Had an interesting lunch with Ting Ting and Paul this afternoon.
We knew Paul from the Bristol improv show last month and he had been very interested in trying out Dim Sum with us. So we brought him to Dynasty!
Paul is German and is a proud Berliner. Naturally, he was quite amused when we spammed him with the â€˜Ich bin ein Berlinerâ€™ JFK quote, and he was adamant that we pronounce ich properly. Paul has been travelling around the continent for a long while now and had lots of stories to share. We also talked a lot about Berlin, German beer, German girls, the Nazis and East and West Berlin.
Paul might be going to Singapore next year and might pay Kuala Lumpur a trip. I have plans to visit Berlin this summer too so we exchanged quite a lot of travel advice!
We had been teasing Paul that he wouldnâ€™t dare try the â€˜chicken feetâ€™ dim sum dish (aesthetically named â€˜Dragon Clawsâ€™) but he took on the challenge! So we ordered some of that, along with the other â€˜normalâ€™ dishes. It was hilarious watching him prod the chicken foot with his chopsticks (Paul uses chopsticks remarkably well) as though it was some roadkill but ate it cheerfully afterwards.
I have a video of the entire process but Iâ€™ve promised not to upload it.
There is something that I have been quite excited to blog about.
After almost ten years of absence, I am back in the Magic the Gathering circle!
Since the beginning of the year, Iâ€™ve noticed that there have been some MTG tournaments going on in the Forbidden Planet outlet at the top of Park Street, next to Cosmo and Waitrose. This kindled my curiosity towards Magic and I began checking out the new editions and cards.
One day, to my surprise, I found out that CJ, my flatmate, had been an avid MTG player too!
So we started talking about our past experiences playing in tournaments and the expansion sets in â€˜our timeâ€™. We got so nostalgic that we decided to get some decks so that we could at least start battling each other.
So in February and March we each got ourselves a starter deck from the Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas duel deck package, and began buying booster packs to enhance them. We also purchased a lot of individual cards from online card trading sites to fill up the capabilities that we needed but couldnâ€™t get from booster packs.
I designed my deck after my old 2003 blue-black counter-cripple deck. I was dismayed to find that the mana cost for Counterspell has risen to C-C-B (Cancel), but was quite delighted to find awesome new variants, like Redirect.
I spent many nights looking through the thousands of new cards that had been released since I stopped collecting in 2003. It was very exciting how so many new cards and gaming concepts had been introduced, like kicker, unearth and awry.
I am, however, not very comfortable with the introduction of Planeswalkers.
Of course, I am aware that I am a player of bygone times and am still very new to this new concept. I may not understand its full implications but for now, I feel that Planeswalkers are those imba cards that, once cast, disproportionately bias a game to a playerâ€™s favour. It kind of seems to me that a lot of players will simply be racing to get their Planeswalkers out as soon as possible and defend it at all costs as it ravages the battlefield.
Not very creative.
In any case, I am glad that I am back in touch with the world of MTG and am excited at the new possibilities! It is great to have a flatmate who knocks on your room door every other night just to brandish his deck and ask â€˜Magic?â€™
Iâ€™m not sure if this enthusiasm will last long but it doesnâ€™t really matter. Magic the Gathering has left a long and deep influence in my life during my secondary school years and its impact will probably stay for the rest of my life. I was a great fan, having spent an exorbitant amount of money on collecting cards and countless hours thinking up strategies and designing decks.
Above all, Magic the Gathering, being a trading card game, taught me the joy and satisfaction that trading (anything) can bring. I learned costly and painful lessons from buying or selling the wrong cards at the wrong price at the wrong time; as well as experienced the thrill and addictive satisfaction of having conducted a profitable trade. From the years of being in the trading card world, I have learned to be a better judge of value, as well as a finer negotiator and persuader.View More