For a Ride Home, Call Zero-Three-One, Death-Death-Death, Death-Death-Death-Death

In Korea, if you get too drunk to drive but still need to get home along with your car, you can always call an alternate driver service (대리운전). For about $15-20, someone will show up in 15-20 minutes, drive you home and then disappear into the night (after you pay, of course).

But I'm not sure I'd call this company advertising in the banner below. The number #4 is considered unlucky throughout Asia because its pronunciation sounds similar to the Chinese character for "death". If you're trying to get home in one piece, is it really advisable to call a number with so many unpleasant associations? Even the company name is creepy: "Four ("death") & Four ("death") Alternate Driver Service"


Got lots of comments about this on my Facebook page, too:

5-16-2010 10-36-15 PM  

Steven Bammel

Steven S. Bammel is president and chief translator/consultant at Korean Consulting & Translation Service, Inc. A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington (B.B.A. Economics) and Hanyang University (M.S. Management Strategy), Steven has worked for over twenty years in Korean business and translation. | more about Steven

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