My fortunes at standard Japanese mahjong have been rather mixed lately.
I play a short game on some Friday afternoons in what was originally an English class but has, by student demand, morphed into a 90 minute mahjong session, just enough for either a single game played at learners’ pace, or a couple of quick games if nobody manages to retain the Oya for long.
One of the students is a complete beginner, and the other is a regular social player.
Yes, there are only three players in our session, but we play regular four-player mahjong with two exceptions. As in the three-player variation, the North tile becomes a bonus and the mekuri-pai is turned over five tiles back from the end of the wall.
It is not a bad way to earn some pocket money between college classes on a Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the monthly mahjong party at the Doc’s were resumed last Thursday after a break for the summer. My form in these games has been a bit off recently, and so it was once again last week. Doctor M thinks it is because I sink under the weight of the booze that is served up. He might be right. I do rather drown in beer at the Doc’s, but hospitality is always so difficult a thing to turn down. One would hate to put one’s hosts out.
I recouped a little mula at the end of the evening by walking along the line of taxis until I found one that charges only an initial fee of ¥560. Taxi fares went up recently due to the cost of fuel, so the standard fare is no ¥610, up from ¥580. So, to find a taxi that only charges ¥560 was quite a surprise.