Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Author:Kevin Kwan
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Published: 2017-05-22T16:00:00+00:00


* * *

*1 Cantonese for “How are you?”

*2 Grown in the Wuyi Mountains of China’s Fujian Province, da hong pao—which translates to “big red robe”—is one of the world’s rarest teas. It’s priced at $1,400 per gram, which makes the tea worth thirty times its weight in gold.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

WU MANSIONS, SINGAPORE

“Your IC, please,” the security guard said sternly as Astrid rolled down the window of her car. Astrid dug into her purse for her wallet, took out her Singapore Identity Card, and handed it to the guard. He held the card up to his eye level to compare the semi-pixilated photograph to her face, squinting at every detail.

“It was a bad-hair day,” Astrid joked.

The guard didn’t crack a smile, but took her IC into the guardhouse and began to scan it through his computer system.

Astrid had to resist rolling her eyes. This particular Mainland Chinese guard already knew her—how many times had she been here in the past few months? It made her understand how the Wus came to develop a particular reputation among Singapore’s establishment when Charlie’s father, Wu Hao Lian, first made his fortune in the early 1980s. The Wus did seem pretentious—there was no avoiding that fact.

At a time when the moneyed crowd preferred to populate elegant bungalows tucked away in the leafy enclaves of Districts 9, 10, and 11, Wu Hao Lian had bought a large parcel of land off one of Singapore’s busiest thoroughfares and built a sprawling family compound right there for all the world to see. He had erected a tall white stucco wall around the property, and at the top of the wall, sharp red-glazed tiles undulated up and down like the scaley curves on a dragon’s back, ending at the main gates with twin carved dragon heads in bronze. Rectangular gold plaques placed in niches at thirty-foot intervals around the wall were engraved in an ornate calligraphy script with the words:



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