Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Hash

Saturday, Jay and I experienced a Hash House Harriers. For those of you who are not familiar with this group let me explain. It is a type of running group, not competitive, just out for a good adventure, good "run" and beer. It is a group you could probably find in every country in the world. There are about 3 in Taiwan and one group happens to be in our city which is great. We were very exctied to hear about it because this is right up our alley. We have been itching to run, and running in the streets is a little more than dangerous, I think it might actually be a hazard to your health instead of a benifit. We met up with the group right after we taught on Saturday. A lot of foreigners from all over, and some Taiwanese, which is great. This is definately going to expand our social network. Most of them were older than us and have been here for 7+ years. WE met in the city and we caught a ride from two experienced hashers and they drove us in their beat up van about an hour outside the city. It was gorgeous. We stopped at the end ofa very windey road and began our adventure into the Taiwanese wilderness. Before I go any further I need to explain to you the concept of Hashing:
This group can consist of as little as 10 people and as many as 40 people we have been told. They do it every Saturday, which is great. The concept of a Hash is that a person or a couple of people in the group go out in the week and set a trail, they are called the Hares. The set a trail using white flour, certain marks mean certain things. A Live trail means you are actually chasing one of the hares, they get a 15 minute head start and of course they already know the course. BUt this week we had a Dead run because the hare was hurt. Your purpose as a hasher is to find the course, they point in the the right direction to begin with but then you have to search for flour on the course to find the right way, some may lead you the wrong way or a dead trail. A Check is a circle with a dot in the middle, this means you now need to check a 360 degree area for about 100 feet to find the right direction. ONce you have found it you say "On On" So everyone else knows which way as well. You can carry your own chalk with you so that you can mark on the trail what is the right direction so people behind you can know. There are no limitations when marking a trail if you are the hare. You can put it through water, cliffs, etc.... your imagination can take you on a very exciting hash. And sometimes along the way instead of water checks they have beer checks, unfortunately this hash was only about an hour so no beer checks until the end.
This hash was very fun and trecherous, we ran through a very rocky river bed, slid down a cliff, climbed up and down ropes, crawled on our hands and knees in thick trees, and then ran up and down a extremely steep mountain. This is what Jay and I have been looking for, it was great!!!
Afterwards they had a BBQ because it was the first hash of the year. Great food and good beer. At the end they have a tradition of forming a circle and then dobbing people, which is basically calling people out on the stupid things they might of done during the day or anytime. If you are dobbed then you have to go into the center of the circle and drink a cup of beer. They all sing a song and when they sing DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN you have to drink. According to them there are no rules in the cirlce but there really are\ and if you break any of these rules you have to drink. You cannot point at anyone so you have to use your elbows, you cannot enter the circle with a hat on, you cannot stand in the circle with your hands in your pocket, you can't bring another beer in the circle if you do you have to finish that beer. And one of the funny ones you cannot wear new shoes to the hash, IF you do you will have to drink a beer out of your shoe. WE witnessed that and it was very funny.
They also have names that people get during their time as a hasher. Usually it comes with doing something stupid. And when you get your name there is a little bit of a ceremony involved, involving flour, beer and no shirt. Again very amusing. We had a great time. Can't wait to go back next week.
Yesterday we walked all over town because our shins were so sore from the hash, we found a great little Spainish restuarant that had the best mushroom soup I have ever had, then we walked more and found a Mediterranean place that had great House wine. WE walked to a traditional Chinese market called the Jade market, great for shopping and bringing home presents. This weekend was really great!!! We are really starting to get the hang of things. Oh yeah and we bought a scooter, IT is awesome. We really like is, 125 cc. and purrs like a kitten. I think we trust this one enough to take it around Taiwan.

1 comment:

Kat said...

Jay! Allie! I guess it's about time I wrote on here, huh? I have LOVED all of your stories about your adventures in Taiwan - but this one topped them all. I have never heard of Hashing, but I can't wait to do it. Probably doesn't happen anywhere in Charlotte. Anyway - keep posting on your cool little blog...reading it sometimes makes my day! We miss you and love you guys!