What insights do you all have on the ubiquitous fortune telling trade here?
Anyone ever had their fortune read?
I had mine read recently by one of those guys who sets up a little table and a candle on the sidewalk (lots of stares at the tall foreigner getting his fortune read, of course). The guy had a heavy Taiwanese accent and my Taiwanese is weak, so I didn’t fully understand all of what he said, but I managed to gather a few things from the experience.
He used my lunar calendar birthdate, and wrote down my “Eight Characters” for me. He told me that an examination of my earlobes and “Wu Guan (facial features)” and my birthdate and time were sufficient to tell me everything. He gave me “insights” into my future health situation, career, education, romantic attachments, “heart”, sexual tendencies, number of children, and length of life. He also guessed the age of my girlfriend, current educational level, and occupation.
He correctly guessed my girlfriend’s age (not too difficult, because a number of laowai have younger girlfriends), and educational level (again, not difficult given my 30ish appearance and the fact the I’m in Taiwan). He was wrong about my occupation.
I didn’t pay money for this because I believe in fortune telling. I was interested in how the process works. I asked him a lot of questions from the outset. When he finished (the whole process took about fifteen or twenty minutes), he tried to get rid of me quickly–I kept asking questions until he finally got irritable.
Anyone else had this experience? Are there any scholarly works that you’d recommend dealing on this subject?