Que Sera Sera

Healing and fortune-telling

I like having my fortune told. I don’t take what I’m told seriously, but I do find it useful. It’s a little like discussing my problems with a therapist. Sometimes life overwhelms me and when someone says this or that may or may not happen, I suddenly see my way through all the mess, or at least have some idea of what I wish to avoid or pursue.

I met with a tarot card reader about five years ago and I suspect he didn’t actually believe in what the cards said, but just knew he was good at sussing people out. I think the best fortune tellers are the ones who are able to ‘read’ people. Unfortunately, they may use this skill to screw with their clients. The guy I saw also did past life regression and when I asked him about that he said that was just a label he used because clients were more convinced when advice was framed that way. I felt he gave me some brilliant advice and made me consider things in ways I hadn’t thought of before. I think he knew I wasn’t really there for the supernatural stuff and so just gave me a frank assessment of my concerns. He cost a lot less than my therapist, so …

But there are fortune tellers who don’t discuss your life or problems with you, but just spit out predictions like ‘You will have a husband with dark skin and large eyes, and you will have two cars.’ That is exactly what one fortune teller told me. At the time, I was rather keen on marriage and so I was happy with what she said.

I actually have a set of Tarot cards — just the Major Arcana, which is used to look at matters of the heart — yes, that’s exactly why I bought them (eyeroll). I used to do readings for myself all the time and so I know how you can interpret the cards in a variety of ways and make it sound like it makes sense in the context of whatever situation they’re supposed to refer to.

I’m not, at the moment, particularly curious about what the future holds. Let it all be a surprise. How could knowing help, anyway, when it could all change with a single sneeze.




Women in Cars

For some reason I woke up this morning recalling how, when I was a child, it was always taken for granted that men would be the ones to ride shotgun in a car journey.

There’d be the driver, and then if there was an adult man and woman present, the man would have first dibs on the front passenger seat.

So, for example, if my father was driving, and the passengers were my mother and her brother, her brother would naturally get the front seat. If my uncle were driving, my father would get the front seat.

If my aunt were driving and the passengers were my mother and her brother, my mother would, I think, automatically sit at the back, unless maybe it was her youngest brother (she had five).

Back then, in my experience, women were always expected to take the literal back seat and it was done automatically. Discussing it with Malaysian friends, it seems it remains the case in some families. However, one friend (A) said that, in her community (Malaysian-Sri Lankan), people of the same gender are expected to sit together, unless they are married. So, if B and her dad are being driven by her aunt, B will ride shotgun and her dad will sit at the back. Another friend, B, a Malaysian-Chinese, agreed with me when I said I believed a Chinese man would rather die than sit in the back behind two women. It’s like Chinese men don’t even like the idea of being driven by a woman.

B also said that, if there are men present, her mother never thinks of her as the one who will drive. A man is always the default choice.

I wonder if this is an Asian-only thing.


So, I spent practically the whole of Christmas eve in bed and I expected that this would be the case for the rest of Christmas. When I mentioned this on Facebook, some friends thought it was a great idea. I guess it could be a restful and even luxurious way to spend the holidays, but, really, only if it’s how you choose to spend the time. I was in bed because I couldn’t quite face the world. I felt sad and lonely and isolated. Read More »

Another Update

Two weeks to the end of the year. I am looking forward to 2018 as I always do look forward to new years, new weeks, new days. They are always a chance to start again, and goodness knows I need a fresh start.

I’ve been trying to squeeze in a new read or two before the end of 2017, but nothing apart from Mt Anderson’s Landscape With Invisible Hand is sticking. Even so, it’s going very slowly, like I like it, but my attention keeps drifting.

This morning I started re-reading Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence. I think I need something familiar and comforting to see me through Christmas, but I’m not sure if I’ll re-read all five books. I’ve also just started Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng. Just a page or so in, but I’m hopeful that I will want to carry on.

I’ve been spending a lot of time getting my 2018 planners ready. I have two: an ana.tomy monthly planner with lots of extra pages (blank, grid and dotted) that I intend to use solely for work; and a Muji dotted notebook that I hope to use as a daily (bullet) journal to help me be organised in my non-professional life. I have spent 2017 drifting and procrastinating, even more than usual, and this needs to change. I really need to be more productive, more disciplined, and more switched on. Also, I need to save for Japan. Now, that’s something to look forward to!




I see that the last time I blogged was on 23rd November. The time has gone by so quickly, but, at the same time, my life creeps by and even yesterday feels like long time ago.

I haven’t been feeling great, but that’s not my excuse for not blogging. After all, do I need an excuse not to blog? No.

The truth is I just haven’t felt like it. And also, I haven’t felt like anything much, not even reading. I’ve completed  just one book since my last post: Akata Witch (a re-read) by Nnedi Okorafor. (I liked it even better this time round.)

The other book I’m supposed to be reading is MT Anderson’s Landscape with Invisible Hand, but I’m failing, not because it isn’t good. Do I sound crazy when I say that some books hold you at arm’s length? I don’t know, maybe I’m projecting.

I just started Elizabeth Taylor’s The Wedding Group and hope to have better luck there, but I shall also try harder with Anderson’s novel.

While I was in George Town, apart from Akata Witch, I read Dina Zaman’s new collection Holy Men, Holy Women. It’s a compilation of her Malaysian Insider (I think) columns and I stopped reading because I couldn’t bear it: It’s shallow and ignorant and silly. I am supposed to review it for The Star, but I wonder if I can afford to make yet another enemy. Well, perhaps Dina will be sensible about it.

I will blog more regularly. I hope I will be more organised and more diligent and disciplined in 2018. Must try harder all round.