Friday, September 07, 2007

An extra "something" in the air~

A time back, a neighbor of ours died (not sure who it was, as I never spoke to them). We all were as respectful as we could think of being, but a few cultural differences began to creep up that were a bit annoying to us.

The first thing was not such a big deal, they basically sang songs and rang bells several times a night... for over a week. This was a bit distracting after the 3rd or 4th night, and especially when we were trying to sleep or eat... but seeing how a family member had obviously died, we couldn't exactly tell them to stop. And besides, if that was their way of mourning, then we figured it would be best to respect the culture and maybe even learn something.

The thing that was quite annoying was the constant burning of papers for the whole week. It started small, but before long, a portable burning pit was brought in and the smoke was everywhere!

Making matters worse, we were on the second floor, and they were on the first. The wind always took the black/gray smoke from their daily fires and brought it right through our sliding glass doors and into our apartment.

It was bad... I'm not sure what they were burning (I guess the fake money they use?) but whatever it was, it was not simple paper, and the smoke was thick and choking, and had a way of catching in the back of your throat and making you cough a bit...


What started as a funny scent in the air...

... turned into an overpowering stench of smoke!

And the smoke lasted for a loooooong time. (She caught me taking that last picture, didn't she?) Note the bell sitting next to her...


  1. Interesting. Since it's the one I live in and I'm used to it, I don't even know what [i]our[/i] culture does for the dead, other than funeral and burial ceremonies. I wonder if that annoys any visiting foreigners.... :-P

  2. Haha, shoot. I forgot to use html instead of BBcode. Let's try this again:



  3. Wow what a genuinely Chinese experience. And the luxury of witnessing it right on your doorstep, haha.

    I'll be in town from the 14th and will be living there for the next 3 years. I start work in about a month from the 14th, so anytime before then would be just awesome

  4. Ha ha ha... I don't think our general funeral practices are quite the same as bonfires and bells in the city at all hours. :-D

    Yes, I will be back in Taiwan (I'm still in HK now) on the 20th. 3 Years! Wow... what are you doing then?

  5. Anonymous8:38 AM


    Sweet dude. Want to give me a call when you've got time? 0930693440 My cell's out of charge at the moment--gotta find a charger in this city

  6. Rather...interesting. Ha ha, culture clashes are so funny when you can just read or hear about them and don't actually have to go through them. :-P

    I'm a snot, aren't I? :-D