HCMC Dining Guide

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hashing it Out

I blogged about the Hash House Harriers here in Saigon waaaay back in November of 2010 after I had taken part in a few Hashes. For those of you who don't know, the Harriers are a loosely-organized international group with chapters in cities around the world. The first group was formed in Kuala Lumpur, and it works like this (at least in Saigon): every Sunday whoever wants to take part meets in front of the Caravelle Hotel at 2pm, and then a bus drives us into the countryside. Oftentimes these rides last for over an hour.

The objective of a Hash is to follow the trail set the previous day by a 'hare', which is someone who volunteers to lay a trail of shredded paper.
Everyone else has to try to follow this trail, and when you reach the end there is beer and food available. A lot of emphasis is placed on the beer, and while Hashes are a lot of fun they are certainly NOT child-friendly  - extremely vulgar language is encouraged, and experienced Hashers are given foul nicknames (with a focus on male genitalia.). Examples include: Pencil Dick, Dingo Dong, Jackoff, Shut the Fuck Up, Thong Muncher, and the simple but elegant Fat Bastard.

I took part in a few Hashes when I first moved here, but once I started teaching on weekends I couldn't go. I started going again a few weeks ago since I now have weekends off, and while some members of the old guard are gone there are plenty of familiar faces, and the level of obscenity is still high as ever. I've been wanting to get some pictures from a Hash for a while, since we go to some pretty cool places that are a far cry from the urban chaos of Saigon that we're all so used to. Yesterday I decided to bring my crappy point-and-shoot camera, since I didn't want to risk bringing my good camera, especially now that afternoon thunderstorms are rolling in on a daily basis. Here are some pictures from the 7.5km (4.6 mile) run.
Circling up before we start
If anyone is wearing a new pair of shoes a beer is poured into one and they are forced to drink it.

this was fun to cross, especially since the stagnant water below looked incredibly filthy.

drying corn

We came across two herds of buffalo - this one eyed us warily but didn't move, while the second one stampeded off, making for a tense moment.

lunar landscape of rocks

Back at the bus after finishing. Time for beer. And a torrential downpour.
All in all this was a pretty good Hash, although the occasionally tricky terrain made it difficult to run from time to time. Still, there was some nice scenery and it was a pretty good workout. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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