Well, Spanker and I are back after our Summer jaunt and looking forward to this Sunday's hash hared by Brunei Babe and Inaction Man. I see they have picked somewhere near Valongo for this one, so we'll all know what sort of terrain to expect, and given the hares we can expect a fair bit of scrambling through undergrowth.
Having recently hashed in territory BB would be familiar with, Sp. and I have now something of an insight into how she views the ideal hash. We were in the town of Miri, in Sarawak (Borneo), sipping a beer in a café, when we noticed hash t-shirts and badges adorning the walls. Next thing we knew we were being invited on the Miri hash by a legend of South-East Asian hashing, known to everyone as Big Spender. So, two days later, as we returned from a day trekking in the jungle, we found ourselves turning straight round to head off back in the direction from which we'd come for a prompt six pm start somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The number of cars parked at the start point, and the amount of people standing round ready to go staggered us - there had to be a hundred-plus hashers. Without any apparant ceremony, the hash then began.
We had noticed that, ominously, most of the hashers wore moulded football boots, or similar, which seemed strange, but certainly didn't intimate they were expecting a great deal of road running. And so it proved, as we plunged straight into a hole in the jungle and down a slope, crashing through the creepers, plants and trees of the dense forest. This was proper jungle, not cut trails or anything, and we followed a trail marked entirely by strips of paper, at intervals of at most ten yards. Down, and up, down, up, up, down, up, down, up, up, up, down and up we went - I'm sure you get the picture. Without grips at all on her trainers, Spanker was slipping and sliding, whilst I have never felt so shagged on a hash as I scrabbled through the under (and over-)-growth. To look at us you would have thought we had stood under a full shower fully clothed (or perhaps a full shower that also drops mud). Thank goodness for checkpoints, eh? Well, no, actually - there was one that I noticed, but as everyone was spread out it was simply a case of guessing for oneself and carrying on. After about fifty minutes/an hour we reached a patch of flattish, cleared ground that indicated we were almost home, so, to keep the Porto flag flying we girded our loins and ran the final quarter mile or so in. Already there were at least fifty others back, some already tucking into the barbecues that were being prepared in the boots of various four-by-fours. It was only about now that Spanker remembered her arachnaphobia - there's no time for worrying about what might lurk where you are putting your hand on a jungle sramble like this.
There were some seriously fit buggers there (and some not so - not just us). There were also some really nice people and we just found ourselves chatting effortlessly to people around us. For your hash fee you received two cans of Malaysia's life-saving (literally, but that's another story that Spanker may tell for a small price) energy drink, 100-Plus, and a coupon for three cans of lager (if you wanted more you had to buy another coupon - don't worry, Droopy, I am not planning to introduce this with PH3). The bash was happening there and then (the barby), with down-downs (the circle) coming only after that. It was rather fragmented compared to ours and was clearly going to go on for a long time after we left, and as we did three people were writhing disturbingly in ice and mud simulating the sort of thing for which you could be prosecuted in many countries (possibly including Malaysia!). Before we did so, naturally, we had to do down-downs with a specific twist as visiting hashers.
The next day, back in the café, to round things off we were presented with Miri HHH t-shirts. What a great bunch of people. If you find yourself in northern Sarawak, head to Ming café in Miri and see if there's one going on soon.
Later, in Melaka, in the south-west of peninsular Malaysia, once again we bumped into some local hashers. We mentioned that we had done the Miri hash. Oh, had we met Big Spender? Her fame is great in those parts. Next thing we know we've ben presented with two Melaka HHH t-shirts from the run the evening before that we'd just missed. There was to be another the next day (whoever looks at me doubtfully when we run on successive weekends, take note!), but it was to be all-male. I don't know why they do that. The next Singapore one, which looked quite good and was due when we were to be there, was the same.
Never mind, PH3 was beckoning again at this stage. Let's see if we can't give BB and IM a taste of the orient, as I bet they'll do it to us!
This is the second successive summer in which we have hashed in other countries, and it is interesting to see the differences and to talk to people. Has anyone else got stories to tell about hashing elsewhere? Post them as comments on this post, or add your own new post. What different things have you seen that you'd like to try with PH3? What would you not dream of introducing?