On the last day of Thai 2 class we got caught up in the web of the fortune telling arts and how much the Thais enjoy this sticky world of possibilities. Given my background and the fact that I had seen psychics before I was leaned forward with eyes wide and lips parted.
After I delighted over the direct translation of fortune teller, “doctor look” we moved on to a word that everyone, but me seemed to know chêua or believe. Chêua may our teacher asked and as she went around the room it was me and another girl who were the believers and no body else. Basically the boys were the poopy pants.
This brought up the phrase, don’t try, don’t know or may lawng, may ruu. As well as spooky stories from our instructor, which then led to my classmate turning to me and saying, I know of a good astrologer…and this led me to drive my motorbike to a nondescript shop behind Wat Pra Sing.
Now normally I don’t disclose such personal information (hahhaahahhaaaa), but in the interest of CULTURE I’ve decided to be the sacrificial cow. Moo.
He was waiting for me behind a desk in a plain room with a smile. I was greeted with the usual Oh I thought you were Thai and I answered with my usual short answer I’m from Hawaii but then I followed up with mom is Thai and dad is Chinese. (This fun fact is then always shared with the next person who comes by. I don’t know why, I guess it’s like dinner party/introduction talk.)
The transaction (what else do I call it?) started off a little rough because we didn’t know the time difference between Hawaii and Thailand. I mean I had my funky system of knowing when to call my mom, but I didn’t have real numbers and since Google has entered my life I do very little thinking of my own.
But chances are you know someone who is sitting in front of the internet and you just call them or keep calling until you find them. (it’s 17 hours by the by) This is important because in astrology where the planets are during the exact moment of your birth makes for the entire reading.
After sweating that situation out, I had to pay up. 300 baht. He led me to an upstairs room, casually mentioning to the woman watching TV in the next room, her father is Chinese and her mother is Thai. I smiled.
There was a little shrine situated in the room at the top of the stairs. He knelled down and prostrated himself several times then told me to place the cash in a bowl at the shrine. I played the game, Here? Here? Here? until I found the correct place. (Oh, she’s a bright one, isn’t she?) James then said a silent prayer. I sat down, put my hands in a wai and waited, guessing he was asking the icon for assistance in the reading.
Back behind the desk, he read my birth date by Chinese, Thai and Burmese astrology. They weren’t really different, but I loved looking at his handwritten notebook and having him explain the planets and what they meant in relation to me. His English was okay. It was a good thing I am familiar with the planets because he used the meaning of the planets like war for Mars and discipline and stress for Saturn interchangeably.
James was probably in his thirties, was a monk for 9 years and studied comparative religion at the graduate level, and during the reading he smiled a lot. I couldn’t tell if it was because he was pleased with what he had to share or if he was just being pleasant. Either way I found it intriguing.
Oh! Did you want me to share what he told me? He described certain traits that I have like my love of freedom. He also told me that I should never work for somebody and if I work for myself to never have an employee. This made me want to belly laugh because I have a bag filled with stories of job conflicts, injuries and damage done that would make you wonder if I have a mental condition.
I don’t. I just have a problem with stupid people.
We also did a tarot card reading at the end. I’m curious to see how my future forecasts play out. I won’t divulge those details, but I will return to the astrology chart and share this: younger men are bad luck. Older men on the other hand, are good. Because older men see me as a strong woman and younger men see me as the opposite.
Given my latest shenanigans with the opposite sex this was an amazing insight. But while I’m studying Thai the “older selections of Chiang Mai meats,” I gotta say I’m not impressed with the wrinkly weathered white-haired lot. Today I saw a guy in shorty shorts in the stunning color of yellow and I was frightened.
So to all the critics who think seeing a fortune teller would skew their views and mess up their A-Z game, I’ll admit I’m focused on the older generation. Although since my last relationship was with someone 7 years younger, this was the way I was already heading. I think fortune telling or anything prophetic either validates how you already feel or gets pushed aside because it’s so off.
I’m turning soooo Thailand, so Chiang Mai. Will I be one of those girls who I used to look at with such shock? The ones with the older guy looking bored at dinner because they have nothing in common? The ones that look so young compared to the one so old? Never! I want to shout. Or should I say, may lawng, may ruu.