Mahjong... Our Decadent Soirée...

We had a... glamorous...

"Mahjong"... Soirée...

The other evening...

The setting... consisted of two low tables with "vert et noir" tablecloths... with a touch of gold...

Two candelebras... with the flicker... of a hundred candles...

The only light in the... lovely salon...

Enchanting soft music... playing...

Wearing... my alluring, dramatic, "noir" evening gown, with soft ostrich feathers...

We moved from one table to the other... making small talk with... our  gracious "gallant" guests... the elegantly dressed ladies and cultured gentlemen... one of whom was dashing... 

After... a light dinner... "saumon fumé" bites... tiny spears of "aspèrge"... graceful glasses of champagne... silver trays of delicate gourmet canapés...and petits fours... "marrons et chocolat"...

We commenced... with our Mahjong evening...

"The game of a hundred intelligence's"...

Having... just acquired this most sophisticated, enigmatic, and exotic of games... from a friend arriving from London... we were very excited to start with the game...

Drinking in... the atmosphere of our "Salon"...

I was... for a moment transported... into one of the elegant and decadent... smoke-filled Photo by ALAMYsalons of Shanghai in the nineteen-twenties ... Asian exotic women wearing splendid gowns of silk and brocade... smoking from long cigarette holders... men in their handsome clothes... fortune seekers... bohemians... foreign ladies of society... looking for romance in exotic parlours... in a foreign land... all with a common passion...

Playing this centuries old game... Mahjong...which consisted of soft shining ivory tiles... painted with miniatures of... birds, bamboos, dragons, and other figures...

I was totally... spellbound...

Fascinated... by the decadent scene around me...

Heady...

"More Champagne...

Darling...?"

The man I love... asked...

Bringing me vividly back to reality...

Our guests... were enjoying drinking, chatting, and laughing... waiting for the excitement to begin...

"Má jiàng"... in Mandarin...

Was thought to be invented by... Confucius... the Chinese philosopher around 500 B.C.... 

In fact... it originated in the Taiping era (19th century) ... which was several centuries after the death of the great man...

Having travelled to the Western world in 1895... the game became very popular in London and New York in the 1920's...

Mahjong... seems to have developed from existing Chinese card and domino games around 1850.  It is believed to have been based on a Chinese card game called "Mǎdiào" in the early Ming dynasty...

A nobleman living in Shanghai... is thought to have created the game between 1870-1875... another theory is that two brothers in the city of Níngpō had created Mahjong in 1850...

However... Mahjong was banned in its Chinese homeland in 1949 in the People's Republic... fortunately... it was revived after the cultural revolution... becoming a favourite pastime in China... Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and most recently... in Japan...

The fascinating game... travelled from Peking... to "London Society"... where it became a favourite within intellectual, aristocratic, and diplomatic circles.

Today Mahjong... is highly regarded... and... "is as respected as the quintessential British gentleman"...

Our Soirée... was... supremely successful...

Mahjong... has become a...

Passion for us... and our guests...

We've become...

Addicted to the game... in the...

Nicest...

Possible...

Way...

a.

Copyright © 2013 LETTRE DE PARIS LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Print

Comments

Spellbindingly facinating post.