"These tiny birds release unluckiness and make prayers come true."
A lady and her young daughter stop to buy several dozen birds. The vendor reaches into the packed bird cage and withdraws birds by the handful. He stuffs them into a plastic lunchbox. The mother and daughter take the lunchbox of birds into the temple courtyard and, amid the incense smoke, pull back the lid and release the birds into the sky.
"It's good if you buy 108 birds," he adds.
"What's special about the number 108?"
"Would 107 be ok?"
"No. But if you buy all of them, I'll give you a discount."