of fortunes and the future

“The black clouds on the moon were cleared up, it get really bright again.”

This is the first line of my fortune in front of the Asakusa Temple.

While the historical significance may have been lost on me, the mysterious drawers along the wall had to be investigated.

You make a wish, insert 100 yen ($1) into a little slot (the future isn’t free), and shake a metal tin. While thinking of your wish, you shake the tin until a metal chopstick falls out of a hole in the top. The chopstick (I call it a chopstick but it probably has a real name) has a Japanese symbol on it. You match the symbol with the hundreds of drawers in front of you, and open the corresponding drawer.

Each drawer has a stack of papers with the fortune. I’m not sure how many types of fortunes there are—hundreds—thousands.

Believe it or not, there are actually bad fortunes. Silvia got a “bad fortune” unfortunately (see what I did there), but that doesn’t mean all is lost. The good fortunes are supposed to be hung in your home and the bad ones (they literally say “bad fortune”) tied to a special pole, which apparently nullifies it.


until a garbage man in a kimono picked them all off

I got a “Regular Fortune” however its regularity applies surprisingly well to my own life.


Things have been rough at work lately, but it’s only 13 more school days until Director and I get to stop coexisting in the same room and pretending we like each other.

I’m not entirely sure what the future holds for this new job, but according to my Regular Fortune, “new employment is well”.

While my previous move may have been less than fantastic, I will be making a far larger move soon–to either Bundang near Avalon headquarters, or maybe Seoul itself. If I had a really good fortune I would expect Seoul, but this regular fortune makes me think that wherever it is, at least it will have wifi.

I don’t have any marriage plans, but I do have friends getting hitched this month. So congratulations! You picked a good time.

I wasn’t sick at the time of this fortune, but we spent the next day walking around downtown Shinjuku–which looks like Georgetown except Asian–with expensive sushi instead of expensive cupcakes.

We walked so much–through shops and restaurants and 100 yen stores and the Red Light District, that our feet had just about swollen out of our shoes. I suggested a foot massage and at the time it was glorious; but I think the combination of walking plus the intense digging into my muscles by a young Japanese guy’s knuckles did something to my tendons and suddenly I literally could not bend my knees without extreme shooting pains.

is this what it feels like to be old?

But as my fortune said, after a few hours in a Burger King and singing on the ninth floor of a karaoke room, the patient was well.

It is good to hear that “it is good to start a trip” because not only was I on a trip, but I’m planning a 48 hour whirlwind adventure through Hong Kong in September with my Korean co-teacher. I was literally looking up attractions that day, so this is good news.

Since coming to Korea, my hands have become quite slippery. I’ve lose two umbrellas (though I’m pretty sure that one of them was stolen by a pair of drunk ahjussis), three concert tickets (to keep as momentoes), various photo cards and even some nice makeup. Perhaps they will turn up, but I’m not too worried about them. I do know that Silvia’s pink flat, which fell off her foot between the subway and the platform in Shibuya, will not be returning. So I’m a little worried that I’m going to lose something important in the near future, but at least I have the sureity that it will eventually show up.

I’m not entirely sure who the “person I’m waiting for” is. I did meet some interesting people that night, technically the very early morning, but I’m not sure that they are the people I’m waiting for. But whoever it is, they will come “late”. So look forward to that serendipitous meeting with whoever this person is that I’m waiting for.

But most importantly–my wish will be granted. No I’m not telling you my wish!

that’s against every rule of wish making ever made

And what’s important to anyone worried about my situation here in Korea–you can breathe deeply.

“Just like the moon and the stars shine clear, everybody have a calm mind with nothing to regret, or worry about.”


One response to “of fortunes and the future

  1. Pingback: of cribs and lofts | That One Time in Seoul·

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