The Death Death Birthday

I don’t know a ton about Chinese numbers, but my rough understanding is that there are some numbers considered “lucky” and some that are considered “unlucky.”

In the same way that the number 13 is considered unlucky in the west, the number 4 is considered unlucky for the Chinese. The pronunciation of the word four (sei in Cantonese), sounds phonetically very similar to the word death.

Where you might see some buildings without a thirteenth floor in the US, there are some buildings that do not have a fourth floor (though I can imagine living in this building might get a little annoying).

I kept joking with Liz that, out of all birthdays, this one seemed the most “unlucky” – and took to referring to it as my “death death birthday.” Gallows humor, I suppose.

Despite that bleak outlook, I got a wonderful surprise after work today. I got a note from Kent on Thursday, learning that he would be in town – so we decided to meet up for drinks on Friday. When he arrived, who did I see in tow but Justin as well!

We got a table at a nearby place, and an old college-style type of hanging out – hopping aroudn topics like religion, Dungeons and Dragons, and the evolution of language via old commercials/products.

A lovely and unexpectedly lucky end to the day, I’d say.

A Carpe Diem Moment: My Name on a Plaque at North Central High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
An Eye Exam Leads Me to Acknowledge the Slow March of Time, Bemoan the Frailty of the Body, and Grapple with My Own Mortality
Disturbing Reminders of Mortality, On the Way to Work

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Happy birthday and all the best to you! You could also see it in a different way: 4+4=8 and 8 is a very lucky number in China, isn’t it? :-)

    M. Reply

    • This is a good point!

      avoision Reply

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