Diary of the World Mahjong Championship 2007
- Created on Monday, 05 November 2007 09:22
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Martin Rep
Together with his wife Dicky, Martin Rep, editor of Mahjong News, participated in the World Mahjong Championship in Emei Shan, Chengdu, China, in November 2007. He kept an on line diary of his Chinese adventure.
Mahjong in Chengdu
CHENGDU, October 31, 2007 - Opposite the Mingham Hotel four people have put a little table on the sidewalk. They put a cloth on it and start to play. Mahjong time! Dicky and I watch the game, and of course we comment on it, to show the players that we may be from Europe, but still we do know mahjong. To the astonishment of most Chinese, by the way.
They are playing more or less next to the fancy shop of the Minghang Hotel. In the shop, there is the set I have put my eyes on. It's made of stone-like stuff, beautifully engraved, and its colour is light green. Yesterday we wanted to enter the shop to buy it, but it was closed.
Now it seems to be open. We leave the mahjong players and we enter the little shop. There's the box. It cannot be expensive. After all, we had a taxi drive all the way from Chengdu Airport to the city center for just 50 yuan - which is five euro. And every evening we have a delicious meal for prices, varying from 2,50 to 18 euros (25 to 180 yuan).
The shop keeper approaches us. Very beautiful set, he says. We agree. Majiang, he says, We agree fully.
He writes his price on the display of his calculating machine. That's cheap, I think. But Dicky sees my mistake. It's not 680 yuan, no: 6800 yuan. That's 680 euros. 750 yankee dollars.
"It's jade", the shop keeper explains. I believe him - a set that beautiful must be gold, diamond or jade.
The prize difference is to large. I am willing to pay 50, 70, 90 or 100 euros. But I just don't want a set that costs around 500 euros.
The shop keeper points at the label on the box, which says 14800 yuan. He means to say: I am practically giving way this beautiful set.
But I shake my head. "I am sorry."
We leave the shop without the pretty set.
...Today, it's our last Chengdu-day. We have strolled the broad avenues and the little streets for the lastime. (We have not been invited to play Chengdu mahjong in one of the tea houses.) Now comes Phase Number Two of our trip: the World Championship in Emei. We are ready for it.
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