Category Archives: Mah Jongg and Me

LOOK WHO I SPENT THE DAY WITH…

I have been so excited looking forward to July 28th and the arrival of Toby Salk who, if  you are a reader of this blog, is someone that I admire and write about frequently. I had never met Toby before but had a feeling that we might experience that “separated at birth” moment when we did meet. And I was right! 

We sat down for lunch and the first thing Toby did was to give me this fabulous gift of Rose Confit she had bought for me on her recent trip to Paris – YUM! 

IMG_0825And then the conversations began – I don’t think we ever finished a sentence or a thought as there was so much to discuss. Definitely separated at birth!

Before we knew it, it was time to meet up with a few of my students and play Mah Jongg – I was ecstatic…playing Mah Jongg with the great teacher, Toby Salk!

Toby’s kind and gentle teaching style was evident in her correction technique:

Here’s a photo showing great concentration – and concern! – from all the players!IMG_0821

Look at that dear smile on Toby’s face – I had the best time with her and hope she will return soon for more good times!

ANOTHER SHOUT OUT FOR HELP…

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The other day I received an email from Susan in Naples, Florida. So, to all you West Coast Floridians – how can we help out a future MJ player? If you are a Mah Jongg teacher in the Naples area – or if you know someone who teaches in that general area – send me an email or reply to this posting and I will pass the information on to Susan. Here is the message I received from her:

Hi Ann,

I found you through Google when I put in Mah Jongg Naples FL.

I am interested in learning Mah Jongg this fall.  I have never played but wish to join my friends who are just a few months ahead of me.

I am a full time Naples resident living in the Vineyards and am very flexible as far as the time goes. It does not matter to me if the lessons are private or if I join a beginner’s group.

Can you help me or, if not, can you point me in another direction?

Susan T

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PARDON ME WHILE I BRAG…

You probably all know how proud I am of my Mah Jongg students since I like to put up occasional postings on this blog about their progress. The other day I received this photo and message from Meredith who is away for the summer yet playing Mah Jongg daily:“I had a great win yesterday. I have never done a winds/dragon hand but had 1 Green, 2 Red and 2 Soap and 2 Flowers at the end of the Charleston.  Have been trying to branch out in hands I am going for.  Last week I even stopped the Charleston after one round.”

Congratulations on winning this difficult hand – I couldn’t be prouder of you!IMG_2824For all of you who are fairly new to our beloved game – send me photos of your special winning hands so I can brag about you as well!

DO YOU NEEDLEPOINT?

If so, you might want to contact Lani’s Needlepoint in Studio City, CA to purchase this fabulous Mah Jongg needlepoint canvas. The photo was sent to me by my friend Phia who will be spending the fall in NYC – I can’t wait to get together with her again at the Mah Jongg table!

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TRULY THE “ART” OF THE GAME!

Our friend Diane G. sent me an email describing her artistic interpretation of the game. Love these photos and Diane’s explanation!

Diane writes: “Re: ‘The Art of the Game': our group has taken to enhancing our mahj experience by using different sets, different mahj tablecloths, and even stacking the tiles in interesting ways, as if a centerpiece. Here is my latest; a vintage blue-backed tile set, with significant tiles displayed on each rack. We had not played with this set, and there could be confusion between flowers and one bam, so I displayed them ahead of time. We had a great day, but, alas, I was a Great Supporting Player, not a winner. In my book, however, any day of mahj makes me a winner.”

No truer words have ever been spoken!!! Enjoy Diane’s art work…

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“Another fun way to greet our mahj friends.
Diane G”

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PE-LING/MAH JONGG/SENIOR SET?!

S1 has a friend with an interesting Pe-Ling set. It says on the box, “Senior Set”…I wonder what that means? Could it be that this was made for people of a certain age…

I did a little research on Pe-Ling and, although it looks just like an inexpensive Mah Jongg set, apparently Pe-Ling tried to advertise itself as something different from the game we know and love. What I really think is that Pe-Ling was just another name for the mysterious and exotic game of Mah Jongg, similar to all those other names such as Man Chu, Mah Diao, Ma Chong, Pung Chow, Ching Chong, Kong Chow, Mah Deuck, Mah Cheuk, Ma Chiang, Mah Lowe, Game of Four Winds, The Ancient Game of the Mandarins, and Ma Jiang, just to name a few!

Perhaps some of you out there can enlighten us further on Pe-Ling. Here is what I was able to learn:

The manufacturer might have tried to convince people that the game rules were unique but I don’t believe that is the case. This was one of those sets that were manufactured for the American market around the mid-1920s and, as I wrote above, was probably a very inexpensive set. Fun to see but not worth much especially now with the box in horrible shape and the tiles looking filthy (although that shouldn’t take away from its value – they can always be cleaned) and not of any exotic or beautiful material. However, there is no question that the suits and other tiles are definitely of interesting designs.

That is not the One Bam shown here with the Bam suit – the Green Dragon is in its place in these photos. It appears that the One Bam is mixed in with the Flowers although, unfortunately, it is very hard to see those tiles in the photos that were sent to S1; you can get a glimpse of the One Bam in the third picture below. 

It does seem that all the tiles are there…there are 144 tiles, including all the suits we would normally find – Bams, Dots, and Craks plus Winds, Dragons, and Flowers plus counting sticks and other accessories. Its makeup certainly looks like a typical Mah Jongg set to me!  And, even though this set is not exactly in pristine condition, I find it very interesting that the included Pe-Ling booklet looks to be very well preserved.

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IMG_4949I would love to know more about Pe-Ling – if any of you have some information please send it to me so I can share it with everyone.

And, most important of all to me…what does “Senior Set” mean?!!!