What's that over there?Cultural Differences, Part II with your host, David “qwei lo” Kleeman

4. The number 4. It’s a semi-well known fact that “4” in Asia is a not an auspicious number. Where in America, many hotels do not have a 13th floor, in Asia it’s often the 4th… or so I thought. This hotel does have a 4th floor, but no 14th or 24th. Are those service floors? Why wouldn’t they just make all the floors sequential, anyway, and just skip those floors then? They’d still be accessible through the service elevator, after all. Or. is it even more unlucky to have numbers with 4’s in them? LIke “24” is the same as saying 2 times 4?

5. Sunglasses. Save for mine, there aren’t any. I find this strange as it is also a semi-well known fact that many Asian cultures feel that dark skin is indicative of poor people that work outdoors, and consequently pale skin is considered the most beautiful. That’s why so many Chinese people walk around with umbrellas during a sunny day. I would think sunglasses would add to the whole “hiding from the sun” thing. Apparently not.

6. Smoking. Yeah, everyone smokes here, but that’s not the odd thing. I’ve seen at least 3 people walking/biking/slootering around with un-lit cigarettes. Am I making something out of nothing, or is it a thing here that you suck on the end of unlit cigs… presumably getting at least a little bit of nicotine in you before lighting up. Is it a money issue? You need to squeeze every ounce of tar out of the things because they cost too much of your miniscule salary? Maybe it was just a coincidence and means nothing.

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