Talk Around Town (16-08-2009) Lucky numbers part of Vietnamese life by Marianne Brown Let me set the scene: I am driving to my Vietnamese lesson along Thai Ha Street. It’s drizzling, but I’m not wearing a rain coat because it should be only a 20-minute drive. I’m just on time, which makes a change because I’m usually 10 minutes late. Then the inevitable happens, without warning, the man in front of me stops his bike in the middle of the road, turns right and then flicks his indicator on. My phone smashes on the road and my sandal rips. Having brushed myself off, I continue on my way, but by the time I get to the Institute of Linguistics I’m 10 minutes late and soaking wet. I walk through the door looking totally bedraggled and tell my story. My teacher Thu Anh doesn’t seem too surprised. “It was bound to happen,” she says. “Today is the 17th of the Lunar Calendar; seven is an unlucky number so this is an unlucky day!” My first response to this is: “how do you say superstitious in Vietnamese?” Another teacher and linguist at the institute, Thuc, tells me the reason numbers are important…
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