Why I Drink Tea And Play Mahjong Every Weekend

Every Sunday I gather with a few friends to hang out. We call it Tea and Mahjong, but we also do homework, play other games and eat lunch. Every Sunday is a bit different, but there's always three things that stay the same: tea, mahjong and friendship.

First I have to set something straight. Most of you are picturing us playing what you know as mahjong and you are very wrong. The mahjong that most people play online is not the proper game. My friend Whitney introduced us to the real, four player mahjong last semester and I am hooked. I even searched the app store to find an app version, which was not an easy feat.

Around noon every Sunday we all pack up our stuff and make our way to the lounge in my dorm building and get started. Whitney brings her hot water pitcher and we all bring our own mugs and whatever tea we have. It seems like such a simple thing, but it ends up being what I look forward to all week. Sharing and trying different types of tea, relearning what each symbol on the tiles means and laughing at the boys as they watch sports.

When the Spring semester started, we were all busy and didn't start up our Sunday tradition right away. When we finally did, I was happy to see that I wasn't the only one who was excited. Even though it always turns into us all sitting around talking about our weeks, it's a well needed break with friends.

Of course, we could always hang out any day of the week and talk or play games, but it wouldn't be the same. Having a set day to relax and hang out with each other gives us all something to look forward to during the week. It's also a great way to end the weekend. We all dread Mondays and the three or four days that follow. Sunday is our day to enjoy what's left of the weekend with our college family and relax before the hectic week starts all over again.

Having a routine is good, but the fact that it is so unstructured is great. We always meet up around noon on Sundays. There is always tea and mahjong -- that's a must. The rest of the day, however, is different every time. Sometimes we order food, sometimes we walk to the dining hall or just eat Ramen and Easy Mac. Sometimes we play mahjong all day and sometimes we sit in silence as we all do homework.

Not everyone likes tea and maybe mahjong isn't the game for everyone; regardless, I think anyone would benefit from a mahjong and tea day. It's so relaxed and unstructured. It's the one day that there seems to be no drama and everyone is just there. The advice and friendship shared over mismatched mugs full of steaming hot tea and little white tiles is irreplaceable.

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