Most of my friends know that when I travel on Korean Air, I always request a couple decks of playing cards. I don't know why I do it, I guess it has just become a habit I can't break. With all my trips, I currently have quite a collection. Here are my 24 sealed decks, and that doesn't count the decks I've given away to friends or opened myself and used.
Well, I used to joke with my friends why Korean Air didn't pass out sets of Hwatu cards. After all, it IS Korean Air, used by Koreans, and the hwatu cards are by far the most common in Korea. (I wrote briefly about them in this blog entry). On my most recent flight in December, I happened to ask the stewardess why they don't have Hwatu cards. To my surprise, she told me that many years ago, Korean Air DID offer them, just like the do today with western-style playing cards.
Where do you find old, odd stuff? E-Bay, of course. One day I did a search on E-Bay, just out of curiosity. I wondered what these Korean Air hwatu cards looked like, and did anyone have them for sale. I didn't find any hwatu cards, but I did find this fellow selling a deck of regular playing cards for $25 minimum bid! He claimed they were a "hard to find" item, which I guess justified the price (it took me some time to realize that HTF is E-Bay jargon for "Hard To Find"). That was just amazing! I have 24 decks, and I was quickly doing the math (it would have been $600). I checked back on this auction a couple weeks later, and found out that it did not sell. In fact, he tried to sell them again for $16 and failed. I guess these cards are worthless afterall.
Have I lost $600 or not? If you lose money that you never had in the first place, is it really lost?