Wendy’s October Founder’s Note: King’s Cross

There I was in King’s Cross, grasping a key life lesson from a jovial fortune teller.

Coal Drop Yard
Coal Drop Yard. PHOTO Wendy Hung

Two weekends ago, my friend and I decided to spend a cloudy Saturday afternoon at Coal Drop Yard, an upscale shopping complex situated in King’s Cross; full of concept stores, chic restaurants and posh boutiques. This Victorian ground used to gather coal shipped from South Yorkshire transported via the Regent Canal onto horse-drawn carts. Back in the day, coal was the sole source of energy for light and heat in buildings throughout London. Once electricity took over, demand for coal waned as the “yard” transformed into warehouses then eventually nightclubs where the exchange of prostitution and drugs grew rampantly.

Right behind Chocolate Alain Ducasse sits a row of rustic riverboats where a fortune teller, Merlin, waits for his customers with a wide smile and sparkly blue eyes. My friend had been talking about him for week, so we hopped onto the boat which also hosted as a barbershop. He asks me to shuffle a deck of tarot cards in midst of a chaotic time in my personal life.

There was only one question in my narrow yet turbulent mind. I shuffled twice, as Merlin instructed, then handed back the deck. He spread the cards open to a half circle then asked me to pick several cards that he would later lay out one by one. Before the first unveil, he said to me with a light chuckle, “You’re a bit stubborn.”

“Very!” I replied with a laugh of relief. He got that right – a nice start.

“I was being kind,” he joked as cheerfully as I wished my mind had been. There, he turned over what appeared to be the Suit of Pentacles which symbolizes manifestation, realization and most importantly, prosperity. Followed by the Two of Coins to which he pointed and whispered, “you’ve had two major relationships.”

Wow, he’s good. They were a decade apart. 

King's Cross
King’s Cross. PHOTO Wendy Hung

“You need to forgive and forget,” he said to me while staring at The Star card. My eyes began to water, but I stopped myself as I had unsuccessfully attempted in the last few weeks. The mourning period of the death of a relationship still ran high, emotionally draining.

Of course, the travel card came up as well as a slew of seemingly positive ones, including: Ace of Wands, The Wheel of Fortune, The Hierophant which meant freedom and challenging the status quo. He reassured that my career was on a rapid crescendo, which was nice to hear but it wasn’t where my heart’s curiosity micro-zoomed. As my session ended, I grew impatient, “But I could already feel everything you’re telling me about work, what about love?” I knew I sounded desperate but only urging for an accurate answer, “Am I supposed to be single forever?”

“Why do you want to be with someone so badly?” He remained incredibly kind, his glistening blue eyes shot me with genuine benevolence. I started to laugh at myself, realizing how ridiculous I sounded, “Because I’m 40! I don’t have much time.” Is this even me? Why don’t I recognize this version of a psycho lady? What happened to the girl who loves her freedom? 

“You’re 40?” He was shocked, “I thought you were 28! Listen, let me ask you this: when you were born, what did you come with?”

“Light?” I responded with my usual fortune-teller-answer. This wasn’t my first time at the fortune teller rodeo.

“You,” he didn’t even squeeze out one smirk. He was suddenly dead serious. “We come here as ourselves and someday we all die as ourselves. BE who you are and LEARN who you are.”

It took a fortune teller named Merlin to remind me the utmost altruistic lesson of them all. I’m 40, and I’m going to learn everything I need to know about myself. How dared I forget that I’m an interesting person, it should take an entire lifetime to master all that makes me fabulously fascinating.

Let’s learn.

With love,

Wendy's siguature

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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