All in all, a for­tu­nate ex­pe­di­tion

Na­tional travel ed­i­tor Brian Crisp gets his palm read, takes a gam­ble and in­dulges in the de­lights of Ma­cau’s food scene

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - A TRAVELLER’S TALE -

THERE’S some­thing strangely re­as­sur­ing about hav­ing your for­tune told by an an­cient Chi­na­man who has 30cm-long sprouts of hair pro­trud­ing from parts of his face.

As he stares at me above his thick glasses, I’m at least con­fi­dent that he looks the part.

It’s not what he says – I can’t un­der­stand any­thing that comes from his mouth – but rather the calm way he says it that com­forts me.

We are sit­ting in a subur­ban park in Ma­cau. It is an im­por­tant part of the lo­cal community. Be­cause flats in Ma­cau are small, peo­ple tend to use the parks as their ex­tended lounge rooms.

So I find my­self sit­ting on a metal chair, bar­ing my soul through an in­ter­preter, while sur­rounded by chil­dren play­ing, moth­ers gos­sip­ing and old peo­ple just watch­ing their lives go by day af­ter day.

The for­tune teller is very im­por­tant in Ma­cau cul­ture and this man has been rec­om­mended to me by Joao Novikoff Sales, a pub­lic re­la­tions ex­ec­u­tive from the Ma­cau Gov­ern­ment Tourist Of­fice.

The for­tune teller, whom I pay $HK200 (about $25), asks for my date of birth and what time of day I was born.

He con­sults his book of num­bers and writes five lines of nu­mer­als.

He then holds my left hand, push­ing it in dif­fer­ent parts. He then repli­cates this with my right.

Next he grabs my chin, mouth and cheeks. All of this takes about five min­utes and is done in si­lence.

AN­CIENT STORY: The ruins of St Paul’s Cathe­dral in Ma­cau. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

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