The night before I left the USA on my first trip to Asia, I went to a Chinese Restaurant in Oregon. This was my fortune! It came true!!! On that trip, I spent two months trekking in the high Himalayas in Nepal, and a month traveling in India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and China. This was my adventure of a lifetime, and totally changed my life. I absolutely loved Nepal, and two years later, found myself back there working. Then, living in Asia sort of gets in your blood, and after getting my Masters, I went back to Asia to work and help the poorest of the poor. Ok, so now back to the original trip: The flight from Sri Lanka to Hong Kong was delayed, due to heavy rains, and there were four of us on that flight who missed our connections and had to spend a night in Bangkok. We all got separate rooms at a very plush hotel, courtesy of the airlines, had dinner and breakfast together, and sat next to each other on the next flight. One young man, in particular, was very interesting. He was Hong Kong Chinese, who spoke English very well. In Hong Kong, we went to a movie and had dinner together – I was the only foreigner in the restaurant. I knew that I had arrived when that happened. Turns out that this young man’s uncle had just moved to Oregon City, Oregon, had opened a Chinese restaurant there, and it was the exact same restaurant I had dinner in the night before I left on this adventure.
Well, it is a small world, and many, many more ‘coincidences’ like this occur all the time, especially in Asia. I have lived in Nepal, Kazakhstan and China, for a total of more than 13 years, with the past seven years in China. The foreign community in Asia is still pretty small, and hardly any time goes by, when the “do you know…?” game comes up with some incredibly far-reaching results.
And during my seven years in China, I have yet to see one fortune cookie here. Once, while walking across the border from GuangZhou to Hong Kong, I saw a package of fortune cookies in the “no man’s land”, where it isn’t really China, and not really Hong Kong (but they are supposed to be one country, so I don’t know why we have a border and customs there). Anyway, I thought that fortune cookies would be a Hong Kong thing. Turns out that fortune cookies were invented in the States! There are many stories as to who actually invented them, but the general consensus is that a Japanese man in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco first introduced them in 1914. And in 1992, China got their first fortune cookies, imported from America!
Where I live, we don’t have a lot of western things, so I end up making everything from scratch. I make graham crackers a lot, and they are especially good on camping trips for making s’mores. Most things I make turn out well, though my marshmallows failed horribly. Some of the other things I enjoy making are cream cheese, yogurt, wine, mango chutney, sourdough bread, and most recently – fortune cookies!!! There are many websites and cookbooks that tell how to make fortune cookies. My favorite one, however, makes creative and decorative fortune cookies. Since fortunes are usually words of wisdom or prophecy, my hope is that your next fortune brings you good luck, good fortune, and 10,000 blessings! And I hope that my next fortune says: