01728: Mahjong Singapore Days

I knew it was a bad sign when the parents decided to buy a new Mahjong set here in Singapore. It has been a while since I had been sucked into the family Mahjong mania, but then again I did mention how our Christmas times tend to be filled with various games of one kind or another.

Mahjong has always been a particularly nasty contender to throw into the gaming mix. I say this because unlike other board games, it's not like you can play just one game of Mahjong and be done with it. Starting a round of Mahjong is a pretty serious commitment since it'll mean a race to five wins across 4 players. The first time we played a total of 18 rounds of Mahjong since we all ended with at least 4 win tokens and had managed to play ourselves to a draw during one of the rounds. It was a most grueling session.

This doesn't mean that Mahjong isn't fun of course. It just takes up a significant amount of time before we can move on to other activities. Entire meals can be delayed in favor of another Mahjong match. And in this family, everyone plays to win. To do any less will most likely trigger complaints from the other players.

Unfortunately, luck has yet to be in my favor across all the different games that we've played, including the Mahjong matches. As much as I manage to hold my own here and there, it never seems to be enough to take home the big pot at the end. Dad has been on quite a roll regardless of what game we're playing - something I attribute to the odd combination of his knack for strategy and his annoying luck when it comes to calling for cards, die rolls or Mahjong tiles that he needs. It's uncanny!