Thursday, March 06, 2008

Starting the day wrong

I woke up this morning (yes, it sounds like a blues song already, doesn't it?) at 4.44. The radio alarm clock at the foot of my bed was flickering this ominous row of 4s at me as I resentfully peeled my eyes open. I shut them again. I opened them. Still 4.44. Damn!

Not only was this way too early, but, according to Chinese belief, the number 4 is associated with death (apparently the words sound similar - although many Chinese words sound similar to or indistinguishable from many other words, so I don't see why this should become the basis for such a major hang-up) and is thus deeply ill-omened. Mind you, I have one Chinese friend who bought his European wife a mobile phone SIM card with a number ending in four 4s (it was therefore very cheap), and inventively tried to justify his miserliness by claiming that a double 4 was "death of death, eternal life, very LUCKY", and a repeated double 4 was - obviously - about as lucky as you could possibly be. He didn't convince anyone of this.

I don't subscribe at all to these local numerological superstitions, but.... this was not a happy beginning to the day. I was tempted to remain in bed for 24 hours to try to avoid all the pre-destined disasters lying in wait for me. Or just to catch up on all the sleep I haven't been getting for the past week or so.

Ah well, I've made it through most of the day unscathed........

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