I love watching the life of the street. Now that you can comfortably sit outdoors without rivulets of sweat trickling down your back, the streets are crowded with all sorts of activities it was just too hot to enjoy until now. Eating noodles, cleaning vegetables, chewing the fat with friends, washing your hair and drinking tea have all moved from indoors to out on the footpath. Mahjong and card tables are springing up everywhere.
As soon as work is over, grab a chair, a glass of tea and set up a game. I’ve never thought of either Chinese poker or mahjong as spectator sports, but as soon as that green baize table comes out, so do the crowds of observers, advice-givers, and general hangers-on. The fortunes of the players rise and fall with the swell of the crowd – their agitation builds to a crescendo of hopping from foot to foot and wringing their hands when an exciting development is about to occur in the game, and then they curse and walk off disgustedly when a player makes a foolish move. No pressure whatsoever.