Thursday, July 18, 2013

Debunking the Chinese fortune teller (kind of)

Part of my job requires overseas travel a few times a year. Every once in a while, that includes somewhere exotic like Thailand, Vietnam, India or even Israel. More often than not, it's been Hong Kong. In the past 7 years, I've been there close to a dozen times.

There's nothing wrong with Hong Kong if you like shopping and eating, because that's about what the city is about. However, there's a finite amount of shopping and eating one can do! So over the years, I've tried to "branch out" and find something different to do. I've taken a ferry to one of the islands and walked around during one visit when it wasn't too hot. That's another thing, most of the time Hong Kong is sweltering hot with a relative humidity that feels like 150%. 

So, a few trips ago, while wandering randomly, I found the Chinese fortune tellers on temple street. Tucked away behind a touristy nightmarket selling cheap sunglasses, is a strip of Chinese fortune tellers willing to read your palm or tarot cards. I strolled the row, and looked for one that had a good look. Whatever that is for a fortune teller. I settled on a cute little old lady.

She started with my birthdate then looked at my palms. She told me I had good hands. The first thing she said was I was very much a lady but sometimes I think like a man. The next thing she said was that if I married before 35, it wouldn't last. She went on to say that before my 40's, love would be pretty much shit. She went on to say that I should be careful around water and I would most definately live past 75. She went on to tell me that jade was my lucky stone and pearls were bad for me. I took it all with a grain of salt, after all, this was just a way to entertain myself. The most devastating things about the reading was that pearls were bad luck! I love pearls!

The next time I was in Hong Kong, I was bound to find the lady again. Not because I was set on knowing my future, but mostly, I wanted to see if she'd tell me the same thing. I found temple street, strolled the fortune tellers and couldn't find her. Since I was there, I settled on an older man. Let's see if this Chinese fortune telling had any consistency.

I sat down on his little plastic chair and there really wasn't anything similar to what the lady had told me. He told me if be at my current job for at least 5 years and I'd have 3 kids. Well, even if I started yesterday, there's no way 3 kids are going to be coming out of me in this lifetime! Chinese fortune telling- debunked!

Three strikes you're out or three times the charm. This week I find myself in Hong Kong for work. As a way to spend some non eating and shopping time, I set out again to find my little old lady. I found her!

I negotiate my price and sit on her plastic bench. If she recognizes me, she doesn't register. It's been more than a year and I'm sure she sees lots of people. I give her my birthdate and she takes my palms. First thing she says to me is that I'm very much a lady but sometimes think like a man (gulp!) second thing she says to me, no way should I get married before 35. Ok. So that's not 100% accurate, I got married at 35, but it didnt last a year. Still, I'd say that was awfully close!

She went on to say that I'd have to watch my health in my 50's and I would have a long and happy life. If I waited til after 40 to get married it'd be long lasting. This time she didn't warn me about water but she told me to watch my ankles and especially walking in high heels (oddly enough, I'm exceptionally clumsy) but this time she told me that any stone would be good for me.

So what do I believe? Chinese fortune tellers, like horoscopes have an element of interpretation to them. Yes, it was eerie that she said a marriage before 35 would be short lived, but a lot of he rest can pertain to pretty much anyone. Still, it was a humorous way to spend half an hour.