Saturday, July 24, 2010

Do you know your chinese alphabet?

Take it from me - don't trust everything you read... especially if it's on a poster in a tattoo parlour. 

In 1997, I decided to get my second tattoo. It was very trendy to get a chinese symbol and although I wanted one I didn't want the everyday "love", "good luck" or "happiness" characters... that would have been too easy. I was drawn towards the chinese symbols for our alphabet and chose one for the letter "e". I had it tattooed on my left arm in the middle of my bicep about the size of a quarter. It looked cool, so I had no reason to think there should be anything wrong with it.

At the time I worked at Mail Boxes Etc., one day a young asian man was at the counter and asked me why I had chosen the symbol. I told him it was the symbol for the letter "e", my name is Emily - I thought it was neat. He informed me that there is no such thing but realized that the character when paired with other characters has the sound "e". It really didn't mean anything by itself, but thankfully is the power symbol when paired with others. EEEKKK! I thought to myself... why on earth would there be an entire poster for these letters if they did not exist? Was it someone's cruel joke? The joke was certainly on me, and that's not even the end of the story of this tattoo...


  1. Ok Em, you need to tell us what is the end of the story


  2. I know the end but I'm hanging in for your telling of it.