Saturday, June 14, 2008
Fortune teller, June 15, 2008
At a Buddhist temple that we often visit with gifts of food there is a Las Vegas style slot machine that offers prophesy instead of a jackpot. When the coin drops, a light that moves in a circle stops at a random spot that was your destiny and a computer voice tells you which row and column to use. In a glass case next to the machine lie many rows of printed pads. You must find the pad that is yours and tear out a page. It contains your fortune in Thai and Chinese script. Devotee bow to the machine to accept their fate before collecting their fortune. Gambling is more than skin deep in Asia. It derives from a belief in the overwhelming importance of luck. When life itself is a game of chance, gaming is not limited to casinos or lotteries. It is a way of life.