Hearse In A Hurry

I saw an odd sight while I was sitting in a traffic jam near Kuala Lumpur the other day. Unfortunately I did not have my camera handy so I shall have to describe it. It was an ordinary looking white van, a Hiace or the Nissan equivalent. On the rear window was lettering which read something like ‘SB FUNERAL SERVICES – THE FINAL JOURNEY’.  Through the windows I could see a few cushions and plastic flowers. I couldn’t tell if there was a coffin inside or not. Mounted on each corner of the van were large banana leaves which fluttered like flags in the breeze. I wondered which of Malaysia’s many races and religions uses banana leaves as part of their funeral rituals – Tamil perhaps? The van was fitted with an ambulance-style flashing light and siren and the driver was sounding the siren as he negotiated his way to the front of the traffic queue. Then we went through a red light and did an illegal U-turn. Why the hurry?

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