I Had My Fortune Told Online

A few days ago, I had a mystical encounter over a cup of coffee.
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Cabin fever was starting to set in real bad for me and by a stroke of luck Airbnb got in touch with me. Now that travel has practically ground to a halt all around the world, everyone is pretty much stuck at home with an internet connection as their lifeline.

Realising how restless people are itching to make new friends and connect with foreign cultures, Airbnb has made available virtual versions of its highly popular Airbnb Experiences. The new Online Experiences platform started just two weeks ago. It’s now offering virtual versions of the same experiences travellers would get if they visited the host in person.

Sessions start from just RM14 an hour and feature hosts from more than 30 countries. Experiences have been selling out as people seek escape from the confines of their homes, even if it’s just virtually.

Meet Uluç Ülgen

Taking up Airbnb’s offer for an experience, I chose Turkish Coffee Fortune Reading hosted by Uluç (pronounced as ‘Ulutch’ – or something close to that!).

Uluç is a Turkish-American based in New York City’s East Village. The host of The Turkish Coffee Therapy, he runs group fortune reading sessions, inspired by his father’s readings. Prior to the pandemic, Uluç hosted his Turkish coffee reading sessions in his apartment. It had been a popular listing on Airbnb Experiences.

Ordinarily, this is what Uluç looks like during a session.

 

These days, Uluç is dressed down. At the moment, he’s living in his parents’ home in Connecticut.

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