In general, I don't like to have too much on my schedule, and I manage to keep my calendar pretty flexible. I am not one of those who needs lots of events on my agenda to feel useful or happy.
|Diane and a curious observer|
Typically we select one of several venues in Mérida centro, and meet on a weekday morning for a couple of hours to drink coffee, sometimes eat something, and play. We frequent several downtown cafes and restaurants, and have been known to venture up to Progreso to play at the beach. On occasion we meet for a session in the evening. That doesn't change the action much, except that at night we trade coffee for beer.
We have played the game together weekly for more than two years, except for when one of us is out of town.
Bacalar back yard: a spectacular backdrop for a multi-day "BG" marathon
Since backgammon is not terribly well-known in the Yucatán, we occasionally find that curious waiters, children or passersby want to watch or know more about the game. Only once in all the time we've played together has an experienced player asked to sit in on a game, and that was a European who lives in Oaxaca. He played one game with Diane, and then reluctantly returned to his family, waiting for him at another table. He was a pretty good player. We exchanged email addresses; the next time I am in his part of the country I will look him up for a game or two.
Sometimes when I am intensely involved in a particularly close match I become so engaged that my surroundings recede into the distance, and all else is forgotten for a brief time. The world is reduced to myself, Diane and the game board. Recently when this happened I was surprised that the cafe had filled with customers around us while we played, and I hadn't even noticed. When I get into the flow of backgammon this way, I know I am having a good time and my brain is getting a good workout.
Then just recently the tide turned and she started kicking my behind around the block. The game is always unpredictable and always interesting. And in my mostly appointments- and schedule-free life, it's something engaging "to hang my hat on." I like that.