It's funny how we get attached to or repulsed by certain numbers. For example, if you go out on a date, it's not cool to go as a threesome as one person ends up having to hold "chochin" the proverbial third wheel lantern.
In Japan, people don't like the number four (shi) as the character is part of the phrase "shinuru" which means to die so to live on the fourth floor or in apartment four does not bode good fortune. Just as we skip the 13th floor, they do the same for the 4th floor.
In America, people don't like the number 13 as it is the number of misfortune. Examine the level of tension when Friday, the 13th rolls around and it has nothing to do with the movie of the same name. People just get freaked by it and it seems as though the anxiety attracts negative energy.
The Chinese like the number 8 "fat" which means good luck. Our favorite restaurant in Hilo, the Sky Garden Restaurant, does not have their name in the phone book. But now we can remember the phone number which is filled with fat 8s...935-8888!
When we moved from Oahu to the wild rainforest of Volcano, everything was put right when our box number was the same number as my favorite sister's house number in Hawaii Kai. Coincidence? Perhaps but the move has been a good one since 1981 and we have kept the same box number.
Of course, we always think that we are getting a bargain when we need to pay only $29.99 for a product instead of the devilish higher price which is only a penny more. Have you stood in the aisle in a supermarket trying to figure out the real price per unit for an item? Which one is really cheaper per unit? This is where math skills are really important. From the newspaper, we read about how manufacturers are leading us astray with 20% more per package, cases of beer with only 20 containers. Numbers, numbers, numbers! Things are achanging but are we smart enough to figure it out?