Today, I had the opportunity to play mahjong with some fellow class mates at Nancy's Advanced Mahjong class held at the YWCA ESMD, 1 Macdonnell Road, Mid Levels Hong Kong. Although, the class is for new students, graduates from previous classes are allowed to participate to either brush up on their skills or to help the uninitiated. In my case however, it was a matter of brushing up on my skills as it has been a long time in between games. This is despite best intentions to play on a weekly basis as sometimes us tai tai's are just too busy, busy, busy. Now, that may mean getting a broken finger nail fixed, lining up around 3 blocks to get a freebie cotton tote bag from YSL or rushing to 5 gourmet supermarkets just to get the ingredients for 1 perfect meal - phew! Anyway, much to my disgust I left the table this afternoon with a small bowl of chips. No, not the ones you eat but the ones you use for scoring.
Practice makes perfect so they say so before we meet again next week I think I'll have to work on my strategy. For anybody who loves Hong Kong style Mahjong and needs a bit of practice (ok la, that's me) or doesn't have the time to meet up with friends to play a game (because they are too busy shopping or getting their nails fixed) make sure you visit a site called www.ninedragons.com For a fee you can download the software straight away and start playing to your hearts content. Be warned though as once you start playing you can lose track of time and before too long its 2am in the morning! This means that you'll then have to make a special trip to the wet market to get cucumbers to reduce the puffiness around your eyes or get more green tea bags - not an attractive look!
If you visit Hong Kong also try to make the effort to walk around Yau Ma Tei and Jordan in Kowloon. Here, you you can witness first hand the locals playing mahjong or as it is known locally "Ma jeuk". After a hard morning at work, many locals mix business with pleasure and play mahjong in between serving customers. If you would like to take photo's however, it is polite to ask first. Stay long enough and they might actually try and teach you.
Us tai tai's are yet to visit the many clubs and restaurants that offer mahjong and meal package deals which start from a minimum of 5 hours! But anyway, that's another story...
Hai yaaah! I couldn't find my photo with 4 Cantonese gentlemen playing mahjong in a dried Chinese sausage shop so I'm afraid Christian Louboutin shoes will just have to do!