The old man and the fortuneteller

Sometime ago I went to a complex of temples in Bangkok. There was a religious festival going on. After having seen the sights, I went to an outdoors restaurant right outside one of the temples. I ended up chatting with two Thais who spoke some English.

During the conversation they suddenly noticed a woman fortune-teller sitting on a carpet under a tree. A very old man approached and sat down in front of her.

One of the two Thais said to the other: “What on Earth does he think his fortune is? The other Thai suggested he was planning on marriage and needed to know what woman would be the better match.

Now, they were both all ears, trying to pick up on the fortune-telling. Turned out the old guy wanted to know if he had the right numbers on his lottery ticket.

—Now, this is pretty much the story. But the site administrator ask for more than 250 words per post. So I will spend the words on Thai’s sense of fun.

When I first arrived in BKK, I found it very hard to tell whether a Thai was happy, angry, content etc. They rarely show emotions in public.

You can have a McDonald’s supervisor giving an employee a scolding. But you never know, because it’s done in a perfectly normal tone of voice. Occasionally, you do see a woman hot headed. But mostly no feelings are shown.

This made me wonder whether the Thai’s were humourless.

But I hope the anecdote above will show that this is not the case. If you want to experience Thai’s having a good time, you’d have to be invited to a private party. They do drink, tells jokes, talk loud, and laugh till the early hours. But, as mentioned, in private with friends.