The number 27 has been a big part of my life for, well, since forever. I’ve blogged about it before here and there. It just seems to follow me, cropping up far more than it should. I’m still none the wiser about how it works or what any of it means, but as I get older I have become better at recognizing signs and patterns. I used to think that when I encountered number 27 it was like a ‘thumbs up’ from the universe, meaning I was somehow on the right track. But over time it has slowly become apparent that I was wrong.
Now, I firmly believe that the arrival of 27 heralds a period of seismic change in my life. Kind of like an early-warning system. It happens in clusters, and the more incidences involving the number 27 there are, the bigger the changes I am to expect. I know it’s just a number, and by the law of averages I’m going to come across it occasionally, especially if I’m already sensitive to it. But I can go for months without seeing it once, and then bang. It’s everywhere, all the time.
When I tell people about this they usually think I’m nuts, or they just put it down to coincidence. So this time I decided to take some photos to document it. As a bit of background, when this all happened between late 2019 and early 2020 when I was living in Guangzhou, China, and working as an IELTS instructor.
My then-girlfriend and I talked about destiny a lot. And one day she bought me a surprise gift, mostly because I was born on March 27.
That seemed to kickstart the ’27 burst.’ And how.
Just to clarify, all these instances happened within a few of weeks of each. Sometimes there were several a day and became so commonplace that and I didn’t even bother documenting all of them. What you see here is a selection of the most impressive.
Anyway, here goes.
One day I had to go to the government offices to file some paperwork. I took a cab.
When I arrived, I was early so I popped in a nearby McDonalds. This was my bill…
On weekends, my girlfriend and I would sometimes buy a takeaway. The delivery guy would leave it in a bank of numbered lockers outside my apartment, and send a code to your phone to open it. There are hundreds of lockers them, but that particular evening…
In the midst of all this, I was reading on my Kindle a lot. the name of this book escapes me, but it struck me as especially relevant because that line, “It’s Christian, but just call me Chris,” is one I rehash on a remarkably regular basis, and it appeared at 27%.
A few days later, my girlfriend and I went to McDonalds again (shoot me). You very rarely have to wait for food, but when you do they give you a number.
Then there was the Chinese New year gala at my college. Every teacher was given a raffle ticket with a number. Here’s mine:
Incidentally, I won a prize that night. A suitcase. Which I now take to be another sign. Another came when I treated my girl to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Our bill came to 702 RMB, which is 27 backwards.
It was cloudy but uncharacteristically warm at that time, even for Guangzhou.
I had planned a trip back to the UK during the Chinese New year holiday, and treated myself to a box of craft beer. When it arrived, it had a random number scrawled on it…
Whilst home, I published my fourth collection of short fiction. I paid an graphic artist to do some artwork for it. Here’s my bill:
Then I received word from my college in Guangzhou that due to the coronavirus, we wouldn’t be able to return to work on February 27 as planned. Instead, we will have to wait until May at the earliest. This was not ideal. Consequently, my girlfriend and I decided to call it a day.
Presumably, these are the seismic changes the universe was warning me about.
As I write this (on 27 February) the current death toll of the coronavirus stands at 2,798.
(EDIT: Of course, as we now know the virus then went on to ravage the worldwide economy and claim tens of thousands of lives).
I was discussing all this with one of my students online one afternoon. She said the situation is not improving much, but at least the weather is getting better over there. She sent me a screen shot of her phone, unprompted, to prove it…