When my husband took me to Paris I went alone into a linen shop to try to buy us some washcloths while Bob went to a different shop. I could not make the men in there understand what I was shopping for. I had extremely limited French in my memory bank. Finally my husband joined me in the shop. He explained to them in his many years of French lessons what we needed. He has laughed every since at my pantomimes in that shop. When we checked into our accommodations, the desk clerk tried his best every morning to get me to greet him with Bonjour! or other phrases. From the time I exited the shop, I was French language numb (and dumb). Could not pull out a single expression I might have known. Using public transportation I realized I could not determine what they were advertising AT ALL. I just shut down.
Now I am learning the Chinese game Mahjong online. I saw women playing it in a Satellite Coffee shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When I recently got bored with Scrabble I decided to try it for free. Turns out it is a matching game.
The challenge in my mind comes in trying to name the tiles I am matching. My mother used to use La Choy chinese canned foods and we especially liked the fried noodles. So I call one tile green noodles!
Then there are red noodle piles with what I call Running man, North, South, East, and West. There are tiles like dominoes only marked with six logs, or dots or dashes. Even six logs bent in their stacks. The same with two, three, etc. One game has owls. The one on my iPad looks like peacocks or phoenix.
There is a banner with an arrow. An arrangement of circles with crank handle up or crank handle down. Season and flower symbols. I am probably not even close to their original meaning, but hey! a girl has to do what a girl has to do.
I have no idea how the women gathered in that coffee shop were playing it. The online version has the tiles in differing patterns and layers. Fun game! and the levels are challenging. Give it a try.
Perhaps I ought to write to that hotel manager/desk clerk and let him know my made up language for Chinese! Nawh, probably not!