Valentine’s Day and Lucky Numbers #crazychina

When living in China, you regularly come across lucky characters and numbers. Remember when Chinese officials made a deliberate choice to start Olympic celebrations on August 8, 2008 at 8.08 pm based on the fact 8 is a lucky number.

I have caught today another example of that for Valentine’s Day: a special gift of 999 tulips delivered to your partner in a Porsche for only 1314 RMB (160 euros). First, it looks like a scam. But you will definitely make a terrific deal as it is only 13 percent of the regular price of 9999.

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And here’s the reason why: lucky numbers.

  • "9" is pronounced the same as "forever", making "999" sounds as "Forever & Ever". As an example, thousands of couples got married on September 9, 2009 all over China “hoping that this day will bring them luck and eternal love”. Even last year, a Chinese couple celebrated their wedding with a dress made of 9999 real roses.
  • "1314" (pinyin “yi san yi si”) is also a lucky combination of numbers as its pronounciation is really close to the common expression “one life, one lifetime” (pinyin yi sheng yi shi).

If you are living in China, I think you should quickly order this gift here. In the meantime I strongly advise others to check lucky and unlucky numbers before coming to 中国.

The Record Breaker

Ashrita Furman is the man who has broken the most Guinness World Records of all time. Here’s his life story. A pretty inspiring film which shows to everyone how a life full of simple achievements can bring happiness

Are QR codes in China the 21st century’s Simon & Garfunkel?

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Here’s a story you might not be familiar with unless you are fond of folk music. American folk duo Simon & Garfunkel were considered as rising stars at the start of their music career: they had just sold in 1957 a few 100,000 copies of their first EP “Dancin’ Wild” and reached #49 on the Billboard chart. The duo was then praised by the critics but went to college and stopped singing. In 1964 they released their first LP record Wednesday Morning 3 AM which was unsuccessful and ignored by most music fans at the time of the Fab Four was spreading over the US. This could have been the end of the story, resulting in an unseen split up unless their producer had taken the opportunity to change the game. A few months later, Tom Wilson dediced to overdub the original track “Sound of Silence” into a folk rock by adding electric guitar and bass plus drums. Wilson did not notify Simon & Garfunkel of the remix: the song became a hit, reaching #1 on charts and bringing the band back in the spotlight. 

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