$8.88 Stamps

January 24, 2005

The last time I was there, they had the new lunar new year stamps on sale. This year though, they offered not just the Year of the Rooster stamp, but the whole zodiac. The sheet is double sided, so there is a complete set of 12 animals on one side and a mirror image on the other side. Guess what 24 times 37 cents is? $8.88, of course.

For those of you who aren't Chinese -- the number eight in Chinese rhymes with the word for wealthy, thus 8 is a lucky number. I bet the US Postal Service is doing brisk business with these. Also, when I was at Target last weekend, I noticed they were selling red envelopes in the card ailse. The Happy New Year salutation was written in phonetic Mandarin. If they'd done their homework, they would have known that the Chinese in this area are mostly Cantonese speakers. Then again, I don't think Canto folk are going to Target to obtain their little red envelopes. Still, it's nice to see different cultures getting noticed in the larger world of general American commerce. And I'm not talking about the Global Bazaar home furnishing line that Target's been pushing lately with the safari themed decorations and Asiany baskets and pillows.


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. She grew up in Texas, the eldest child of immigrants. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.



$8.88 stamps?! Isn't that just perfect? I'm running over to the post office RIGHT NOW!!