Day 177 in Beijing: Where did all the 4s go?

Check out my elevator.

It looks like pretty much any elevator.

Notice a lack of "4" on the elevator.  And 13.

Notice a lack of “4” on the elevator. And 13.

It has two doors.

It goes up and down.

However, it seems to miss a lot of floors.

Actually, it doesn’t miss any floors.

It misses a lot of FOURS.

That is because four is an unlucky number in Chinese mythology.

A perfect example of this is when I bought my cell phone number.

I was supposed to pay 40RMB for it (about 6 USD).

I was able to choose from around 50 numbers.

The number I choose happened to have a lot of fours in it and that made it easy to remember.

And yet, there is a 4 on the LED screen.

And yet, there is a 4 on the LED screen.

When I picked it, the rep told me that I would get it free because of the fours in it and most Chinese people won’t buy it.

In fact, it would have cost a lot more if my number had an “8” in it as that is supposedly a very lucky number here.

The rep then told me that I’d get a 10RMB discount, each month, for that number as an incentive.

I was going to take it anyway but because it had fours in it, I got it free and got a discount.

So, check out the pictures of my elevator.

Yep, no “4” anywhere.

Instead, they changed the name to 3A, 12A, 12B, and 23A.

If you notice, there is a 12A and 12B.

That is because the Western superstition of the number “13” has now been imported to China.

The further you travel, the smaller the world becomes.


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