The Fortune Teller Story

In South Korea, I didn’t have that much of a good time. First, I was in a very poorly maintained hostel in Seoul. I was also rejected by what I thought was a promising first date from Bumble. When I switched to another hostel in Seoul it had a dark ambiance. With the rain, I was feeling down for the last few days.

When I went to Busan, I immediate got sick the first night I was at the hostel. It turned out to be Covid since I lost my sense of smell and taste a few days later. Along with a national Korean “thanksgiving” holiday I couldn’t really go anywhere and felt like crap. The infuriating thing is that the hostel didn’t wash their blankets after each guest leaves. I told the manager about me having Covid and that they don’t wash their blankets. The manager had a hard time believing I had Covid.

On top of everything, it was hard to navigate in Seoul and Busan since Google Maps only provided transit directions and not walking directions. Their data on restaurants and coffee shops are not sufficient enough to be useful. I had to download Naver Map and Kaokao Map. The information in both apps are in Korean, so I had a hard time finding good restaurants to eat at.

Overall, I liked Japan much better. I might have made the mistake of starting in the best country in Asia and every other Asian country just fails in comparison.

Anyway, my state of mind wasn’t good when I left Busan coming to Taipei. I wanted to see a fortune teller in Taiwan. In fact, I want to learn how to tell fortunes and learn straight from the source since China and Taiwan have ancient fortune telling traditions.

As a side note. My mom had a friend named Master Zhang. He was a fortune teller, among many other things. I always liked him and wanted to learn from him. Unfortunately, he has already passed away and his vast knowledge and wisdom are now gone. Still, he is one of the major inspirations for me wanting to learn Chinese fortune telling.

When the plane landed in Taoyuan Airport, I had to take a train to Taipei. I arrived in Taipei Main Station and was walking through its underground mall when I saw a fortune telling shop. I was surprised because that’s exactly the place I was looking for in Taiwan.

I sat down and talked with a fortune teller named Phoebe who knows English and Mandarin. The first thing I asked her was to test how accurate her predications are. So I said that I have a friend coming to meet me in Taipei, what is his gender. Phoebe told me that she can only foretell love, work, career, health, and such. So I guess she failed my test from the beginning.

I inquired about learning fortune telling. It turns out that I have to have my karma cleared first, which will cost 2640 NTD (about $80), then I have to spend some money to see if I’m fit to become a fortune teller. This will be done by her master for around 100,000 NTD (around $3000). Then once I’m approved, the course to learn Chinese fortune telling is 1,000,000 NTD ( around $30,000). She said that learning fortune telling is personal and can’t be read from a book like the I Ching alone.

Phoebe also said that I need to clear my karma because my ancestors may have had bad karma before and the fact that I didn’t know my biological father is a bad karma. Thus she insisted that I should spend 2640 NTD to clear my karma first.

She also insisted that I do a reading with her first for 220 NTD (about $7). I figured I’ve talked to her long enough that I should at least do a reading.

She used a long wooden black stick to knock on a luopan, which is a black octagon shaped device with a bunch of Chinese words on it. After knocks on it a few times she would write down some Chinese words on a sheet of paper. After doing this repeatedly she had some insights.

She said that in my previous life I was a monk. I need to find some things to do to stablize my life, no just working in IT. She said that I will not find my future wife until two years from now. Even then, it might take a while longer. She also said that I’m sick in the upper body.

To me, I don’t think there’s anything new she said. The fact that I have a shaved head, dress simply, and carrying only a book bag to travel Asia means that I’m very monkish and minimalistic. I also told her I’m traveling, which is an indirect way of saying I’m not stable just yet. As for romance, I’m the person who takes a long time to get to know someone first before committing long term. And lastly, I still had a slight cough when I was meeting with her.

I also learned something from her. That I should meditate more to get in touch with my soul. Phoebe said something that’s wise to me. She said that the mind wants, the soul needs. We always listen to the mind for its wants but we should pay more attention to the soul.

To me, I need to look into my deeper self and see what good can I do in this world.

I was grateful for the encounter, but in the end I paid her 220 NTD for an hour of conversation rather than over 1,000,000 NTD in scam money.

I was going to buy a return plane ticket to go back to US from Taipei. After texting with my friend Merritt back home, I realized that I should stay for at least a month in Taipei until I get my smell and taste back so I can enjoy the good Taiwanese food. I feel like I need a break anyway from traveling and Taipei is a good resting spot so I can polish up my Chinese as well.

Also, I was thinking about what I should do when I return home eventually. I want to make a career change and become a financial advisor, which is something I’ve been passionate about for the last few years. I’m thinking of coming back to Vanguard when I return home since I have great respect for the company. Not to mention that it’s the best company I’ve worked for.

Now, my mood is uplifted. I feel good and the hostel is a more lively one with plenty of sunlight in the common room.

I was also searching for bicycle rental shops online. I might just ride a bicycle around Taiwan for two weeks since I saw two cyclists with their bikes in the hostel common area. I guess you can take the bicycle out of me but you can’t take me out of the bicycle.


  1. What a great quote from Phoebe! The mind wants, the soul needs. So it’s like the mind is noise, the soul is signal.

    1. She inspired me to do more meditation to get in touch with my soul.


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