Leaving Las Vegas

Last night, on a friend’s birthday dinner, was my first time to play mahjong. The birthday celebrator taught us the mechanics. Madali lang pala. I learned about flowers, sticks, characters, circles(dots?), chow, ping, chang. We played 7 games. I won twice. Not bad.

But before that they wanted to play pusoy dos. I said I didn’t know how. They suggested tong-its. I said I didn’t know that too. They laughed. Ano lang ba alam mo they asked. Solitaire and unggoy-unngoy (pare-pares) lang I answered. I shrugged. I think my parents did not know how. And I was too obedient a kid to ask an uncle or a neighbor to teach me the rules of the game.

I did learn how to play cards many years ago when someone taught me during an outing so that I could join in on the fun. I didn’t commit the mechanics to memory.

So there I was in my late twenties sitting in the living room couch with my former officemates bottle of beer in hand sheepishly smiling. Then the host saved my ass. He suggested mahjong. So we did. But there was no real money involved.

Another group a few feet from us played poker. Then they switched to Monopoly. Others took turns playing the piano. Others, myself included, also took turns checking our Facebook accounts using a computer kiosk that was set-up, I think, just for that night.
It was fun. Too bad it had to end.
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