We're four days into 2013, and no doubt you've already broken your New Year's resolutions by now. But who needs self-control and discipline when we live in Thailand and can rely on the art of superstition? Sure, some people subscribe to the belief that you should work hard to achieve your goals, but if you're feeling particularly lazy/have nothing to lose/down on your luck, then why not try some of these methods that people believe can help bring them blessings? Of course, Guru doesn't guarantee that any of these methods will work, but if they do, feel free to share some of your good fortune with us.
Can I have your number, please?
CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER
The belief: Some people believe that auspicious phone numbers bring luck and fortune to their owners. The word for the number five (ha) in Thai sounds like laughter so its owner should have a life full of happiness. The word for nine (kao) in Thai is a homophone for the word walk in Thai, suggesting prosperity. The number eight looks like infinity, suggesting abundance. And having the same three or four numbers in a row, well, just makes your phone number easier to remember.
Where you can do it: The fourth floor of MBK Center (444 Phaya Thai Road, BTS National Stadium) is also known as the Mecca for all your mobile-phone-related needs. There you can find various shops that sell auspicious digits for your iPhone 5. For example, Connex Mobile Shop (11am-8pm, 087-045-0555) offers affordable SIM cards with lucky numbers starting from B200 each. Vplus Shop (11am-8:30pm, 085-456-4545, 085-446-5454) also offers lucky numbers and advice on how to choose the right one for yourself. However, in case you already have consulted with a guru and have the lucky number in mind, you can ask the shop to find that specific number for you. At the shop, a lucky number starts from B599. They also have a website (www.bervipclub.com) where they list auspicious numbers that start from B2,500. Some numbers cost more than B50,000 each, if you have that kind of money lying around.
If it doesn't work: When you forget your supermarket membership cards, you can recall your cool number to the cashier to get a discount and wow him/her in the process. Or use it to impress a date.
Find your lucky stone at Jankapore
WEAR LUCKY STONES
The belief: Wearing birthstones is thought to bring good luck and health.
Where you can do it: At a quick glance, Jankapore (11am-5:30pm. Opposite Suan Santi Chai Prakarn Park and Phra Sumen Fort, Phra Arthit Road
[Chao Phraya Express Boat Phra Arthit Pier], 02-629-2022) appears to be an ordinary gift shop selling trinkets and postcards. But inside, it houses more mysterious offerings. Chairat "Pu" Ratsameerat, the owner, will be there to give you advice on how to select the right birthstone to enhance your luck for free. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to buy a lucky gemstone here either. For example, a person who is born in February or is a Pisces can start with a ball of amethyst that costs only B100. When you feel stressed, you just rub it and imagine all your negative feelings going out of your body and into the stone. But you also have to take good care of your gemstone in return too. There are other mysterious accessories that can help bring you luck such as amber with insects trapped inside.
If it doesn't work: Well, everyone can always use more accessories in their wardrobe anyway.
PAINT YOUR OWN LUCK
PAINT YOUR OWN LUCK
belief: In ancient Egyptian culture, gemstones were believed to possess magical powers that are passed on to their wearers, even healing them of ailments. What if you could wear them on your fingernails?
Paint your fingernails with a lucky colour
Where you can do it: Go to www.ladycute.com (080-907-4323) to order a bottle of Nina Cruz nail polish. The owner, Nalanun Narkananporn, who is also a gemstones enthusiast, started importing the French nail polish brand and selling it through the website in June 2011. She has over 60 colours and effects on offer and they contain the sparkles of real gemstones. Order Yellow Emerald for good health, Gold for good luck, Abalone Shell for a guardian angel, or Egyptian Argate for miracle. However, she strongly suggests against putting 10 different colours on two hands as doing so could backfire, making you unlucky (and we also think it would make you look crazy as well). A bottle of lucky nail polish costs B299.
If it doesn't work: These sparkling colours on your fingernails should make it easier for your friends to find you in a dimly lit club.
SIGN IT RIGHT
The belief: A properly signed autograph is believed to make your life more prosperous. The way you sign your name is supposed to affect your fate, work life and credibility.
Where you can do it: Go to Ajarn Sinsae Penneung (080-690-6909, email@example.com, tinyurl.com/cmolj3u) who is an expert on feng shui and how to sign your name auspiciously. He has some golden rules - sign your name on a 45-degree angle upwards to your right so your life always goes up. Don't sign it with lots of ups and downs or your life may be unstable and rocky. Don't use sharp, pointy lines as they may hurt your work especially for people whose names contain sor suea or sor sala. Don't sign certain Thai vowels with long tail or else your life may experience many lows. For a fee of B999.99, he will check your signature and redesign it online.
If it doesn't work: You can brag that your signature has been designed by a famous autograph guru.
Tattoo master Ajarn Noo
TATTOO YOUR LUCK
The belief: Tattoos and Thais have a strange relationship. In ancient times of war, men got tattooed in the belief the sacred ink would protect them against weapons. Certain patterns or motifs are believed to grant the owners power to attract lovers, business and basically become superhuman.
Where you can do it: One of the most famous tattoo motifs to come out of Thailand and be endorsed by local and foreign celebrities alike is called ha taew (five lines). The guy who is best known to ink it on people's backs is called Somphong "Ajarn Noo" Kanpai. He inked it on the backs of Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and American TV actress Brittany Daniel. The first line fixes bad feng shui in your household. The second line increases your luck. The third protects you against bad magic or sorcery someone may wish to harm you with. The fourth make everything you do a success. The fifth makes people kind to you. In short, it's the father of all magical tattoos. To get the famous five lines, you have to go to Samnak Sak Yan Ajarn Noo (8:30am-6pm, 95/5 Moo 1, Moo Ban Poon Sri, Pathumthani Sai Nai Road, Bangkayaeng, Muang, Pathum Thani, 02-975-2799).
If it doesn't work: At least you could earn some street cred in your gym's locker room.
There are many ways to increase your luck at Horoworld
CHANGE YOUR NAME
The belief: Having an auspicious name can positively influence your life, according to Thai horoscope. Some Thai people change their given names in the hopes of a brighter future. Well, that's obvious, you would be teased to death if you're named Noo-noi Moo-wan, wouldn't you?
Where you can do it: Among other services, you can change your old name for a more auspicious one for the price of B1,599 at Horoworld (10am-9pm. B/F, The Esplanade, Ratchadaphisek Road
[MRT Thailand Cultural Centre, Exit 3], 02-642-3811-2). In Thai culture, certain letters are considered bad omens to use as your name depending on what day of the week you were born. And since it's already hard enough to remember the 44 letters in the Thai alphabet, let alone the unholy ones, you can pay gurus at Horoworld to come up with new ones for you. There, you can also get your fortune told by astrologers from the Astrological Association of Thailand (B500 for 30-minute session, B899 for one hour), buy luck-bringing objects in Chinese and Japanese culture, or even learn to become a fortune teller yourself. After you receive your new name, just go to the office of the district you live in and have your name legally changed. It will involve some documents and small fees or you can just ask your friends to start calling you by your new name.
If it doesn't work: At least you can feel special now that you have a unique name, unlike dime-a-dozen names such as Somchai that is reportedly used by 240,000 men out there.
DIY Luck- Bringing
Bringing luck to yourself doesn't always have to cost you money. Here are some DIY luck-bringing methods you can try.
Wear the right colour - Some Thais believe wearing clothing items or accessories of a colour that corresponds to the day of the week you were born makes you lucky. This belief is said to be rooted in Hinduism. People who were born on Sunday should wear red. Yellow is the lucky colour for Monday babies. Tuesday folks should go out in pink. Wednesday is green. Thursday is orange. Blue for Friday. Saturday is violet. You don't have to go monotone with your outfit, though. Just incorporate your colour as a part of it.
Keep lucky banknotes - Some Thais keep money that someone older in their family gave to them in their wallet but never use it. This money is considered lucky and is called ngern kwan thung. By keeping them, they believe more money will come to them.
Be a better person on your birthday - Birthdays don't only remind Thai Buddhists they are getting older. They are also the time to try and be a better person and earn some auspiciousness in their life. For example, birthday celebrators can give alms to monks in the morning and try not to violate any precepts for the rest of the day. If karma does work, your good behaviour should bring good things in return anyway.
About the author
- Writer: Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Position: Guru Reporter