowing so even the bus ride was a lost. All you could see from the window was white. Oh, another thing I have to tell you about is the bus was not heated. The driver resolved the problem of heating by putting a tank of gas on the bus with one of those round open heating units that fits on top of the gas bottle. So here he is driving around town with a bus load of people and an open flame heater sitting on top of a gas bottle. I kept thinking it was going to turn over when we went around a corner and catch the whole bus on fire. We got back home without any problems. The flier in the mail was so misleading. There must not be any law for truth in advertising here. Our gift was a little plastic hand bag. A real piece of junk not even worth taking home.