Last Sunday, as my friend and I had just come back from Grantchester, we decided to have a drink in one of Cambridge’s numerous pubs. My friend ordered a cider and I had a beer – not unusual for me, some might say. We all have good reasons to yield to alcohol; mine becoming humorously pathetic over the years, now I defer to my acquaintances’ “judgment” and simply say: “I love beer and wine”. And yes, I really do!
So, we were having a rest in one of these typical English wooden pubs. As we were peacefully sipping our drinks, Andi Pandi appeared. Andi is what we could call a “modern Shakespearean troubadour”, but instead of singing or reciting poetry, he plays colour cards. He was dressed up somehow like a buffoon, wearing a large colourful hat and a patchworked jacket. He had a pad in his hand and a smaller one in the other. He kneeled down at our table and asked if he could take some of our time to “reveal the intricate and profound details of [our] present psychological condition – exactly how [we] are coping or not coping with life at this very moment.” And he said he was going to use colours to unfold the mysteries of our soul at that very moment.
First we were a bit sceptical, because as my friend told him, she didn’t want him to tell us anything about the future. He said that he wasn’t going to do that, but only going to reveal our psychological state now. So we went for it!
I started the “experiment” first. Andi put a large piece of white paper onto the table, and displayed about ten colour cards on it. He told me I had to turn the cards over in order of preference – starting with the most preferred colour. So I began choosing the cards that appealed me. I repeated the operation about ten or twelve times until he could see some patterns (so colours combining with each other). And he did it.
In a discontinuous flow of speech, he revealed things about my life. And I must admit he was right most of the time. He somehow put the finger on some issues – though not all of them – of my life at the moment; things that I was either positively experiencing or undergoing but most importantly, which I wasn’t really aware of.
My friend was also told lots of things. She felt as if he had known us for the past years. He didn’t come into the details of our lives, of course not, because this is impossible. But the facts and words he employed were close to some aspects of our personality, the way we interpret things, the kind of “problems” we were dealing with at the moment. To some extent and strangely enough, he knew more about ourselves than we actually did.
Although it didn’t upset the course of our life, this experience made us think about our existence. I have been and still am going through many kinds of experience – I work, I travel and meet new people, I read books and watch films, I am in music, I have done yoga and meditation but never before I got so many revelations and details in so little time. So yeah, this is why I went for it, because I’m always keen on new experiences and learning stuff about myself!
Some people seem to be taking the “Andi experience” without trying to work out things about their life (although Andi makes is very clear right from the beginning).
Andi has a very sober website, in which he relates some of the stories he has had with clients. I think it’s worth having a look at it. May these stories be true or not, it doesn’t really matter. It is the contrast between what people believe about their lifestyles and what Andi says that is interesting – and sometimes funny. For instance, Andi often uses hints and metaphors to describe his clients’ state, thus defining in a remarkable way the issue he came up with. Nonetheless, some clients still refuse to picture the metaphor, and therefore the reality:
Andi Pandi: Your job is totally soul-destroying – in despair you are turning your back on life, giving up on thinking for yourself, and are now thus marching along with something that is totally alien to your own true nature.
Client: No. Things have been difficult, but now I’m just about to join the army.
Another powerful example (although this one may be exaggerated):
Andi Pandi: You are fundamentally and desperately unhappy.
Client: What do you mean fundamentally?
Andi Pandi: At a very deep level.. And most importantly this is because you are in the wrong job, thus unable to apply your mind rationally and therefore you just want to retreat into some kind of quiet womb where you can feel at peace and totally accepted.
Client: You got it right about the womb thing, but the rest is wrong. I’m going back to Israel to blow myself up, and then will go to heaven to be at one with Allah. And then my son will do the same.. and then my son’s son until Palestine is free of Israel rule.
To conclude, in a different and funnier mood:
Andi Pandi: Although you appear entirely in love with this young man that that I have just seen you kissing, these colours indicate that you could just as easily leap into bed with an entirely different man tomorrow.
Client: Actually this isn’t my man – this is just my bit on the side. My husband is in prison.