3rd of April 2010
The Easter Bunny died of heat exhaustion and the chocolate eggs melted, but Easter was a good excuse to have another Hash after a 2-months break due to work constraints. The initial excitement at running another Hash lasted for about 15 minutes after Rach, Holin, Sophea, and I started setting the run. Not only is this the hottest month of the year, it also felt like it was the hottest day of the hottest month.
Even the Buffaloes were close to heat exhaustion.
This was not helped by the fact that there was more water left then we thought, forcing us to set the second half of the Hash as a straight run. Never felt as good as when I saw Holin with the car, a car that has very efficient air conditioning.
After a short rest, it
was time to meet up at the
Victoria Angkor and get all the
Beer and water distribution.
We circled up at the bottom of Phnom Krom. We had initially planned to incorporate Phnom Krom into our Hash, but the greedy goons from Apsara Authority wanted to charge each foreigner USD 20.00! Sod that, I figure they own enough brand-new Lexuses and do not need a contribution from us.
Not as hot as in the morning, but the way people rushed drinks reminded me a little of pictures I saw of food being distributed during some famine or another. As if there was a chance of us running out of beer (we did run out of soft drinks, but that doesn't count, your own bloody fault if you come to a Hash and do not drink beer).
After the usual explaining of Hash marks and rules such as not trampling the rice (even though there are no rules on a Hash, I do not fancy getting shot at by some irate farmer), we were off. It was a little overcast and the pack had fun, at least at first.
Sophea, long-time Ballet dancer. What grace!
The first half was reasonably short, if full of Shiggy, and we managed to keep walkers and runners more or less together. Not even Stumper Jumper and Singapore Sling managed to go shopping on this Hash; a first.
After the Beer Halt, the runners set off at a blistering pace, at least until they came across a big arrow sending them across a small river. I love setting Hashes for people who are new to this, they just put sooo much trust in the Hares when every veteran Hasher knows that Hares are usually a bunch of mean-spirited bastards that should never be trusted, not least of all as it is usually the Hares that are the first ones to get lost.
This young man was left behind as he stopped at the water, removed shoes, removed socks, put socks in shoes, removed Jeans, put shoes in Jeans, crossed the water. The Grand Master being a right prick obviously waited until this poor Hare was on the other side, removed shoes from Jeans, put on Jeans, removed socks from shoes, put on socks, put on shoes, only to call him back. I was on my third beer by the time he did the whole undressing and dressing thing in reverse.
Most people, GM included, were pretty happy to get to the On On after a long and fast second half of the run. Ice-cold beers were waiting as a reward. A couple of the younguns got competitive, only to quickly drop off by the side.
For a change, we decided to have a picnic in the country side. Somebody (Victoria?) had prepared Khmer Fried Chicken, torches were lit and the party started. There is one peculiarity about parties in Cambodia: people will start dancing at the drop of a hat. This is no regular dancing, though. First of all, some landmark has to be found (tree, empty beer can, passed-out Hasher). People will then start do circle around this, at the same time doing all sorts of strange things to their hands. It is always one way, and it never varies. It is nevertheless a lot of fun after the 17th beer.
Little Drummer Boy and his assistant kept the music (and the beers, judging by the litter around them) going.
Dancing around things is obviously not part of the Burmese culture, as demonstrated by Tic Tac Toe and Sandar.
And it went on and on...
With Stumper Jumper showing how it is done.
Not so sure what's with the leg warmers on Soriya's arms. Not sure about the gang hand signs, either.
I am sure that quite a few Hashers had a heavy head the next day, with the exception of Socheat who decided to do something about her hang-over even before she had one.
Another successful run as judged by those that could actually remember anything the next day. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Hash, due end of this month.
23rd of January 2010
Only the 2nd run of the re-born Angkor Hash and it looked like turn-out would not be very good as I received little feedback when encouraging people to sign up. Oh well, Sophea, Rachna, Holin and myself set off for the countryside to set the run on an unusually hot morning. Turned out that it was a good thing Sophea came from the area; he knew the guy who came running after us with a very big knife after having been told that some Barang was sprinkling suspicious-looking substances all over the fields (and I thought it was only our American friends that were paranoid about that sort of thing).
Surprise when we met up at the Victoria Angkor later that afternoon: a massive load of people showed up to take advantage of a very cheap booze-up and feed; we ended up with 80 r*nners! Not only did we not have enough T-Shirts, we were also about to run out off beer before the Hash even started. For screwing up the Eskie, Sokhem was tasked with getting more beer, ice, soft drinks, the works. Luckily, the 79 Hashers present had to wait hours for the last Hasher, a Singaporean lass that claimed that she was "looking for her shorts". Beer sourced, shorts found and it was off on the buses (no cattle trucks for us, unlike a Hash a little up the road that will remain unnamed). Ours was driven by a bloke that looked like he wasn't much over 14, but he did manage to get us to the starting point in one piece.
Trying to explain the run and Hash marks was the usual waste of time as nobody was listening; too busy getting stuck into the booze. No invitation of newcomers and returnees either, there were just too many of them. There was a spy from a sister Hash, he was obviously bored.
Spy from PP playing pocket billiard.
There were some seriously competitive Hashers evident. Really pissed me off as I had to constantly run after them to tell to hold up. There will be a lot more and longer false trails next time; that should cool their mettle a little.
I thought the run was great, even if I say so myself: varied landscape, fantastic weather, lots of beer when we eventually made it to the Beer Halt (yes, we do actually have real, lengthy beer halts, unlike the stingy Hash in HCMC). The Beer Halt dragged on a bit as the walkers talk forever to come. Not because they were lost, but because they went shopping on the way!!! I also blame the walkers for the accident we had on the Hash. When things finally got going again, they spooked an undercover Khmer Rouge cow that promptly tried to run down the Grand Master. Only a courageous jump saved him from being gored Pamplona-style. Bad news was that the GM failed to check into what eh was jumping. Turned out it was some razor-sharp plant (probably also Khmer Rouge) and the GM ended up leaving liters of blood on trail. A fatality was averted by a) a towel carried by one Hasher 2) liquid hand-soap carried by another Hasher (why?) and c) copious amounts of beer to dull the pain.
GM after his bout with insurgent cows and plants.
The second half of the r*n was much shorter, but once again the walkers did a runner. AS it started getting dark, and the r*nners were getting pissed, a half-sober Hound was sent of on a bicycle to locate them. Once again, they were not lost, but shopping. How and what, nobody knows, This is deepest country side and there certainly weren't a lot of malls in evidence.
Some kids got creative with our Hash marks.
With the Walkers secure, we went back to town for lots more beer, food, and a quick circle. With all the virgins there were way too many charges to punish all; but there had to be ice for the 2 wannabe FRB's who hopped on motorbikes right in front off the Grand Master!!!!!
The ice wasn't for taking motorbikes; it was for getting caught!
Great Hash with all the right ingredients. Next Hash in February, came your eyes open for the announcement.
The Kids thought the Hashers were a strange lot.
Nobody fell in, darn.
Sunset ordered by the GM.
29th of March 2009
After the last Hash, which was really just a pub crawl, we decided to make this one a little harder. Thus, Postman, Quan, Hong and yours truly met behind the local "Nuoc Mam" or fish sauce factory on a blistering hot Saturday for the recce. I knew it was going to be a long run when Hong and Postman almost collapsed towards the end of the recce.
Setting the Hash.
Next morning it was back with Talibang and Rapid Rabbit (well, he did join us for the last kilometer or so) to finalize the setting; which we did just in time for the meet-up.
Usual waste of time trying to explain the Hash.
Not sure if it was the free T-shirts, the good weather, or the amounts of cold beer we had, but turn-out was excellent with 40+ Hashers in attendance. Our ranks were swelled by the presence of Makassar Moon who had recently moved to lovely Phan Thiet after hashing for 20 years in Indonesia. He was joined by some of his colleagues and friends, rounding off the pack.
The boat we took was like an Indonesian ferry: crowded and dangerous.
A great day for a Hash: sunny, smelly and sh*t-hot. If you have never experienced the intensive odors of fish sauce production, you haven't lived! Unlike beer, it is something you either love or hate, nothing in between.
Beer Halt at the Cham Towers.
After everybody had a beer or five, it was time for the Hares to explain what today's Hash was all about. A lot of time was once again spent on explaining the marks as this has always been a problem in the past. Hashers here have the propensity to shout "here", "yuhoo" or "o day" (Vietnamese for "here") when seeing a mark; shout "on on" as soon as they see the first mark, blow through check-backs, and short-cut. About the only Hash tradition they have no problem with is skulling beer which I guess is better than nothing. Lengthy explanations, largely ignored, done and the pack set off.
One of the more enterprising Hashers replaced his footwear with flotsam found along the way.
The Hounds first got the scenic route of the fish sauce factories, an assault on both the nose and the eye. Like everywhere else in Phan Thiet there were huge hills of garbage to be negotiated; it is amazing how the locals thrash their place. Worst of all are the bloody plastic bags; they are everywhere.
Take note of the gloves worn by the Hasher in the front.
The pack lost the trail early on and a lot of short-cutting ensued until we managed to get everybody on the same trail again. We had by now reached the huge cemetery along the Phan Thiet - Mui Ne road. Most Vietnamese buried here have more room and a better view than they ever had when they were still walking the earth. Perfect for Hashing! After reminding some of the Hounds about the rules again, and after saving our EDP Manager from almost certain death as he wandered aimlessly in the middle of the road, we all met up at the Cham Towers for the beer halt. On the way there I caught the Filipino Mafia busy shopping; they were even brazen enough to pose for a photo in the middle of this despicable act!
The Filipino Mafia busy shopping.
As people were lighting up (Rabid Rabbit) and gulping down beers (everyone else), someone pointed out that we had lost two walkers. I was all for pressing on regardless as losses were still well within the 10% limit I set myself, but their friends insisted that we wait. Result: a very long beer halt and some very
View of Phu Hai.
We went straight down the hill, which also served as a local toilet, and admired the views (of the sea, not the turds). R*nning had pretty much stopped as heat and beers took their toll, and walkers and r*nners arrived pretty much at the same time at the boat that would take us across the creek. Getting on the boat wasn't all that easy; the ladies in particular needed a lot of help and support (funny how some of the male Hashers were very eager to help; even funnier that apparently the best place for those individuals to put their helping hands was the backside of the ladies in question). As soon as the boat took off, a lot of screaming ensued every time the boat moved a little. This from people that do not have to go far to find a fisherman in the family.
A bunch of Brits queuing up for the bus.
All this took a lot longer than anticipated and it was getting quite late by the time we had everybody off the boat on the other side. This was not helped by the fact that the Hares promptly got lost, wasting even more precious time. The walkers eventually headed for the beach and the restaurant where we would have the On On, whilst the runners stopped all pretences at Hashing and barreled straight onto the beer.
Not a very big boat for more than 40 Hashers.
A lot of down-downs ensued, including for all the Vietnamese that did not know that exactly 36 years earlier to the day the last American had left Vietnam (none of them knew). Plenty of people had to sit on the ice for real or imagined sins, plenty of beers were drunk, and I think it is safe to say that everybody had a bloody good time.
The local kids were loving it.
Not lovebirds, sharing the ice.
31st of January 2009
Everybody was still recovering from Tet, or the Vietnamese New Year, and as such we decided at the last second to not have a r*n but instead head straight for the on-on. I think the only one that was disappointed (until the 5th beer) was Pissmeister, a visiting Hasher from Saigon.
6th of September 2008
To celebrate the Vietnamese National Day (couldn't think of a better excuse) we headed for the Dunes behind Mui Ne (well, that part of the dunes that hasn't got construction going on yet). On Friday, Postman, Hong, Quan and I headed out to set the trail. Hong, as usual, wasn't listening and instead of getting flour he got starch to mark the trail. No problem per se, but as it rained later in the day, we obviously had few marks left by the time we got started next day.
Fairly hard going in places.
This turned out to not really be a problem though: as usual, everybody had forgotten about things like "On on" or "check it out", the r*nners were blasting right through any trail there may have been. Actually "blasting" is maybe exaggerating things a little as most of the r*n was up and down miniature Grand Canyons or in very soft sand, making r*nning fairly hard.
Hounds on trail, not!
Thanks to a huge 4-lane road being built right through the dunes connecting Phan Thiet and Mui Ne (wonder who is managing to line his/her pockets with that particular useless monstrosity?), we managed to have a Jeep with cold beer waiting for us halfway through the r*n/walk/slog. Thus, whilst we sent the r*nners off on a false trail, everybody else had plenty of time to sink a few cold ones.
Good views from the top.
On the whole the r*n was extremely short and it seemed like we had hardly left the beer halt before reaching the end back at the Mui Ne beach front. Hong had planned ahead and there were plenty of cold Tigers waiting for us right on the beach. We did r*n into a very irate lady who decided out of the blue that all the dunes were private property and that she would impose a fine, this blatant attempt at a rip-off was obviously ignored.
Some of the Phan Thiet Hounds just love drinking out of shoes.
The circle went on forever. Not only was the scenery nice and the beer cold; as usual there were plenty of infractions ranging from new shoes (or no shoes at all) to mobiles on the Hash, namings and numerous other excuses to dispense plenty of down-downs. Turn-out was pretty good again, with 30+ hounds (though most of them were Victoria Phan Thiet Resort staff Shanghaied into service).
Not this crowd, though.
16th of July 2008
As part of our annual staff outing, the r*n was set by Stefan and me in Da Lat.
As usual, all the Hash marks and SOP's had to be explained again. General case of short-term memories with the good folks from Phan Thiet.
Then there are, of course, always a few smart-asses who think they can get out of r*nning the Hash.
Stefan with friends.
A highly motivated lot, especially the Filipino Mafia.
When will people here learn to wear comfortable shoes on the r*n?
21st of May 2008
The restaurant owner trying to explain why he ran out of beer.
It was basically a pub crawl.
A long crawl at that....
The ladies don't seem too impressed.
Beer everywhere, I like this town.
Stefan resorted to violence to get the girl.
5th of April2008
This one easily has to go down as the hottest Hash in Phan Thiet yet, it was absolutely boiling. After setting the run for three hours in the morning and a hard run in the afternoon, heat exhaustion and Tiger took its toll; most of the hash is just a blur and I let the photos do the talking. What did stick in mind that large parts of the run passed through what was effectively the public toilet of Mui Ne. Lovely!!!
I did not know what this guy was cooking, but sincerely hoped it wasn't lunch.
Specialty of Mui Ne: sun-dried squid.
Mui Ne Port: photo opportunity for the guys....
Not a terrorist, a sun-shy fisherman.
Quick stop at the squid factory.
The R*n went through the cemetary.
26th of January 2008
Whilst there were not quite as many Hares as on the first r*n, almost 40 people did show up to go r*nning on a nice and sunny day.
The Hash almost didn't happen as, true to hashing form, the setting of the r*n was a complete shambles. Until that very morning, we hadn't even decided where we would set the r*n! Vuong was supposed to have gone with me the previous day, but forgot, so Saturday saw Stefan, Tien, Vuong, Hai and myself head for an area near a local attraction; the "Fairy Stream". The area has a lot of potential, bit it took some serious explaining to Vuong before he understood that a Hash r*n does not normally follow roads only.
The area where we set the Hash consists primarily of dunes and would have been bloody hot had it not been for a very strong breeze. No worries with the powers that be here; the people were extremely friendly if not a little curious. We had to decline a number of invitations to drink rice wine.
Two hours of pretty hard slogging saw us back at the car where Vuong redeemed himself buy having thought not only of cold beer but even cold face towels.
During the quick circle-up in the afternoon it quickly became apparent that the Hash has a long way to go in Mui Ne. People showed up in pretty unsuitable attire and I have never seen so many Flip-flops (not a few worn with socks) and mobile phones. Never mind, we boarded every car that the Victoria Phan Thiet Resort had to offer and headed off.
Not much to say about the r*n itself, everybody had a pretty good time, except the group that stuck with the Grand Master (and hare): I managed to get completely lost. Luckily, the wind carried the smell of cold Tiger beers across and, following that heavenly smell, we did manage to make it back to the beer halt eventually. Overall, it was a pretty short r*n, I don't want to scare off all the virgins right at the beginning.
Dinner was a disaster, but at least there was plenty of cold beer. Somehow I doubt though that we will be going back to that restaurant any time soon.
15th of December 2007
It took a little while, 7 months to be exact, but we finally got the Phan Thiet Hash House Harriers under way last Saturday. Incidentally, this has nothing to do with drug abuse, but is rather a drinking, sorry running, club with over 1800 hash groups in almost 180 countries, more information is here: World Hash House Harriers Page.
The one here in Phan Thiet was almost a non-starter: contrary to my usual practice, I made the mistake of asking the local authorities for permission. They promptly refused, citing a) a law that prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people (how do they explain the regular gatherings of their ilk in “Karaoke oms”?) and b) concerns over the participation of foreigners. After some discussion, we decided to set the run and risk all getting arrested.
Thus it was that Tien, Stefan, and I met at the Xuan Vang Restaurant the next morning. The weather was great and the beer cold, little wonder we didn’t actually start setting the run 2 hours later. But set it we did, winding through back alleys and along the beach before heading back to the restaurant to have some lunch and wait for the runners to arrive.
Some heavy lobbying in the Victoria Phan Thiet Beach Resort & Spa resulted in an amazing 50 potential Hashers showing up. There was no way we were going to do a circle; the restaurant would have run out of beer before we had given half of the “down downs”. As they were all hash virgins, nobody wore hash gear; there were plenty of new shoes (and sandals), and there was an attempt at “Sex on the hash”! Therefore, rules were quickly explained, and the pack was off.
All the explaining of the hash marks was a waste of time, instructions were forgotten about 2 meters into the run. Thus, we hares had our hands full ensuring that everybody made it to the first beer halt, nicely located on the beach.
It was actually pretty warm, and I was as happy as anybody to make it back to the restaurant were we had dinner and loads of cold beers. Pretty much everybody considered the inaugural hash a roaring success; I guess we will have plenty of runners for our next hash in January 2008.
5th of August 2006
Apparently, it was the Swiss National Day on the 1st of August. Not that we have any Swiss in Can Tho, to the best of my knowledge, but we had to come up with some name for this Hash.
For once, it wasn't the same old Hares as usual, a new Hare made the appearance in the form of Flower Power. This gave the GM a chance to duck out of setting the r*n, with the pretense of a heavy work load (more likely the bad weather had something to do with it, Ed.)
Anyway, the run was set and the Pack found itself outside the Victoria Can Tho Hotel, as usual. Many of the "old" Hares had a no-show, but this was more than made up for by appearance of loads of virgins, not least at all by our new sponsor, Mr. Thung, representing METRO. We also welcomed another Saigon-based Hasher, Peckerhead, who would come away from the Hash quite impressed, mostly we had plenty of real beer, not the p*ss they serve at the Saigon Hash. After everyone was duly welcomed to the Can Tho Hash, it was off to the boat, which we made just in time before it started pissing down. Luckily, the rain stopped soon after the actual r*n started.
Not much to write about the Hash, as it was bloody short. Apparently, the Hares had tucked into the booze early, and just couldn't be bothered to make any effort, which suited me fine. The Beer Halt was longer than the r*n!!!! One of the hotel staff, Mrs. Y Khoa, was welcoming back some long-lost relatives and did the decent thing: she invited the Hash to have dinner at her place. Hashers, not being known for turning down a freebie, quickly accepted and raided the place in true Hash fashion (probably the last time we get invited anywhere).
Before joining the party, the obligatory circle had to be held and, with more than half the pack being virgins, many sins were atoned for. When will people learn that wearing new shoes to the Hash is not a good idea, particularly during the rainy season? We also had a naming: Hoang is now known as "Ca va?".
And that was pretty much it, with many a down-down consumed at the wedding.
17th of July 2006
It is the middle of the rainy season down here in the Delta, and the idea was to have a real Shiggy r*n. Omo had found a place on the other side of the Mekong where they are currently constructing the access road to the new Can Tho bridge, and that sounded promising.
Thus, Omo, Echo, and yours truly headed there in the morning to set the r*n. The area was indeed very nice, but too dry. Luckily, it started raining whilst we were setting and the paths immediately turned into the most slippery much I have ever seen. Excellent.
As we had to attend a wedding later in the day, the start time was moved to 14:00. (everybody had been informed about but, in true Hasher tradition, some r*nners turned up at 15:00, by which the pack had long gone). Some visitors were welcomed, notably Alkasleazer and Rehana of the Hanoi Hash House Harriers, and two local lasses. Wouldn't have been the Can Tho Hash if one of them hadn't managed to turn up in Slippers. Quick introductions, explanation of Hash marks, and we were off to the boat.
Arriving in the predominantly Khmer area, the friendliest people around (even if they do think we are a bit strange), the GM warned people about how slippery it would be. Obviously, it was the GM who promptly was the first to fall a*se over t*ts. A lengthy beer halt was had ,before we braved the mud again.
The circle at the end of the run was somewhat abbreviated (the wedding, with free booze and food beckoned), but the circle was nevertheless long enough for Dong (who still needs a Hash handle, suggestions welcome) to go for an involuntary swim whilst trying to clean his shoes (OK, someone helped him along).
And that was pretty much it, with many a down-down consumed at the wedding.
15th of April 2006
Due to the GM's busy schedule (laziness), there was no time to rece the r*n. Thus, we found ourselves with absolutely no plan (What else is new) outside the Victoria Hotel. As no transportation had be organized, and as it was really hot, we decided to just take a stroll through the lovely town of Can Tho and sample beers on the way.
Very first on the agenda was testing the strength of the new bridge under construction near the hotel. It is not really open for traffic yet, but since when has that stopped an intrepid Hasher? Our scientific approach, in the service of the community, was to jump up and down on the bridge, much to the amusement of the construction workers. I am happy to report that the bridge did withstand this test, and that no Hashers were lost (yet).
On on it was to the "Moulin Rouge". It does not have much to do with its famous name-sake in Paris, no Can-Can-dancing, high-kicking, drop-dead-gorgeous girls were spotted, but at least the beer was cold. On to the next place, one of the many micro-breweries that recently seem to pop up all over Can Tho. Not much difference between them, but at least the beer is considerably better than the local "bia hoi". At this stage, nobody could be arsed to walk any more, and a few Xe loi were procured.
A last stop at a local hotel, before it was on to the food at the "So Hom" restaurant. Just before, the circle was held outside the Can Tho market, which met a lot of disapproval by the security guards. We packed up and headed for the feed before they could kick us out.
Well-nourished, we decided to head off to a Karaoke for a bout of singing. It was then that we realized that we had lost "Madagascar", our new trainee. Rumor has it that he was desperately looking for his motorbike, with which he was convinced he had come.
11th of March 2006
Did I not feel like setting, or r*nning, this Hash. It was hotter than hell and, by the time this day was over, yours truly was the opposite of a Roast beef: pink on the outside, crispy on the inside. Omo, Echo, and Short Stump headed across the ferry, near an area were we had r*n before, and where there is no grief from the locals or authorities.
A fair number of virgins showed up for this r*n, but the hard-core drinkers, eh r*ners, made a good showing too, with a fair number not having missed a single r*n so far. Even Niagara made a showing, rumor had it that his better half was off visiting the family. Obviously, all the rules, or lack of same, and markings had to be explained all over again, before it was onto the boat to take us across
Amidst plenty of complaints regarding the heat, the pack set off, at a somewhat leisurely pace. Only the promise of a beer halt got the hounds going at all. For once, everybody actually made it to the halt, even though there was the usual confusion about X's, marks, etc. This scribe ended up carrying one of the Tykes for most of the second part (Ole and Hanh: you owe me a couple of cold ones). Luckily, the little one's bladder lasted until the circle, before human nature kicked in.
Sinners were plentiful, including a virgin that decided to run in 30+ degree heat in Jeans! A dangerous circle it was, we were in the middle of the r*n-way of the local kite-fliers, trying to get their contraptions airborne off the back of their trusty Honda Dreams. Lots of beers were quaffed to combat dehydration, before it was on to a local micro-brewery for yet more cold ones and a well-deserved meal.
11th of February 2006
Once again it was Omo and Echo setting, once again, we'd be going by boat. The day started badly for this here scribe: invited to a birthday party, the odd glass of rice wine had to be drunk even before I actually got to the Hash.
As usual, we met at the Victoria Can Tho Resort. Due to the low tide, or something like that, we first took a car to the Jetty where the boat was waiting for us. That after the usual down-downs, for Hares, newcomers, returnees, etc.
The local people were excellent (something you couldn't say of the local dogs), at the half-way stop not only did we have plenty of cold beer, with the ice motorbiked in from God knows where, but also delicious sweet-water snails. At least, the Vietnamese runners told me they were delicious, I preferred to stick to a strict, low-fat, high carb, liquid diet.
As the beer-halt was a rather lengthy affair, the rest of the r*n is somewhat blurred, except that we had another naming, the victim now known as "Niagara" for his inability to keep the beers down.
21st of January 2006
God, it was hot! Supposedly, January is the cool season, but it must have been 40+ degrees out there. Omo, Echo, and yours truly took off in the morning to set the r*n. We hadn't even crossed the ferry yet and were already drenched. Ah well, I suppose it beats Winter in other parts of the world, but not by much.
When doing the recce last week, we all thought incorporating a few "monkey bridges" into the r*n would be a great idea, but it sure looks different when you are standing on one of those flimsy things. They are certainly not made for a huge, lumbering, foreign [email protected] like me. To add insult to injury, the locals would flit across those bridges like nobody's business, from Toddler to Granny. Ah well......
ith Tet (Vietnamese New Year) just round the corner, turn-up was somewhat less than on past Hashes, but that did not deter the hardcore 14 of us that showed up (A shout to Ole here: loser!!!!). Quickly quaffed a few beers, the rules were explained to the newcomers, and it was off by boat.
Even if I say it myself: the area was beautiful. We went to a predominantly Khmer area, and the locals proved to be extraordinarily friendly and good-spirited. Certainly potential for future r*ns. No flour swept up, no angry words, no coppers; Hash heaven.
On to the r*n. Even though it was pointed out that the first monkey bridge would be a bitch to cross a few brave (fools?) souls decided to take the option. Unfortunately, I have to report that everybody made it across, with knees trembling to varying degrees. The couple of more bridges we had to cross were a piece of cake after that. The r*nners quickly decided that it was just too bloody hot to r*n, we were all walking soon enough. Plenty of opportunity for sex on the Hash thus; with Echo and Hang leading the way in this department.
We made it to the Beer halt not a minute to soon, everybody being close to dehydration by this stage. Omo had managed for ice-cold beer in the middle of nowhere, and we even had chairs and tables. This obviously dragged out the halt considerably. Fortunately, the hares, in all their wisdom, had decided to cut short the second half, and we where on to the circle in no time. The usual charges were levied, the usual down-downs were had, the usual entertainment was provided to the locals.
As everybody was starving, and still thirsty, we took the boat almost to the doorstep of a new restaurant that has just opened here in Can Tho. Apart from good food, they also brew their own German-style beer, the latter playing no small part in the two latest hash-namings: "Flower Power" and "Beer Abuse".
3rd of December 2005
As we will be busy during the actual festive season, the Christmas R*n was held on December 3rd. Echo had scouted a suitable site, and in the morning Echo, Stumper Jumper, and yours truly headed off to set the r*n. It quickly turned out that Echo had been a little bit too ambitious, after 1.5 hours of slogging through ferocious heat, we had not even reached the half-way point! Thus, the r*n was adjusted on the fly, and shortened considerably. Echo let it slip that he wanted to set the r*n by motorbike (which is a big Hash offence), just as he and Stumper Jumper had done the last time!!!! Obviously, this little tidbit was noted by this scribe, for later punishment.
As it is "winter" at the moment, i.e. the days are a little shorter, we started the r*n a little earlier. God, was it hot!!! On the other hand, it did not rain for once, after serious soakings on the last few r*ns. A good number of people turned up, the exception being Tuan, who was beaten by his wife the previous night (he claims to have hurt himself playing football, but that, of course, is utter rubbish). The Hares quickly explained the markings, newcomers were welcomed with a down-down, and it was onto the boat to take us to the run. This r*n was not a T-Shirt run, instead everyone got a lovely "Father Christmas" hat. This Hash is getting bloody organized: apart from beer (of course), we also had varying snacks to sustain us (and to drink more beer).
The r*nners set of at a furious pace, with some gentle prodding by the Grand Master (German heritage coming through), and we soon lost sight of the walkers, the lazy bastards. The r*n was moderately long, hardly any Shiggy, but hot. The beer halt half-way was welcome, except that we realized that we had completely lost the walkers. Some borrowing of mobile phones, and frantic calling later, it was determined that Stumper Jumper, the walking hare, had completely blown through the trail, and they were already at the end, digging into the beer. When queried about this later, the walkers first were adamant about the fact that they had indeed r*n on flour; some hard questioning quickly established this as a lie.
Thus, the r*nners quickly downed a couple of cold ones, packed the rest of the booze, and headed to the end. The circle was a very solemn affair (not), what the local population must have thought about all this idiots standing in the blazing heat, wearing red hats, and drinking out of their shoes, is anybodies guess.
The combination of beer and heat had quite a few of us hanging in the ropes, we decided to retire to a very nice restaurant with delicious food, traditional music, and a couple of cold ones.
5th of November 2005
End of the Rainy Season Run???? Boy, was it not! I don't think that I have ever been that wet in my life. It was pouring/pissing/hammering down as if it was the end of the world.
The setting of the hash did not bode well. As I didn't have time to set the r*n all week, laying the trail was a last-minute thing. First surprise: no flour. After some frantic phone calls, flour was procured. Turned out it was Cassava flour, more little rocks than flour (not that it mattered in the end, by the time we started the hash, all trail marks were covered in anywhere from a couple of inches to a foot of water). Second surprise: the boat we had planned to pick us up at the end of the trail couldn't make it; the tide was too high for the boat to clear the bridges. Less of a surprise was that less people showed up than had signed up, any half-way sane person would have stayed in bed, given the weather conditions (Ed.: since when are there sane people on a Hash?).
As usual, we met outside the Victoria Can Tho Resort, ranks were bolstered by visiting Hashers from Sai Gon, and Ole and Hanh, who were brave enough to bring their small children. Things got under way very quickly as we were r*nning late, and some serious weather was rolling in.
What can I say about the Hash itself? As soon as we were on the boat to take us there, the skies let loose with a vengeance. Was the scenery nice? No idea, as the rain reduced visibility to about 5 Inches. Was the trail well laid? No idea, see above. R*nning actually stopped very quickly. Apart from the atrocious weather, Hashers had to take turns carrying the two Tykes, as they would have drowned otherwise. There was a Beer Halt somewhere along the line, but by then everybody was so soaked and miserable that even the cold beers weren't appreciated much.
At the end of the r*n, it was mutually agreed that the circle would be held at the On On, we all just wanted to get out of the rain. Plenty of food and beer was had at the Hoa Su Restaurant, all agreed that this would be a r*n (swim?) to remember.
P.S.: Many of the attending Vietnamese assured me that this would be the last day of this year's rainy season, considering the ferocity of the downpour. Wrong, it rained at least that hard the very next day.
1st of October 2005
The Grand Master being a flag-waving, patriotic German (not), the German Reunification Day on the 3rd of October was a good excuse to have yet another r*n. Not many Germans in Can Tho, but the usual Vietnamese suspects largely made up for it.
As usual, we gathered at the Victoria Can Tho Hotel to let the Hares tell us what the deal was. It soon became apparent that they were very confused, which is par for the course at the Can Tho Hash. They did not even have flour to show all the Virgins the Hash marks. With the Hares quickly getting their Down-downs, the tone for the Hash was set. Tuan, the guy who chucked up in a spectacular fashion last time, obviously had orders from his better half to not attend any more Hashes, but he was soon convinced otherwise.
This being in the middle of the Delta and all, we set off by boat for the short trip to the site. The area certainly looked like it held a lot of hashing potential, but we quickly ran into a problem: no flour!!!! The Hares tried to convince everybody that it was because of the 5-second drizzle earlier in the day, but this was obviously rubbish. I know for a fact that the hares set off with 10 kilos of flour, and came back with 9.5 kilos!!!!!!
Anyway, the scenery was indeed nice, and the hares were thoughtful enough to provide a beer halt (hint for future hares: do not place the beer wagon in such a way that it can be seen from five miles away).
The circle was a messy affair. Apart from the Hares getting numerous down-downs for setting a lousy r*n, not using flour (did you ever hear of "checks" and "X's?), and front-r*nning, there was also the usual number of no hash attire, fashion on the hash, and new shoes. We actually have one member who has been on all 4 r*ns, and drank out of his shoe each and every time! I figure he either has a very zealous wife, or actually really likes the taste. We also had the first naming on the Can Tho Hash. Whilst "Echo" only has four runs under his belt, his outstanding lungs have ensured that all of Can Tho, as well as the surrounding Provinces, are well aware every time we have a Hash.
15th of September 2005
The Mid-autumn festival is biiiiig in Vietnam. God being a Hasher, this festival always falls on a full moon, no other excuse needed for Can Tho's very first Full Moon Hash (the guys printing the T-Shirts got it a bit wrong, if you meet any Hashers with "Full MONTH" T-Shirts, they are from Can Tho. Ah, the complexities of language.
It soon became apparent that a r*n on the actual day of the festival would be impossible! The GM had plain forgotten that this is a bit like Christmas back in the World, folks want to stay at home with their loved ones. Thus, the date was changed, and Hashers met at the Victoria Can Tho Hotel to take off.
As the pack gathered, the Hare informed us, lazy bastard that he is, that there would be no flour, no paper, no chalk, and indeed, no r*nning! Furthermore, the Hare was thirsty, and quickly retired the Pack to a Cafe all of five meters from the Victoria. Fair enough, a couple of quick brews were downed, and the Pub crawl, for that is what it was, set off. It should be explained here that the road leading to the Victoria is full of small Cafes, all selling good, cold Tiger Beer. And that was pretty much all we did, except to stop for the Vietnamese National Dish, Pho, which hits just the spot after a few cold ones.
The circle was held at one of the highlights of Can Tho's entertainment sector (and that is really not saying much). The usual charges, but by now, some Hares were feeling the effect of the beer, or the Pho. They shall be excused for being Virgins, but the evening certainly helped in discovering some potential Hash handles for when, and if, the Virgins get named. Tuan in particular showed excellent style when chucking up.
3rd of September2005
After getting the Can Tho Hash off the ground last August, it was time for our second r*n (we currently only r*n once a month). Mr. Nghia scouted out a suitable terrain not far from the Victoria Hotel, and a quick site inspection showed that the area had all the potential for a good Hash: Shiggy, lots of dogs, nice scenery, and no police!
As it was still the rainy season down here, the hares (Stumper Jumper, Nghia, and Short Stump) set the trail just before the run. We got off to a good start, people were partying everywhere on occasion of the National Day, and Short Stump proved that he was well integrated into local culture when he did not hesitate to sample some of the offered rice wine (think jet fuel). The locals were at first a bit concerned that we were trying to poison their livestock, but, seeing how all foreigners are stupid, they readily accepted the explanation that we needed to mark the trail we were walking so as to find our way back.
We once again met at the Victoria Can Tho Hotel, where Short Stump managed the first of many screw-ups of the day: at 15:00, the official starting time, nobody had shown up. Panic! However, after taking another look at the Hash flier, it turned out that the meeting time was actually at 16:00. Duh!
With twenty-something Hashers, turn-out was once again pretty good, with both Hashers who had joined the first Hash, as well as Virgins. Right on the dot, it started pissing like crazy just as we were about to start the circle. Ah well, good excuse to huddle under the umbrellas, and have a couple of cold ones.
Luckily, it stopped raining after a few minutes and things got under way. After the usual welcoming of newcomers, explanations of hash marks, and a few beers, we got onto the boat to take us to the Hash site, some twenty minutes away.
Once there, the Grand Master decided that only Harriettes were allowed to check, and the Hounds were off. It quickly became apparent that some of the lads were confused about their sexuality, as they continued to spread out at every check. However, after some kind words of encouragement by the Grand Master (you stupid f****s), we soon had this one sorted out.
After the heavy rain the previous days, the trail was knee-deep in mud; particularly enjoyable for the two Wallies who had decided to run in Flip-flops! It was actually more of a walk then a r*n, giving people the chance to appreciate the scenery. Due to logistic problems (basically no access roads), we had no beer halt; luckily it wasn't too hot.
An enjoyable hour later, we were back and the circle got under way. Once again, charges were plentiful: Sex on the Hash (yupp Ole, you need to keep your hands off Hanh's behind), lacking Hash attire (Hash T-Shirts are for sale at VND 50,000, contact the Grand Master), and short-cutting, to name but a few. Due to the confusion earlier, the Grand Master took it upon himself to graphically explain the difference between boys and girls, leading to a fair bit of blushing amongst the assembled Harriettes.
Seems like the Can Tho Hash is well and truly under way, the next r*n will be a Full Moon run, the Mid-Autumn Festival r*n, on the 18th of September.
See you at the next Hash in Can Tho.
A few weeks ago, we were sitting around a few beers (which is always a good start for a Hash), bemoaning how little there is to do in Can Tho. 12 Beers later, the Can Tho Hash House Harriers were born. Being a nice guy (and drunk at the time), I volunteered to organize the very first Hash for the 30th of July 2005. T-Shirts were duly printed, fliers made, people contacted, beers and ice ordered, a restaurant secured, and the hotel staff shanghaied into action.
A few small hiccups: the authorities did not want to see a large gathering of people in a public place so the circle was moved to the hotel, the designated Grand Master became sick two days before the r*n, the designated Religious Advisor had to stay with her sick husband, and it rained non-stop. Ideal conditions for a truly mismanaged Hash.
The trail was set just before the r*n by Short Stump (yours truly), Stumper Jumper (no prize for guessing who that is), and Mr. Hoa (official translator and Virgin). Realization of the day: flour to mark the trail is not a good idea when it is pi**ing down! Ah well, too late to change, but the flour did cause a lot of questions being asked by the locals, think Anthrax.
As mentioned, we gathered in front of the Victoria Can Tho Hotel, and turn-out was much better than expected, with a total of 41 people. Here, a big shout to the Hashers who made it from Saigon!!! A good 95% of the people present were Hash Virgins, plenty of time was spent to explain that a) a Hash is not a race, b) there are no prizes to be won, c) short-cutting is a sin d) as is front-r*nning, e) and the meaning of the trail marks. Half an hour, and a couple of beers later, the pack was off!
It quickly became apparent that not everyone had understood the explanations, or even listened, with r*nners tearing across "X's", shouting "On one", "On two", and continuing all the way to "On eight":-). At least the rain had slowed to a drizzle by now, and it was actually quite pleasant out there. The Hare was certainly having fun: I overheard some of the r*nners saying to each other "stay with the hare, he knows where he is going". How wrong the Virgins were, whilst there are no rules on a Hash, every Hasher knows not to follow the hare as he is a devious bastard, and probably lost anyway.
Anyway, we managed to keep the pack sort of together all the way to La Ca Restaurant, where we had our beer halt (note to the Saigon Hash: yes, we DO have beers on our beer halts). Took a little convincing to pry the pack away from there for the second half, which took in the market, and some local villages. The usual incredulous stares and comments: why would totally sane people r*n through the rain, shouting "On On"? Actually a question that I have asked myself many times as well.
Back to the hotel and for the circle for some fun: Virgins being the majority, charges were to numerous to count, we'd still be there a week later if we had given Down-downs to every charge: all time favorites such as new shoes were as much in evidence as was the lack of Hash attire (this was a T-shirt run, but they were only handed out afterwards). With all the excitement, and the beer, private parties were inevitable, and the Grand Master stand-in "Steel Balls" had his hands full, as did Religious Advisor cum Hash Note "Wet Rag".
The run was declared a huge success, and the Hare in particular got lots of accolades, especially after same reminded the staff who signs their contracts. Some real potential was spotted in the form of a Virgin Hasher who managed to take his down-down flat on his back, and faster then most Hashers standing up. It is expected that the next Hash will see fewer high-heeled shoes and Flip-flops than this one, but there will certainly still be plenty of charges to go around.
Finally, everybody hopped on a boat to take as to the Nam Bo Restaurant for dinner, at which point things started to get a bit blurred for this scribe.
See you at the next Hash in Can Tho.