by John Tiong
ON a visit to China two years ago, a fortune-teller in a village in Guizhou practically tailed me around trying to sell his services. As he ran after me, he insisted that he could help me as he had "seen" some stumbling blocks that I would be facing in my life.
At first, my interest was aroused, naturally and when he sensed that, he quoted the price of a consultation. Then, as I started to walk away, he began to lower his price further and further.
There's one thing about unscrupulous fortune-tellers - they would put fear in their clients first in order to entice them to engage their services and they are experts at detecting vulnerable tourists.
It's really not wise to seek the advice of fortune-tellers in a strange land as you know nothing about them. I feel that having your fortune read is a serious business that should be conducted by fortune-tellers that come highly recommended by people you know.
Moreover, if you're travelling and a fortune-teller tells you something unfavourable, it may spoil the holiday for you.
I've also heard stories of people being conned of their hard earned money by bogus fortune-tellers they meet while travelling. Some claim to be feng shui masters or have the ability to see the client's fortune by studying their hands, faces or aura. Then they would offer "cures" for bad luck, which usually means selling customers gemstones or articles that would, purportedly help them ward off bad luck. Some really crooked ones would demand exorbitant prices for their consultations or even ask to be taken to the houses of their clients so that they can check out the feng shui.
Don't take street fortune-tellers seriously. It is when you start believing them that they would try to cheat you.
When travelling, it's best to just enjoy your holiday. Leave fortune-telling to when you get home.