Fortune Teller

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Text by Patty Simon | Images by Dick Simon


A favorite pastime is just setting out on the streets to see where it leads you.

Coming out of a temple, Dick and I see a row of fortunetellers. Four of them to be exact and I start thinking about ” location, location, location” turning this scene into an HBS case study. Who gets the most business? The first man or the only woman or the last two because it gives the passerby a second or two to change their mind and stop?

Why did we stop? Deja Vu. I was suddenly back in Guatemala where another fortune teller had a parrot who would walk out of its tiny bamboo cage and using its beak, flip thru cards and pull out the magical card – just for me!

But this time, I’m in India and the fortune is cleverly translated from Tamil to English including a little reminder of the hopeful price – a whopping 300 Rps each = $6. = a “fortune” in this country! Dick hands over what he thinks the real market value for this service is… 200 Rps for 2 readings. He pauses and gets a tad superstitious and hands over another 100. After all, we were both told we would have great futures!


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