As some of my readers may know, Durban played host to an “international” psychic festival last month. I realise that I’m possibly a little slow in writing this report on the psychic fair, the reason for my delay is that it took a month for my brain to recover from the boredom of the festival.
After paying a mere R20 entrance fee I felt as though I was ripped off. The psychic’s on display were neither interesting nor varied. The promised “mystics, psychics, astrologers, numerologists, clairvoyants, mediums and healers” advertised for the festival turned out to be housed in a small, dark tent, only slightly bigger than my open plan office (which holds 16 hard working souls) and filled to choking point with sickly sweet incense.
The first “psychic” my side-kick and awesome fiancé, Mike, spoke to claimed to be an ‘ordinary’ psychic
“As opposed to what?” I asked, wondering what exactly constitutes an ‘ordinary’ psychic.
The answer? She forgot her tarot cards at home.
To be honest, I was hoping for something a little nuttier, not just lots of “fortune tellers” and tarot card readers. They all charged over R100 per session, some as much as R300 (and a session ran for between 15 and 30 minutes). There was one person doing “soul paintings” for R200 and they were just ugly hippie art. I recently re-watched “The Enemies of Reason” by Richard Dawkins and the fair he went to looked much more interesting. There were people telling him about his guardian angels, he even got a head massage with something that looked like a very complicated spaghetti spoon. I didn’t even get a chance to speak to a psychic, not only because of the exorbitant fees they were charging, but also because most of them had a pseudo-bodyguard engaging the public and booking readings, someone little more than a bouncer who was well trained to dodge questions and press you to make an appointment with the psychic (and you’d better book quickly because she’s the best psychic here and if you don’t take the slot someone else will).
I did manage to get one free consultation with a lady who claims to be able to diagnose a person’s greatest health problem by feeling the pulse in his/her wrist. After a few moments of holding my arm she told me that my problem was insomnia and a lack of energy. I do not deny this, I struggle to sleep. But I think the shadows under my eyes and the few extra pounds on my hips are a good enough indication of that. My real health problem is not related to my insomnia at all. She totally missed it. But she did not miss the sales pitch, handing me a booklet and telling me to visit her sometime so that she could ‘fix’ me with acupuncture.
We sat in on about 20 minutes of a lecture by a Hari Krishna and he was talking absolute bolloks;
“Christianity and Hari Krishna are the same because of the Greek origin of the word ‘Kristos’ – ‘Christ’ – ‘Krishna’ – they are the same…” blah blah blah bolloks.
I got a bunch of flyers but I haven’t been bored enough to look at them yet.
We did go for a lovely cup of coffee with Anslyn afterwards – he’s a cosmologist and very interesting to talk to. Then Mike and I took a walk on the beach and found lots of pretty shells. The highlight of the psychic fair was leaving!