Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Missing 4th Floor.

I took my wife for medical examination in a private hospital. We were told to go to fifth floor to have her blood taken. As we entered the lift, I noticed that 4th floor was missing on the display panel in the lift. I suddenly realised that Penang is predominantly a city where Chinese who speak Hokkien live. The number '4' sounds like 'see' which means 'dead' in the Chinese dialect. Hence it is considered unlucky to be staying in 4th floor - 'si lau', the 'floor where the dead are'. That may explain why the hospital management got rid of 4th floor and replaced it with 5th floor electronically while physically 4th floor still exists.

1 comment:

2 Rauschers said...

All the x4th floors will be absent as per this photo (http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=51523). Of course, it is interesting for a westerner to note the presence of the 13th floor which will actually be the 12th, so the missing 14th is actually the 13th?