On the Cruise Ship

The welcome party held by the crew was very sweet. Girls from the waitressing staff danced five numbers in different luridly colored costumes. It was like watching your daughter at a recital. Then there were a couple of games with unwilling participants from the passengers. I had made friends with Lucy on one the stewardesses and I ended u doing the Macarena on stage with her and some others.

Mah Jong was offered as a class. The game differs from ours, more like gin rummy. I watched some serious Chinese women playing in the next room but they were using real money. So I kept checking on the room where the class would be. Only Carol another Massachusetts woman from our group showed up. So Lucy and a bored young bartender decided to show us the Chinese game. I was enchanted by the table that shuffled, then organized the tiles, bringing up a new set in perfect wall formation. Wow, could my group here in Northampton use that! We learned to play “pongs” or groups of three like tiles or “chers” three consecutive numbers. The winner needs four sets of three and a pair to win. Carol won twice, once with the help of a determined Chinese matron who had played for money and now was enthusiastically “helping” us.

We had fun and got free drinks from Jerry the Chinese bartender.



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