As we begin to launch this website, I think about how I actually got here. I grew up with my mom playing every Tuesday night as long as I remember. She would feed us dinner early and then make sure everything was neat and tidy. The china tea cups and saucers would be out for later use along with some special cake for dessert. She would set up the table in the living room with the TV tables at the corners and place her candies and nuts on them in cute fancy dishes I had no idea we had. I was the oldest so I got to set up the walls and mix the tiles. I was then allowed to stay up long enough to watch a hand or two. It was wonderful and special.
Once I got married and we started our family I never seemed to have time to play, so really I had never learned. My husband’s job then took us to Singapore. We were settling in and through the Women’s Group at the American Club they offered lessons to learn how to play an International style of Mah Jongg. I had only met a few people through the schools my children attended so I was up for this. I called and immediately was told that another women in my apartment complex also signed up so maybe we would want to share a taxi together. So I called and that was my first MJ friend.
A couple of years later we moved to Hong Kong. Once again I learned that the Women’s Group was offering MJ lessons, this time to learn how to play Chinese style MJ. I once again met some lovely women and got into a regular game on Friday afternoons. We got to know each other and our spouses and celebrated festivities. We were from all over the US and the world.
I moved then to Tokyo and yes there I learned how to play Japanese style MJ at the American Club. I played regularly and over the eight years I was there, cultivated friendships that last today. I played on the Japanese automatic tables and held a small tournament in my own home even. We were finally sent home to the States to a place where although it was not far from where we grew up it was new to us. So I immediately looked for a place where other Mah Jongg players might be. I realized that now I had to learn how to play American Style but it was not a problem as I quickly picked up the nuances and read a few articles and listened. I found the place where people play at the local JCC which then led me to a regular group of women I played with two times a week.
But of course I was then on the move again to another State and this time I discovered Meetup.com. It was there I found a group that played regularly at one of the local churches. I fit in nicely although some of the women seemed intimidated by my experience… but with MJ luck has a lot to do with playing. It was within this group that I met my partners for this website. My story really doesn’t end there though as I had one more move to make and that was back to our original home State.
Going home meant being back with family and friends. It was through a college friend who played MJ locally that I was able to meet some different women and play on a regular basis. I have now been a part of three groups of players in the year that I have now been home and have played in some local tournaments as well. Mah Jongg has been my introduction to settling in wherever I have lived. I have grown up with it and will continue to play it for many many more years.Share