Heraclitus would have loved Glasgow’s Merchant City. It is in a constant state of flux – seldom can one be in this district during daylight hours without having to listen to a road drill or see a doll’s-house cross section of a building such as this one. I’m not sure why I took this photograph but I must have wanted it quite badly as I had to wait for about six construction vehicles to pass before I could get a decent shot.
On my way home, I was stopped by a young Sikh-looking man. He didn’t seem to speak much English and instead presented a laminated card. My racist brain told me to keep on walking as he was probably after a portion my precious dosh but he wore an impeccably sharp suit and so I discounted this idea and stopped to read his card.
A beggar he was not, but rather – his card announced – some sort of ‘swami’ capable of reading fortunes. This didn’t really make sense to me as ‘swami’, as far as I know, is a Hindu title and this guy seemed to be a Sikh.
If I had money I’d have probably humoured the guy, mainly to see how he could tell me my fortune without the gift of English language. But alas, I was coinless so I told him no thank you and continued on my way. “You are a very lucky man”, he said as I left.
This struck me as a rather nice thing to say considering I’d declined his offer. But then I couldn’t help wondering if “You are a very lucky man” might be some kind of curse or insult akin to the quasi-Chinese “May you live in Interesting Times.”
Following closely behind the young guy was an elderly Sikh man wearing a similarly amazing suit and with the biggest and most handsome turban I think I have ever seen.
The old guy produces a laminated card in the exact same fashion as his colleague had done, despite the fact that he must surely have seen me decline the offer already. “No thank you,” I said smiling and again I was told that I am “a very lucky man”. When he said this, the old Sikh rubbed the bridge of his nose from top to bottom. I am aware that I have a rather ‘defined’ nose: consequently I cannot help wondering whether my ‘luck’ has something to do with my being gifted in the conk department.
A quick google search for the phrase “You are a very lucky man” results in similar anecdotes but in these, the ‘Swami’ starts off with the phrase as a way of getting the traveller’s attention (and not, conversely, as a parting note). Perhaps the guys I spoke to just got their patter muddled up, much as they may have done with the term ‘Swami’.
If anyone actully knows what the phrase “You are a very lucky man” might mean coming from such people, please do not leave me curious.
In other news,