How about a backgammon (tavla) set? Conjures images of old men in coffee shops, doesn't it?
Yup, I can just see them under the shade of an arbor smothered with bougainvillia or at the edge of the town square, people watching between moves...
This set is pretty cool, and not too expensive. Tulumba.com has it for under $50.00. I suppose if you're not into games, it would still look nice up on a bookshelf. Rummikub is pretty cool too. If you've never tried that, it's like Gin Rummy but with domino-like tiles. In Turkey, these games are pretty much de rigueur. I knew some ladies that had regular *ahem* gatherings to play Rummikub (called Okay in Turkey). I never went because I didn't want to lose my shirt, if you know what I mean.