"The meal was pretty enough that she could just picture her vain students capturing its likeness perfectly on their spell tablets. Geela had never understood their need to immortalize these images, just to send the picture to their friends at home, gloating in the perfection of their food."
Ironically the values Geela represents are likely even more useless than trying to immortalize what food looks like. Veblen etc etc. "Ha ha! You're not as wasteful as I am!" Imagine the country where all the effort spent competing to be wasteful was instead spent on creating wealth. Maybe try to trick them by saying you'll waste all that wealth later, and it will be even more impressive...right?
You know that scene in fight club where he pours lye on his own hand to show he's hard?
What if you put that kind pain tolerance to productive use instead of giving yourself pointless scars?