The thing that struck me at Lucreicio's father's wake today was the giant flower arrangement that wouldn't fit. "Presented by Shangri La", a stencilled ribbon bore. His wife's employers. It held the tallest, most exotic white flowers from around the world; lilies, orchids, unblossomed gladioli in a large arch,(more) as if to say 'Look! We [can afford to] own the world'.
The whole beauteous monstrosity was taller than the roof of the room we were supposedly mourning in. A whiff of the repugnance of money at the wrong damn time. And quite possibly just a reminder that Asia is trying to pave its own roads with gold (by buying the hearts of those who will, like everyone else, rest six feet under).(less)