19th May

Yesterday we took our grandma out for brunch at the usual place. Since last time she had deteriorated quite a lot as she’d forgotten my mum and kept asking our names after ~20 minutes. It was something we all expected but it was still quite surprising to see and quite unsettling.

Approaches to death

We went to a…how do you say, a temple/mausoleum type thing in Fan Ling in the afternoon. The English equivalent would be a cemetery I guess, but instead of being dark and sombre it was bright and decorated with red and gold. The Chinese tend to cremate their dead, so instead people visit plaques dedicated to their loved ones. They can have photos, messages, other optional extras and an estimated HK$10,000 starting price. Incense is offered to various gods and Guan Yin, and paper presents of food, clothes, money in increments of up to HK$50,000,000 (loadsa mo-nay!!!) and other items are burnt for the loved ones. The inflation must be bad over there. We burnt some money and a paper pyjama/watch set for our granddad to use in the afterlife. In the funeral/afterlife presents shop there were also paper cars, shoes, wine bottles and abalone. You can also get sushi sets, paper consoles and luxury/designer goods elsewhere. What a way to make a living.

The temple was beautifully decorated with figures and paintings. I think I would prefer to be remembered in a place like that rather than a gloomy graveyard. But it is a bit pricey still, minus coffin (for pre-cremation) as well!

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