Last winter in Texas, I learned to play Mahjongg (or Mahjong). Prior to learning the actual physical game, I played those little matching games on my phone that use Mahjongg tiles. The real game has zero to do with those online games.

The first time I played, I was able to play only one of the usual four games. My head was so full with all of the rules, that I thought it would explode.

I persevered over the winter because we had a great coach and a fun group.

Sherry, the knowledgeable and ever-patient Mahjongg sensei, happened to be my across the street neighbour in our park, so we had also become friends.

We played twice a week and there were always new players joining , so the rules were reviewed often. It didn’t take long before I was completely hooked on this game that requires strategy, skill, memory, focus, and problem solving. All of these qualities combined with the hilarious belly-laughs that occur every single game, make this one of the the best games ever, in my books.

While we were in Texas, we received a video call from hubs’ brother who lives in our condo building. He said a parcel was delivered for me. Neither of us had ordered anything, so I was intrigued and asked him to open it. Well … if it wasn’t a brand new Mahjongg set from Amazon! All the enclosed shipping note said was, “A Gift for You From Amazon”. I checked out the price of the set and it was over $250 CDN. To this day, I have no idea who gifted the set to me. Hubs has never ordered anything from Amazon in his life without my assistance.

Wherever it came from … it certainly has been well used and appreciated over the six months we’ve been home. My Mom, two of my sisters, and two of my cousins have learned to play, so almost every week, we’ve had enough for a four-handed game, and a few times have played three-handed. Because we have plenty of sets available at our winter park, my sister Karen will keep the set over the winter and the gang here will keep playing. They all love it as much as I do.

Although you can play the game for money, we don’t do that. A win is rewarded with a photograph and bragging rights.

My Family Mahjongg Club
From top left: Mom, me, sis Karen
From bottom left: sis Leslie, cousin Carrie, and cousin Janet

Photo Note: When I set up a few Mahjongg tiles for my feature photo, I noticed (after I had put the set away) that there was one tile flipped backwards. Because I didn’t feel like setting everything up again for another photo, I just removed that tile, using the Touch/Retouch App. There were also a few little pieces of lint on the Mahjongg tablecloth and the top right corner of my table was showing, so I removed those in the same app. All of these edits combined took less than one minute.

Original

“A game of mahjong is more than just tiles and rules. It’s a window to the human soul. It reveals courage, tenacity, cunning and strategy”

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