I had a card reading in Chiang Mai. I found out that in Thailand fortune tellers are a large part of the culture. Even businesses will hire astrologers as consultants to confirm business plans and to make large moves only on particularly lucky dates. While at the Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai, I found a little lady that would read my cards for only 99 baht (She said the one baht change is for my good luck, which is funny because giving an extra baht/rupee to vendors for good luck is my signature move. They freaking love it.) Her English was a little tough to understand, but here’s what I got from her:
“Pick 5 card. Think about boyfriend.”
And while I drew five, all I was thinking was “Wait, boyfriend? What boyfriend? And think what about boyfriend? I hope I don’t mess this up. I usually mess things like this up. What do you mean usually!? You are usually drawing cards to tell your fate in Thailand?! You have a history of screwing that up? Last I checked, this was a first. CONCENTRATE! You’re supposed to think boyfriend!”
And she saved me from my thoughts:
“Two months.” (In retrospect, she probably said 3 months, because that makes more sense in context)
“Yes, three to five months boyfriend. He’s tall. Lot of money. Five more card.”
So I drew five, hating myself for dating this guy for his money. “I can’t believe I’m so shallow in 3-5 months’ time.” And my five were drawn.
“Wow! This a good year!” And then because of the languange barrier, I couldn’t tell if she was saying “twenty nine” or “thirty nine”, but one of those will be a “bad year.” I’ll go ahead and mark it on the calendar for 2025 in hopes that at 29 I’m still riding the wave of this year’s high. She let me read my cards. There’s an artist that has little impact, some form of small fame or recognition, a grand adventure with travel and a need for routine this year.
The travel is obviously true, I don’t know anything about an artist or fame, but I really do miss my routine. I had a good routine at home for awhile around this time last year. I would make stovetop oatmeal Monday through Friday; set goals for the week, the month and the next five years every Wednesday; go to the grocery store on Sunday; it was cute and nice. I started losing my routine and that was the first cue that things had to change at work. Now that I’m moving from town to town, washing clothes in the sink when I absolutely must, spending entire days in transit and others walking for hours, I’m kind of hungry for routine. Something that is constant and I can count on. I started running in Chiang Mai. I’m so happy to have this small bit of routine and I couldn’t ask for a better setting to start. I don’t know how well my routine will continue once I get back the Kathmandu black lung, but for now I’m enjoying running past orange-robed monks in the morning and wondering if they notice my good discipline. (Probably not, they’re freaking monks.) Wiping the slate, clean like I have, leaves room to design an all new routine when I get home and I look forward to that very much. Normal will be whatever I want it to be. I’m a firm believer that the hardest part of making your dreams come true is deciding what your dreams are.
Back to the card reader:
“Now pick five and think about money”
I can honestly say my mind stopped at that point, which is notable for someone who over-thinks absolutely everything.
If someone asks: “What do you want for dinner?”
My head says:
“What do you mean what do I want for dinner? Is this a trick question? Why should you care? And do you mean dinner tonight, or most nights? Do you use the term “dinner” as I do, or are you the weird dinner-is-lunch type? I kind of want sushi, but I’m not ready for the time commitment. Am I ready for any commitment? I would commit to a fish, for sure. As a pet, not dinner.”
My mouth says:
“I don’t know.”
The fact that concentrating on money got my mind to shut up, really says a lot.
I think I’m incapable of concentrating on money. With all that I have done and seen, dollars, rupees and baht don’t make any sense anymore. I am running out of funds and that is stressful. I’ve cut back on touristy things. I will skip a site with a high entrance fee, I stick to street food and chose the terrible, terrible bus to Chiang Mai over the cozy train to save ten dollars on a 12 hour ride, but none of that was running through my mind. It was blank. I can’t convince myself to worry about this in the long term.
After my money five were drawn, she got a little sad and embarrassed.
“Sorry. Not enough money.”
That I knew, but thanks for the reminder, cards. I like that the cards agree that this is a good year and that the money isn’t that important. If only I weren’t such a gold digger in three to five months, we would all be on the same page. I hope this isn’t a “Pretty Woman” thing: it’s a nice story to watch, but to live would be a bit of a downer.
After days of transit, I’ll be back to Kathmandu. My need for routine and purpose has driven a desire to take Nepali lessons. So there I’ll stay, with not enough money and hating my showboat, future boyfriend for all the millions he’s rolling in.
Here are some photos from Chiang Mai, a beautiful town that I’m so happy was in the cards:
And I got a little behind on my posts, so here’s another nugget from the land of smiles.