A Mah Jong story
Several years ago we were given a Mah Jong set as a gift. At the time we were unable to understand the instruction that came with the set, and struggled to understand the game.
Many years later, when our boys were teen-agers, we bought a book about the game, and tried to teach ourselves how to play. We had little success and the game was put away again. However in 2011, the boys now having flown the nest and with their own families, we decided to have another go at learning.
We found details, from the Taunton library, of someone able to teach the game. As a consequence, we arranged to come to Stoke St Gregory, for Mary Kelsey to teach us how to play. At first progress was slow as Mary showed us the playing pieces and explained the basics of the game. We then played a hand, but with all tiles revealed, so that we could observe each players progress. After a break for lunch we continued to play, but this time with our hands hidden. It must have taken all afternoon to play only about three hands.
We returned the following day to take part in one of the regular club gatherings. We were still playing the basic hands, but during the afternoon our speed of play quickened. By the time it came to go home, we were hooked. The next Monday we played in Taunton (we played here before moving to Durston for more space). Since those first few hours at Mary's in March 2011, we have played frequently and missed few of the regular playing sessions. It was some weeks after starting to play that we began to learn some of the special hands, but much of the time still play the basic hands, as these have such a variety. So much depends on the luck of the tiles drawn from the wall. Sometimes we now score the hands, which gives an extra dimension to the game.