Story of “Silver Officer’s” Poker Spot
Back in the old days it was exceedingly rare to strike up a poker game in the village (less so but still true today). The “authentic” entertainment was limited to occasional local operas in the village hall.
Things happen spontaneously here in this village. Unlike city life, village life isn’t a schedule organized with events back to back. “Meet me @ 6pm for poker” is a rare concept in the minds of villagers here. Their thinking generally goes “Meet me this afternoon for poker!” This works because the invitees usually lives nearby, and a reminder (knock-on-the-door) worked like a charm. Also, villagers don’t mind waiting around for things to happen when they destined to happen. This is much like the Native Americans’ concept of circular time, in some ways, IMO.
So when rice field required “Silver Officer’s” (the husband of my “special grandma”, who raised me) care, he rarely made schedule for entertainments like poker. What happened more frequently was chit-chats with familiar faces he bumped into when walking to and from the rice fields. Usually, on the road, a carrying pole bumping into a carrying pole, a bamboo hat leveling with a bamboo hat, a casual conversation between villagers was made.
The poker only became a habit of “silver officer” when his two kids found themselves jobs in the nearby city. This allowed him to retire from his agricultural life, and thus had time to spend on leisure. “Silver Officer” went about his days socializing with friends and neighbors, and poker became a notable hobby of his. “Where’s ‘Silver Officer’?” People would ask. “He must be with his poker friends, AGAIN.” “Special Grandma” responded without annoyance, as long as gambling was not involved. Gambling was only involved at times at small amounts, to spice up the game. A humble wooden table and two benches were enough to strike up a good afternoon game among willing poker players.