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A fortune read online comes with immediacy and won't cost a fortune

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Jan 03,2003
Anyone who has been to busy and crowded neighborhoods, such as Daehangno and Jongno, generally never fails to see old men sitting on small chairs and attracting attention of passers-by. These old men read fortune- telling cards or a person's facial features, or forecast a person's yearly horoscope. Those interested in their luck usually pay between 10,000 won ($8.30) to 30,000 won. There are also professional fortune-tellers clustered on Mia-dong in northern part of Seoul. For couples whose children are preparing for the university entrance examination or someone with the typical major and minor concerns of life, often wind up paying more than 100,000 won for one visit. Park Yong-ran, a 32- year- old career woman in Seoul, has placed her highest hopes on a New Year's resolution that she will marry in 2003. Ms. Park has had a good relationship with her boyfriend and after browsing online fortune-telling stories, she received the same results: Luck will be with you this year, for in 2003 you'll get married. "Horoscope Web sites have been installed as the starting pages on my computer," Ms. Park said. "I have always been interested in this stuff but never actually went to fortune-teller's shop because it is a little embarrassing as well as expensive." Major portal sites are also trying to attract more customers through providing good-luck services. "Usually, 500,000 people visited the site and paid 2,000 won to 3,000 won for fortune-telling services," said Kim Ye-min, an official at NHN Corp., one of the major local portal sites. "The number of users increased by 30 percent as the new year drew closer, and people now find their luck online. The service will be up and running until March." An Internet horoscope service usually costs from 1,000 won to 3,000 won, but people using some online portals such as Yahoo Korea, can expect to pay from 5,000 won to 10,000 won for a so-called premium service. The more expensive services include detailed readings of one's "Four Pillars," using dates of birth, and marital harmony between future brides and grooms.
by Yum Tae-jung




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