among the ways to read one's fortunes, and not available in the newspaper, there is the reading of a coffee cup. to be precise, around 5.37am one gets up and makes a very strong espresso and drinks from a normal cup. the remnants of the coffee are swirled and quickly turned over to dry over the gas stove. as the drops settle around the rim, the "fortune" is read by someone in the know. perhaps in the intervening time since I witness such things in the Dominican Republic, now there is small shops dedicated to it, co-located with palm readings. no such procedures were followed as described, but as conversations at cafes (or over some coffee consumption) are increasing, there is one reading apparent from the coffee cup: the conversation was long, vivid, and a kind of rapid exchange (judging by the number of "rings" at the cup's top noting a slow consumption) — perhaps with Proustian overtones, though one party to the conversation was notably lacking in Proust-matters despite a Spanish translation copy acquired 10 years ago. in all fairness to those that can divine fortunes from coffee cups: it is a bit rigged when the coffee drinker is to also read the fortune to something already witnessed (by the coffee drinker and fortune reader). confusing, no? however, as the Danish proverb goes, to paraphrase: « it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the past ».