Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Drawer # 1.2 : Hell Meds and More for Ghosts

It came as a great shock to me that I was still going to need medicine after I was dead. Silly me, I'd imagined that dying was the hard part & then you'd...I don't know...just sort of coast after that. Leave behind bothersome, tedious things like cold germs & pinched nerves. But no. Apparently, even in Hell you have to take your meds.

Says a Mrs Zhao in the New York Times: "They [in the afterlife] probably have the same system as we have on earth," & so there's all manner of things that can helpfully be sent on by smoke. 

Mansions with their own private security guard:

Vintage peasant wear:

Full course meals of hairy crab, complete with condiments & hot sauce... & sports cars:

And these days, it's getting even more upscale.

via MacRumors via BSN

The Bright Side of News reports that "unscrupulous paper offering sellers"  are selling paper iphones complete with  paper chargers so that "the ancestors don't come back to ask them to recharge their iPhones." 

The Communist Party banned the celebration of QingMing & the practices that went along with the holiday to move the country away from so-called feudal & superstitious behaviors. Near the bottom of page 2 of an article detailing what products are available where & for how much ("The most expensive paper villa on Taobao [massive e-market] was priced at [$2725]16,888 yuan..."),  the People's Daily reports that a 1997 law "explicitly prohibits the making & selling" of the paper offerings. Like the law that prohibits hanging your laundry out on the street, this law doesn't hinder much: the PD goes on to say that "more than1,000 metric tons of paper products are burned across the country as offerings during the festival period, costing more than 10 billion yuan [over $1.6 billion]."

But about those Hell meds. I'm still hoping Poet Billie Collins has it is right:
While you are preparing for sleep, brushing your teeth,
or riffling through a magazine in bed,
the dead of the day are setting out on their journey.

They are moving off in all imaginable directions,
each according to his own private belief,
and this is the secret that silent Lazarus would not reveal
that everyone is right, as it turns out.
You go to the place you always thought you would go,
the place you kept lit in an alcove in your head. 

From top: 1. Tin & glass container with Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs 2. & 3.  Paper offerings in the form of  medicine packages from Hell Maedicinelo Ltd. purchased in Hong Kong 3. Mentholatum in Chinese packaging
Drawer Photo credit: Bruno David. All others: Christina Shmigel

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