4 and 8

In China by Eller Student

In Chinese (Cantonese as well as Mandarin), the pronunciation for ‘4’ sounds like the pronunciation for ‘death.’ That’s why these tall Hong Kong buildings will rarely (or perhaps, never) have a ‘4th Floor.’ Some might not even have a ’14th Floor.’

On the other end of the spectrum, Chinese people love the number ‘8’ because it rhymes with a word that is commonly associated with ‘wealth.’

Speaking of ‘8,’ one of the things I am most thankful for during this trip is the Octopus Card (an Octopus has 8 tentacles, hence the name). The Octopus Card is basically a debit card that can easily be refilled at many stores throughout HK. The maximum that can be loaded onto it is HKD$1000. It is commonly used for transportation (tram, bus, ferry, etc.) but is also accepted at restaurants, grocery stores, convenient stores, etc.

‘8’ is a very likable number in Hong Kong. However, I’m not sure if I’m ready to greet the 8th month of the year or welcome the 8th week of the internship. Time might be going by a little too fast…