A Khmer Fortune Teller Once Told Me.


It was because of that darn magazine. 

A Khmer fortune teller told me something strange. I was restless one weekend and wanted to get out of the house to see something new in Phnom Penh. So while reading a magazine, an article got me interested in learning more about the local fortune tellers. The Khmers do believe in them as they would seek their advice for marriages, property ownerships, businesses and career. They believe in this medium so much that they would often go back with more offerings in hope of getting good news and advices.

Usually they would tell us things that we want to hear in general. For this, I have come to realize that fortune tellers serve more as a ‘life guide’ for the future as this changes depending on the decisions we make in life. I went in with an open mind and I was curious to see how close they were to digging out the truth without me saying a word. This is where my Khmer friend agreed to bring us to two different types of reading; the first one was using a book and the second using numbers (birthdate).

1. You will have a good career ahead of you because people are always helping you along the way. 

I am forever grateful to the people who have made things possible for me in this wonderful career. Looking at it positively, there were a lot of good mentors and associates whom I have learned a lot along the way. My sister introduced me to my first job after I graduated, a friend introduced me to advertising and a mentor brought me here to Cambodia. I know that I should be doing this on my own, independently, but it’s always nice to have someone look out for me too.

I had to use a stick to choose a page from this book, for the reading.

I had to use a stick to choose a page from this book, for the reading.


2. You will receive good news in August this year. 

Now this made me excited. I also put this thought at the back of my head until August came, and went. There wasn’t any particular good news but I did discover places for good coffee and I did a Khmer Architecture Tour using their downloadable map. Maybe this was the good news he meant?

One of the good news I received was to work on a photoshoot with the Khmer talents.

One of the good news I received was to work on a photoshoot with the Khmer talents.


3. You travel to many places. 

Bingo! Ding! Ding! Ding! For all you know, this is something general that fortune tellers say to random people but it is the truth. I guess he saw it from my hobo traveler sling bag, the ‘I love Madrid’ t-shirt I was wearing or the comfy sandals I always wear when I’m traveling. All these could trigger his remark but I am happy that he mentioned it nevertheless.

Hanging out with the Kayan women of the Paduang tribe, in Inle Lake.

Hanging out with the Kayan women of the Paduang tribe, in Inle Lake.


4. You need to serve your boyfriend in this lifetime because he served you in the past (life). 

I almost laughed but decided to hold it back for fear that lightning will strike me once we left the area. This is definitely the funniest thing I’ve heard because I’m imagining myself to be some sore of high and mighty Egyptian Queen (?) with cute servants feeding me grapes and bathing me in milk. Ahh what a life.

Numerical reading from the second fortune teller.

Numerical reading from the second fortune teller.


5. You will find a job in another country and in Cambodia. Staying here would be a better option. 

Living here and earning good wages (in US dollars) is a dream come true for me. However, I don’t really want to commit yet to my duration of stay here. It could be for 3 years, 5 or it could be less than that. If another opportunity awaits somewhere else, I might just give it a go. Life’s really too short to hesitate on precious moments.

Whether or not I'll continue to be here for the years to come, I'll still enjoy every minute of it.

Whether or not I’ll continue to be here for the years to come, I’ll still enjoy every minute of it.


What did I think about this whole experience? 

I did wish that the fortune teller mention something totally unpredictable like I’ll enter Masterchef and win $250,000. That didn’t happen and I was still okay with what both of them mentioned. After the session, I honestly had nightmares and decided that it was not a good idea to visit these places again. I also continued my life and didn’t think much about what was said.

In the end I chose to believe what I wanted to; which was the good stuff so that I won’t be sucked down by any negative remarks. When you believe the not-so-good stuff, you start to attract it to your life, which is what I didn’t want to happen.

This session also helped me to better understand why locals seek fortune tellers before making any big decisions that could impact their lives; because it gives them some sort of assurance and guidance. Having such hopes can influence us indirectly to make good decisions after all.

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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