Ok, so I write fantasy. But, quite frankly, I think the really, really weird stuff is found in the real world.
One of my husband’s family told me this story yesterday. She has misplaced a box of gold and diamond jewellery, collected over a lifetime of saving. (This is a common way women have of investing their savings, particularly among Muslim women.) She couldn’t be sure if she had just hidden it so well that she can’t find it, or if some workmen she had in her house not so very long ago had helped themselves…
So she went to a bomoh* to find out.
She went to his house, waited her turn, paid him twenty ringgit and asked him if he could find her jewellery in her house. He turned out all the lights, cut a lime in two and rubbed the cut fruit with kapor (natural chalk). Then told her that the jewellery was no longer in the house. Alas, he couldn’t tell her where it was.
Afterwards, her sceptical sister snorted, remarking that it was no wonder he couldn’t see the jewellery – it was dark. And I added that he was obviously looking in the wrong house; she ought to have taken him to her house, not gone to his…
Joking aside, I think he did quite well. At the cost of a couple of minutes of his time, one lime and a smidgen of chalk, he just made himself twenty ringgit. I should be so lucky.
Call yourself Tillian Loo and an expert on Feng Shui, write a number of nonsensical books on the subject that purport to be scientific, give a number of lectures about how to stop luck from running out of your house or office – and bingo, you’re a millionaire in no time.
Isn’t that a lovely irony? I write fantasy, tell everyone it is fantasy, and stay poverty stricken. But if I wrote fantasy and called it the truth, I’d be rich….
*translates rather inaccurately as “witchdoctor”, but it shouldn’t really be translated at all. A bomoh is usually a Malay, a Muslim, and he mixes local traditional medicine, spells, magic, and religion in a glorious hotchpotch of nonsense.