Wandering down Sukhumvit on a Tuesday night, or actually the early hours of Wednesday morning, I pass a wizened woman with a pack of Tarot cards. And then stop. “Right, I’ve always wanted to do this”, I tell my Thai friend. “Can you translate for me?”
So I sit on a concrete step, as the whole world ambles past, as this woman draws endless combinations of cards, constantly jabbering in rural Thai. My grasp of the language is pretty appalling anyway, but I think even most of my western friends with a decent hold on the language would have struggled here. My Thai friend tells me the gist of it as we go along.
Much of it was the same thing repeated – whether this is because of the cards that came out, or because the fortune teller was feeling particularly uninspired, I can’t really say. Essentially she told me that:
I can do anything I want to if I put my mind to it
This year will be occasionally difficult but next year will be better
Next year will be a good time for me to get married
Not so sure about that last one. According to my palm I will live a long life, and if I have children then they will be terrific.
It all got me thinking – do some people ever get a bad fortune reading? Obviously I don’t believe in Tarot cards’ ability to predict the future, any more than I believe that the lines on your palm can predict when you’ll die, or that George W. Bush really does gets his policies from a supreme being with a big beard, sitting on a cloud. But surely the object of the exercise is to tell people what they want to hear. Does anyone have a really short life line? Does anyone ever get told that they will live a life of misery, then die in pain and alone? I’d love to know whether people are ever told less fortunate fortunes – and if so, did they tip?