Hash House Harriers that is … riiiiiight, exactly what I thought a week ago. I was seriously questioning it’s reality and after my day yesterday it is verified- “The Hash” is a real thing. I had so much fun. It is an escape from the city and smog and millions of people. It’s also a great way to meet other ex-pats and see what they are doing in Vietnam and find out what they find to do for fun outside of work, etc. We met at the Caravelle Hotel and got on a big bus. We drove about 40 minutes out of Saigon into the countryside. The basics of “hashing”, how to find the trail, what kind of run it is, who laid the trail, etc were all explained.
We ran in the heat and humidity along rocky paths, brush, garbage, people in hammocks, people on motorbikes, shanties and shacks, dogs, more garbage, and a river. Then it started to rain. Then it started to pour. Then it started to abuse me with massive pelting rain and I was blinded by water. Within a minute I was totally drenched and there was much more running to do. We ran along massive rock formations plunging down into a lake where people were swimming in the rain. At this point the trail was gone and we were just finding our way as best we can running through mud, puddles up to our ankles, and more abusive raindrops.
We finally found the bus and cold beers waiting for us from the sponsor Tiger Brewery based in Saigon. The run concluded with ceremonies, songs, initiations, and drinking. . More songs and drinking all the way back to the city with my new little fraternity of people of all ages and places.
A perfect Sunday afternoon running in the rain with the Saigon Hash.
I am an official hasher now, and I love it.
I vow to hash world wide!!