My Chinese Fortune

By Tahseen Rabbi


Photo by JD Allen

I’ve made the mistake of visiting an American fortune-teller once, so the opportunity to see a Chinese one should have made me skeptical. Luckily for the fortune-teller, I never learned my lesson. It cost 50 Yuan, which is approximately $8. Pretty cheap compared to my first experience, which was $20 and another $80 for the crystal rock that she convinced me to buy. A week later, I lost my precious rock.

On a busy Beijing street, the Chinese fortune teller wore a traditional high collared Chinese tunic lined with buttons and one of those Jason Mraz (he is a famous singer, but he always wears a camel colored fedora, we can take his name out if you think it is better) fedoras. He took one look at my face and said something in Chinese that translated to “You are blessed”.

According to an article by Charles Yarborough, in Acupunture Today, face reading, or xiang mian, first became popular in 600 B.C. It consists of analyzing the size and shape of facial features, as well as the placement of moles. Chinese fortune tellers believe that the future, past, and personality of the person is written on their face. For example, according to Yarborough, people with even faces will become wealthy and those with broad foreheads are good leaders. Chinese medicine doctors also use face reading to determine health issues. The cheeks are representative of the lungs, the forehead reveals liver function, the nose is connected to the heart, and upper lips show the reproductive system.

The fortune teller grabbed my hand and began reading the lines on my palm.
Palm reading, which is popular in the U.S., too, supposedly reveals the future, the past, and your personality by studying the lines, mounds and creases on your hand.

Apparently, I’m going to live happily with lots of money, a great husband, a fantastic career, and my children will be better off than me. Charles Haddad, my professor, doesn’t trust fortune tellers. He thinks that they say what you want to hear. I am choosing neglect his observation even though he is probably right. Who wants to argue with a happy ending? Not me. Only time will tell.

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