November 11, 2009

Unlucky numbers

This friday it will be 'Friday the 13th' but the number 13 holds no negative
meaning to Japanese. They rather avoid the number 4 (same sound as the
word for 'death') and 9 (sound of the word for 'agony').
In other Asian countries they also avoid the 4 because of this.

This is a pic of the elevator in our hotel in Hong Kong. There was no floor 4,
but floor 13 was also missing (for Westerners) and floor 14, because it sounds
in Cantonese as 'to go die'.

This was the key of our room in Hualien (Taiwan). To my surprise our room
was on the 4th floor, but the 4 wasn't mentioned on our key chain.

There is a 4th floor in our hotel in Nagasaki now, but there are no rooms
that end with 4 or 9. But guess what roomnumber they did have:

Asian guests don't care, but our friend Eriko (who works here) explained that
they try not to put any Westerners in this room. ;-)

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