I take pride when I host the groups of ladies who come to my home to play Mah Jongg. I make sure that the area we play in is tidy. The table is clean or the tablecloth certainly is. I make sure the snacks are fresh and not stale. I provide a beverage – water for the night time group and various options for the daytime group like tea and coffee. I provide plenty of napkins. I take pride in my Mah Jongg sets. My tiles are clean as are my racks and if I happen to notice that someone has left some food residue on a tile — it gets cleaned before the next session if not that minute.
Am I obsessed by all this — no I think not. We are all putting our hands all over the tiles as we mix them, pass them and rack them. We cough in our hands and touch our faces as we lean on our hands pondering the next move. We brush the hair from our eyes or rub a tired eye in fact. I know these are my friends or at least acquaintances and I certainly do not want to see them sick or for me to get sick.
So is it too much to ask that when you play at someone else’s house that their table is clean and so are the racks and tiles? I cringed the other evening. I could not believe the condition of the Mah Jongg Set. The tiles felt greasy to the touch and they would not move along the plastic tablecloth on her table. She had tried using a furniture polish on the cloth to help the tiles “mush” better but it had the opposite effect. The racks had crumbs or whatever in the creases. The tiles had remnants of snacks from weeks long gone by and that night’s snacks left a lot to be desired — sorry.
So how do you best approach the host? What does one say? How can you not play? All night I watched my own hands and tried to keep them away from my eyes, nose, mouth and face. I got up and washed my hands before even trying a snack. I felt grungy when I got home. Don’t people realize this?
Many of us play with the basic plastic tile set — it is easy to wipe the tiles or bathe them in soapy dish water. Many of these racks are also plastic so a careful swipe of a wet cloth and voila you are done. Sets that are made of other materials may need special handling to take care of them. Just please be responsible.Share