Saturday, March 17, 2007


...Or Another Insight In The Life Of A Desperate Expat’ Wife in Beijing

Since my friend Jodi mentioned me on her Blog…twice and referred to me as the Mahjong expert I figured I had to write a post about it.
I usually play with the French Ladies (how shocking, Celine, mingling with the French, I can't believe it!!!) but I’ve been asked by my friends (The ONES I spend most of my free time with) to show them how to play 麻将 (Ma2Jiang4). First I have to say that most Chinese (and my Ayi in particular) don’t understand that we play Mahjong for fun, because what started as an innocent game became an excuse to gamble. This traditional Chinese game was banned in its homeland in 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded. The new government forbade any gambling activities, which were regarded as symbols of capitalist corruption. After the Cultural Revolution, the game was revived, and once again Mahjong has become one of the favorite pastimes of the Chinese.

Our group, on the other hand, just plays for the pleasure of being together around a nice cup of tea and we don’t even bother to keep score. Chloe even learned how to play. We usually play a game or two after dinner and she usually beat the Blip blip out of us…. Better not tell her she could play for money!!

Ready to win some money!!

The object of the game is to build complete suits or melds (usually of threes) plus a pair from 13 tiles. The first person to achieve this goal wins the game. The winning tile completes the player's set of 14 tiles.

If you want to know how to play or just know what the heck I’m talking about, you can check it out here