The power of paper ! (My personal fortune cookie story)

in life •  last year

(This is a true story. Not fantasy. Not a fiction. Not a mythical story, artificially created to grab your votes)

The power of paper !

This past winter I was doing some order and clean-up in my book shelf. And once at a sudden a small piece of paper felt out from somewhere.
Geeee!!!!!??? What a surprise ! It survived ?! Really?
This was small piece of paper from the Chinese fortune cookie. The one which some time radically changed my life. And changed into the better one.

But, to tell what happened, I must go back 27 years, back into 1990.

A fresh look from behind the Iron Curtain

In early 1990 my Amateur Radio friend Roger Burt N4ZC from Mount Holly, NC, USA, (not far from Charlotte,NC) arranged for me a 10 week trip to USA. To visit my buddies all around United States, which I knew for years, from my numerous talks by HF radio waves. This was my first opportunity to taste all the never seen things of modern western world. So many different brands of cars (in USSR we had here only 4. Yes FOUR different types of cars), so many superstores, huge malls, luxury houses, private airplanes.... Just about 99% of what I discovered, was new to me. Never seen. Even I was 36 year old by then.
One of my discoveries were Chinese restaurants (oh I still love this food, ever since then), and these "fortune cookies", delivered after meal along with the bill. So interesting, fascinating! I collected maybe a dozen extra cookies, to bring them home, to show to my family.

Those stormy times

Life was really interesting, and changing rapidly in 1990 here. Lithuania declared independence in March 1990, breaking away from the USSR, the empire of evil. Soviet army, troops, tanks were still here. Nobody was sure, how things will evolve. Will Moscow let us go? Or just will send the orders to it's tanks, it's general's in Vilnius. To restore the order?
*"Lithuania independence", "USSR breaking apart" were in news on all main channels (CNN, etc), usually as #1 news message, day after day, maybe six weeks in a row. New government, parliament were elected in Lithuania. Times were dangerous. A protection forces, body guards, technical facilities to protect our new leaders - had to be created. This was a time I got invitation from by friends hams (amateur radio hobbyists) in Vilnius. To come and help. Because they new me. They new my technical capabilities (as a radio engineer, and very active ham-radio activist), they knew my attitude to soviet regime, communist ideology. The government security department did not even exist then. It was just creating. And the people who could do things right - were in a big demand.

But there came a problem.

A tough, difficult decision

I was living by then in Šiauliai. Vilnius is almost 250 km away. This is very FAR by our living habits. I was just maried, less then a year ago. Two baby girls, twins, were only 6 month old. Shall I go?
Will it be safe for my family? Will things develop as we expect? Or soviet tanks go in action before to long?
Shall I refuse my soon coming turn to get an apartment in Šiauliai, which I have been waiting in a Que for more then fifteen (15!) years. Yes, 15 years! These days here it was a common life - you wait for 15-20-25 years for you own private apartment, and all those years live in a dormitory room, sharing 10-12 square meters room with 1-2 other persons. Shall I say now - THANKS, NO , I do refuse this apartment now? Where will we live In Vilnius?

I don't know if I can communicate properly to you, how difficult, how tough was to us this situation, how hard was to make such a radical decision

Fortune cookie's magic

One evening, or likely late at night, we were still talking with my wife, what shall I do. Shall I go? Leaving the relatively certain (comfort?) zone, and go for complete uncertainty? Risking the future of my loved family, my new born kids? We been talking, talking that night... considering all the pro's and cons.
Somehow, unexpectedly, we noticed one left Chinese fortune cookie, in between the other stuff. It was not lefty intentionally. Just happen to be untouched. We opened (and ate) all these cookies from my USA trip 4-5 weeks ago. This single one somehow got mislaid between the other stuff.
I grab it, I split in two, took the small paper strip from the inside. An here it was:

And I said:

YES !!! This is it !

It must be a destiny. We will go!

Next morning I called my friend in Vilnius : I AM COMIN!

The power of paper !

And you know.... I never ever regret, even for a second, this my decision made that long ago, late at night in 1990. I Never did. Because I clearly see, that my life could be so much different, if I would stay in Šiauliai.
Very much different. And not even close, not nearly as good as it all unfolded here in Vilnius.
I can see this clearly, every time I happen to come back to Šiauliai.
This is probably the most crucial step in my life ever made.
Which was so much inspirited by this unexpectedly survived chines fortune cookie. The small strip of paper.

Some info about fortune cookies

I googled a bit for the history of these cookies. And been surprised to find, it was invented in USA, not in China.

More details can be read in one place here:

Not many people here still know what it is. Why it is made. Where one can get them.
These days even here, in post-soviet area, sometimes, some places you can get them after meal. Which was clearly unlike this in 1990

I found some funny stuff on youtube. One of the best (prank) was this. 11+89. (maybe you have seen it before)
Fortune cookie prank
Still is the best for me, what I've managed to find. Enjoy.

Again , this is NOT a fiction story. This is real. My life.
If you like it, I expect to be resteemed.
Much more then to be up-voted.


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Incredible this story, life is full of surprise. You look like a bold person and it's good


Thanks, mate. I hope some people will resteem. This is a genuine story, which is like a road-stone for myself.

Such a captivating life story. I liked sentence in fortune cookey "Now is the time to try something new." very much. I will take it as my fortune cookie too and try out new things in life when I am in dilemma about what to do.


I agree. As i see it now, the text on this particular paper strip could not be composed better for my particular case. Done like on purpose. :)


May be that is what they call destiny my friend! 🙂

Great Story ! 👍

Excellent story, my friend!

Will, AE4TK


Tnx, 73, cu agn.

very nice story
I liked it so much

This is great! I was not aware about fortune cookies. Thanks for enlightening us @onealfa. Your story is also very nice and inspiring. Great that you took risk at that time and I am very glad to know that it turned out very positively for you. Fortune favours the bold!


Thank you for nice responce. I think my acceptance of risk is a bit higher then average. And this probably helps me to watch crypto coin charts tumbling down by -60-90% sometimes, and do this without much swet. :)


ha ha... That shows you have a big appetite man! Actually it is great for your age. Taking risk mostly pays off and that is what make us apart from the crowd. That is why you are way higher than the average on steemit too. 😀


Great story. I remember that time very clear and I was also there on January events, thus I was only a teenager..

Excellent story, really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. Upvoted!

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