Fal bakmak

I order Turkish coffee before heading to the Arab-Israeli symphony last night.
I’m back at the World Istanbul Hostel, where people know my name. 🙂 Gunseli says she’ll read my coffee grinds.
Of course I’m game! There are a few crucial steps, first, one must upend the cup into the saucer, and then wait. Eventually, the evidence is produced:


The sequence might matter. Gunseli read them before she showed them to me. (It felt so Harry Potter!) At any rate, she read me only positive signs:
– “there is a man with a beard…some thoughts” (am I in his? he in mine? unclear. I think first of Sam, then of The Man Who Would Be My Wife.)
– “there is a baby” which might indicate “something good . . . it’s happiness”
– “there is a fairy, like a butterfly, it means luckiness”
– “there are big fishes; fishes mean money” (so far so good!)
– “there is a tree, branches, like a family, strict relationships” (hmmm . . .)
At this point Gunseli shows me the cup. I had just read an English translation of a Turkish poem, “I Thought I Could Be More”, by Jennifer Highland:
The shallow bottoms are grainy
with slow, dark life

I thought we were done but there was another step. I was told to keep a wish in my head while Gunseli poured off the excess liquid from the saucer:

(If only the reading is as blurry as the picture!) My wish will come true, she says, “it will be a little slow, but it will happen.” One last examination and “a man with a mane like a lion,” who is the same man as before (oops, definitely not TMWWBMW) will give me “a very big present or happiness.”
I can’t complain overmuch about my fortune, it brims with optimistism! Then Gunseli dashes the whole thing: “Only for fun!” she laughes, grinning.

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