Friday, April 24, 2009

Trying It On for Size

http://www.freeimages.co.uk/ Picture from http://www.freeimages.co.uk/

This weekend, Vienna's public utility company is celebrating the so called "long night(s) of Wiener Stadtwerke", by opening the doors of their various instutions to the curious public. One such being the unit "Bestattung Wien/Wiener Friedhöfe" (Viennese funeral services/cemetaries) which plans to attract visitors to the Funerary Museum by offering them to "test coffins" by actually lying down in one or two of the exhibits. Hmmm, not exactly my idea of weekend entertainment.
I was reminded of a memorable Sunday some 4 or 5 years ago, when TD and myself were having lunch with my granny's sister and her husband in one of the 3 restaurants in their village. My great-aunt had just settled the bill and was thinking aloud about how to spend the afternoon. "Fancy seeing your grave?", she asked uncle T. "You haven't seen it yet and we could get a lift to the cemetary now that the kids are here by car." TD and I almost choked on our fizzy drinks as she came out with that question. You see, she had just secured a burial ground in the village cemetary (and not just any spot there, but one with a good view and had a granite tombstone with an image of sunflowers and their names chiseled in already. That day, we took a picture of her proudly pointing to the inscription. My uncle was somewhat reluctant whereas she was blissfully unaware of the morbidity of the situation, repeating several times that we wanted not just one wreath from all relatives, but individual ones by each family, because "here, you are judged by the number of wreaths you get on your funeral". A valid point.

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