Schooled on Vacation
When I came to China the first time in 2005, my friend introduced me to a couple Chinese games including Ma Jiang and Chinese Chess. I learned the basics then and even brought a couple of the games back home to play with my family. Because of my past experience, I was feeling relatively confident I could at least hold my own playing games with Tian’s relatives over the Chinese New Year vacation. Wow was I wrong.
Lesson #1: Tian’s dad completely killed me in Chinese Chess, demoralizing me after our first exchanges of moves.
Lesson 2: I quickly learned my true place was off to the side watching two masters go at it head to head. Tian's dad and uncle played so fast though it was hard to take away anything but awe.
Lesson 3: Tian and her parents taught me why Chinese people will always invite a “Wai Guo Ren” (foreigner) to gamble over Ma Jiang. Tian’s mom took away the most “money” and wins. I won only one game over about 2 hours of play.
During this vacation, school definitely did not get in the way of my education.