[Pix of model for illustration only]
I rest my hands on my lap and flick my gaze at Sifu Sabrina’s red lips. “What sectors of the economy are expected to do well?”
“Water, Metal and Fire will perform well.” She pushes a porcelain cup of tea towards me. “Wood and Earth will be weak.”
I lift the porcelain cup and take a glug. “What are Water industries?”
“Shipping, distribution, casinos, tourism, oil, telcos, music, literature, spas, shipbuilding, retailing, journalism, ice cream, fish, launderette, beverages, brewing of beer, making of soy sauce and those products that need water to be produced. The Fire Monkey is a hot year so to speak so water will be in great demand.”
Sifu Sabrina lifts up the lid of the pot and looks inside. “CPA firms, banking, legal profession, mechanical engineering, jewellery and hardware stores, petroleum, IT, hardware, electronic parts, motor spare parts and products or work related to metal like aluminium extrusions, iron and steel.”
“What about fire?”
“These are products and services related to heat.” Sifu Sabrina turns at the waist to take a hot water flask. “Examples are electrical products, power stations, bakery, restaurant, fast-food chain, semi-conductor factories, electrical engineering, cosmetics, and work related to sales and insurance.” She pours more hot water into the tea pot.
“Why you say Wood is not good?
“Fire destroys wood. Examples of Wood element industries are furniture, coffins, fashion, hair salons, logging, sawmill, textile, book store and occupations like writer and novelist.”
I sit up straight. “Sheesh! I’m a writer so next year's not good for me?”
“Can be tempered by your DOB: date of birth. Also, if you take preventive measures, you can mitigate the unfavourable influences.” Sifu Sabrina casts me a gaze filled with dollar signs in her eyes. “We can discuss the measures and my consultation fees after this.”
“No, thank you. “ Flashing a smile, I rest an elbow on the arm of my chair. "Coming back to our discussion, can you give examples of Earth industries?”
“Property, sand mining, quarrying, pottery, ceramics, pet stores, oil palm plantations. Professions in the Earth element are real estate negotiator, farmer, renovation contractor, architect, civil engineer, professional golfer, footballer, HR people and PR consultants. These people will not fare well in the Fire Monkey year.” Sifu Sabrina sips her tea, eyes glinting over the rim of the cup with annoyance and puts the cup down. “If you’re not interested in consulting on the preventive measures in your particular case, you’ll have to excuse me.” She rises to her feet. "Our interview's over."