Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If I close my eyes, I won't see it

I can't remember the flat number of R's flat in Elwood in about 1980. I think there were 25 in the block but numbered to flat 26. You guessed it. Just like our motel in Cooma, there was no flat 13. I think nowadays such suspicious nonsense has disappeared. Maybe it hasn't. I can imagine the comments if you bought a flat 13 now, or lived at number 13 in a street. There is not an apartment 13 in our building, but that is because there is a service area where apartment 13 would be.

But what to make of this, the external display for one of our lifts?



When we first moved here none of the lifts externally or internally displayed Floor 4. Now after 11 years, 13 for the building, all but one display shows Floor 4. Why is it so?

Our building was primarily marketed to Asian investors and Asian owner occupiers and a good percentage of buyers of apartments in the building were of Asian heritage, and for Chinese and maybe other Asian races, four is an unlucky number, like 13 is to many Anglo people.

So, initially none of the lifts displayed the fourth floor and also there are no four apartments in the building. Most floors are configured like this, apartment 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7.

I wonder how widespread this practice is?

25 comments:

  1. There are 36 apartments in my 12 storey building, three per floor. they are numbered 1 to 36 but there is no number 13; that apartment is 12a. The building dates from 1968.

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    1. Victor, I had forgotten that. Yes 12a was the 13 in many buildings.

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  2. By the way, my parents and I lived in a house number 13 for many years. Apart from the house feeling cold and a little damp in winter, it was after all built on an old golf course site, there was nothing noticeably unlucky about the site.

    When my parents came to sell that house a Chinese family was keen to purchase. They flew a Feng Shui expert up from Melbourne to assess the house who advised against them buying because the kitchen was located in the middle of the house preventing good breezes from flowing through. My mother was devastated when they withdrew their offer.

    But the family were keen and arranged another Feng Shui expert to advise them. He suggested renovations they could make to remove the unlucky aspects and to my mother's relief the offer was reinstated and the house sold.

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    1. What a great story Victor. It sounds a little like what governments do. If they don't like what is written in a report, they will commission another to give them the answer they want.

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    2. Makes you wonder why they spent all that money to get a feng shui reading in the first place.

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  3. if feng shui worked then absolutely everybody in China would be rich and healthy ...

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    1. Or as I prefer to call it Ann, Sheng Fui.

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  4. now that I think about it, when I lived at 13 Alexandra Ave a lot of bad things happened. being broken into and robbed on xmas eve was just one of them.

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    1. At such a lovely address Ann, you should have been deliriously happy. I remember though, South Yarra used to be a hot spot for burglaries.

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  5. Well I lived in flat 13 for 13 years when we were first married and I'm still alive but sometimes only just.
    Merle...........

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    1. Merle, lucky in life and love too!

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  6. The New Testament noted there were 13 visitors present at the Last Supper. One of the disciples betrayed Jesus Christ, meaning 12 were trustworthy and the 13th was extremely unlucky.


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    1. Ah, so that is the reason. It's amazing that the superstition has continued for such along time, assuming the Last Supper was based on any truth.

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  7. Our first home in Adelaide in 1958 was a 13. I've never understood why 13 is left out of flats or apartments, when there are street houses with 13. Why the difference for heaven's sake? I'm going to wander past all our mailboxes here later and see if we have a 13.

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    1. No difference at all to me River. Let us know the result of your walk.

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  8. Hels; how many disciples did Jesus have? Didn't he have twelve? So if one was untrustworthy, wouldn't that mean eleven were good guys? Or is Jesus himself included as a disciple? Or were there actually 14 at the last supper? Jesus and 13 disciples?

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    1. River

      Jesus wasn't a visitor. The 13 visitors were all the disciples, 12 good guys and one dismal bugger.

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    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2skwoHvw-3w
      Mel Brooks was there - you can count the number there for yourself.

      The question is - was 13 an unlucky number before the supper [thus helping to shape the story] or only after the supper?

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    3. FC, my sound won't work. I hope there aren't farts involved.

      Wish they had written things down back then, so we would know the answer.

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  9. Wow I didn't realize how far some superstitions take people. Interesting. I have heard of some buildings not having a thirteenth floor though.

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    1. Keith, all superstitious nonsense, but I don't walk under ladders. I don't want paint spilt on me.

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  10. What about the expression no 13.. Lucky for some not so for others? I don't consider myself superstitious but....... :)

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    1. Yes Grace, there is always the but....

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  11. I used to live in a flat 13; I don't recall anything especially bad happening.

    In Japan, many apartments aren't numbered 4 because the word for 'four' is very similar to the word for 'death', so it's considered an unlucky number. It may well be the same in Chinese languages.

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    1. Ah Vik, that is right. I had forgotten that. It's the character.

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