Following Suit

playing cardsIn the hamlet of Mondrón, Málaga, abuelos gather after lunch in the only bar in town to play Mus, the most popular card game in Spain. It’s played with a Spanish deck, which has 40 cards without eights, nines, tens or jokers (or no aces, it’s hard to say)–plus the cards themselves look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The suits are coins, clubs, swords and trophies. It’s played with two teams of two, and that’s about all I can tell you. I’ve never been much of a card player, and Mus looks more complicated than most. Mus is also a favorite among university students as well, but in a certain kind of bar in Spain, all across the country, it’s old men who gather to play it after lunch. I’m not sure whether the attraction is the game itself, or the simple pleasure of whiling away an afternoon with old friends. Maybe one day I’ll have to learn how to play. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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8 Responses to Following Suit

  1. Mike Booth February 18, 2014 at 13:36 #

    This is such great, authentic stuff, Mike. Congratulations. Show us more!

  2. Yolanda Evgeniou February 18, 2014 at 14:00 #

    Brings back memories. Iron Bound Newark /. Grandpa and Dad / tavern

  3. MJ February 18, 2014 at 15:06 #

    Wonderful photo, thanks for the story!

  4. Jonathan Moreno February 18, 2014 at 17:44 #

    This scene is very familiar to me. I spent many hours waiting patiently and sometimes not so patiently for my Uncle to finish playing cards whenever I was in his care. Scene looks exactly the same….except there is no little boy waiting in the corner. Me.

    • Mike Randolph February 27, 2014 at 18:36 #

      Yeah but now you look back on it fondly, right? :)

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