APRIL 24 2022
LONG HAI / MINH DAM
Hares: Mr. T, Chippy, Secs, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
At lunch time last Sunday, a group began gathering at Tommy’s Bar and tavern on a small back street of Vung Tau city. As numbers grew, it became increasingly obvious that no one was there to enjoy the delightful Saigon chill now served at -2 degrees. In fact, most seemed to want to do absolutely nothing, standing around while trying to look interesting. The group mostly used code names to refer to one other and many were dressed in the same green camouflage, Hash 1000 shirts. Two of the group, who were later identified by the code names Have A Chat and Chom Chom went around the back of the premises and started to remove copious amounts of beautiful Saigon Chill, along with other drinks which were not Saigon Chill. At this point no-one had spoken to either the proprietor or staff of the tavern. The two men removed the beverages using eskies which they found in the store room. Meanwhile, two of the group AKA Jonny, who is a Vietnamese girl and Mr-T who spoke with a strong Australian accent, started requesting money from the group. There is some speculation about the meaning of the T in Mr-T and there is some evidence to suggest that the T in Mr-T could stand for Tax but this could neither be confirmed nor denied. Anyhow, the tax man continued to extort money while Jonny totted up the amounts.
Some children who were approximated to be no more than 6 years of age seemed concerned that the tax man would be coming after their pocket money, but thanks to an intervention from Chom Chom, no request was made that they hand over their pocket money. However, after a short discussion between the Taxman and Chom Chom, it was decided that pocket money would no longer be safe from collection.
Chom Chom did seem to be instrumental in all the group's activities and at around 1:30PM he was seen nervously chatting with Secs about the arrival of the Iceman. The iceman eventually arrived driving an inconspicuous looking vehicle, and delivered his cargo in three sacks. The iceman was offered a payment which he accepted and soon after, he quickly fled the scene.
A source at the bar later reported that the group then loaded the eskies onto a bus along with the people who were mostly doing nothing as they made a quick escape.
As the bus pulled away, speculation was rife amongst the bar patrons as to where this group could be heading. One source cast doubt on the speculation that the group would not return later for more Saigon Chill being served at -2 degrees. One thing that could be agreed upon by all was that this hash gang enjoyed being high, usually high up in mountainous areas. No apparent connections could be substantiated to connect this group with any Moroccan hash movements; however, links have been found on social media connecting them to a Saigon Hash gang.
To uncover the purpose and intent of the Hash group we had the bus trailed.
On the bus people were allowed to choose their own seats. Some chose to look out the window while others spoke softly to one another or listened to music as the bus escaped Vung Tau.
After passing through the town of Long Hai, the bus unexpectedly turned left and into a small by-road heading in the direction of Minh Dam mountain. After travelling along this road for a few minutes the bus came to a sudden stop and three people disembarked. Rumour travelled around the bus that this stop was due to Faulty Brakes.
Later, as the bus climbed a particularly steep hill, a technical difficulty erupted, as passengers gasped and tensions grew. The driver fought against the laws of gravity and science as the bus moved forward and then backwards. The whole drama was reminiscent of the day Thomas the Tank Engine’s friend Edward experienced a simmer difficulty. In that Episode Thomas and Gordan raced to assist Edward but the dilemma on the bus that Sunday was far more perilous as there was no Thomas or Gordon to assist the driver. Would or wouldn't the bus make it was the question on every person's lips. Then with a crunch and some grinding noises, it became evident that the bus driver had danced with the devil and rescued the day. Suddenly the bus filled with rapturous applause as the bus chugged along once again towards its destination.
The bus eventually found itself in a remote carpark at the foot of the Minh Dam mountains. With most of the group now shading under some trees, others went into a small building across on the other side of the car park, to take care of some private business as they put it. It was then that Mr Secs stepped forward to announce the purpose of where, what, why and who. As some pretended to listen to Secs, some actually paid good action but no one questioned his instruction. The group then moved into the mountain after splintering off yet again. Soon the gang would be split into 3 parts with some people walking along the road while Tony, an ex military man travelled up the mountain alone to have a quiet word with someone as he put it.
With most of the group now travelling through the forest, a strange thing happened. Mr. Chom Chom and Have A Chat started to record everyone. Using Go Pro’s and Apple phones, so every person would find themselves being digitally remastered at some point in the future. When recording their videos some of the female group members would stop suddenly and without announcement, they would shout photo, the two flashers were not overjoyed by the ladies conduct as this seemed to hinder their recording.
At this point it became evident that certain members were taking a leading role. With Mr T AKA the tax man along with Chippy, Secs and Have a chat started directing the path that everyone needed to follow. At times they waited for others and pointed them towards turns that otherwise they may have missed. ON ON they marched following the trail. The trail continued for over two hours with the gang visiting every temple on the mountain for reasons which cannot be explained. Every time the gang came upon a vantage point they clambered out onto the rocks and proceeded to photograph everything in front of them. The group spoke pleasantly towards each other throughout the climb and everyone seemed to be enjoying whatever it was that they were doing up this mountain. One thing which was for sure, the group really knew their way around this mountain.On the final descent there were many who felt tiredness creeping into their muscles and so all seemed happy to once again return to the carpark. At an estimate there were probably over 500 photos and short videos taken on the day. This was obviously a day which none of the group would forget in a hurry.
At the car park, Jan, Tony and the Faulty Breaks guy waited patiently for the main group to return. They were passing their time by drinking some Saigon Chill at -2 degrees, they seemed very content. As each member of the group returned to the car park, they went straight to the eskies for refreshments, with most of the men opting for the beautiful Saigon Chill which had remained at -2 degrees thanks to the cold ice.
As the ambiance was smashing new highs the down down became a big down down as Chom Chom and Have a Chat started ordering people to gather around a banner for yet more photos and videos, They all shouted Saigon Chill and it then came to an abrupt end.
Next, Have A Chat was handed a microphone. He wandered around in his silly hat asking people to rate the mountain, the trail, the experience. First score was a 4 which seemed to sadden the guy but then a 10 was followed by a 9, and finally another 10. Using weak biased mathematics, he announced an average score of 8.9 for the trail.
Then, various groups of people were asked to line up and drink beers down down down. One such group were classified as the Virgins. Thankfully, the children were not asked to drink beer, however they were questioned by Have A Chat. The questions all seemed to be of a personal nature, such as, where are you from, what is your name, and who told you about us? The virgins were a lovely bunch, Vaughn was just in from Perth Australia while many of the others were from Vietnam.
An initiation song was sung for the virgins, which included the words Bia Hoi, pho bo, nibble gobble chew, as Have A Chat mumbled out these words, others in the group became excited and cheered. This initiation process was obviously very important to the group. Then a man who spoke only Russian had the happy birthday song sung to him and he really enjoyed this attention, so much so that he offered cake to everyone present.
After the circle, Secs poured the ice out of the eskies and as the Saigon Chill rose above -2 degrees they all poured back onto the bus. I’m guessing Vung Tau and maybe even Tommy’s bar. It all seemed like such a fun day out for everyone. Maybe I shall join them again next week.
RUN 1005 GALLERY
APRIL 17 2022
Hares: Mr. T, Chippy, Secs, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Ringmaster: Have-A-Chat, Chom Chom
Waking up on Sunday morning and going to the hash, the high point to my week, how sad am I? Well anyway, I arrived at Tommy’s before 1PM and started filling the eskies. Thinking that by now, I had mastered this task, big mistake; I worked enthusiastically until the arrival of Chom Chom.
Then reality claimed me as its first victim. Apparently, I knew nothing of the intricacies involved in calculating the ratio of hashers to drinks in eskies.
Fun fact, the calculating equation needs to account for many variables. We had to minus Faulty Brakes before plussing in a host of new virgins and returnees travelling on our bus this day. The mind ratted as we attempted to come up the correct ratios to this Oh so difficult sum. Inevitably, common sense won out as cautions were thrown to the wind and we decided to bring every can of alcohol from the store apart from the obvious Imperial Blue which has a taste far too sophisticated for the palette of us mere mortals.
The partnership of Jonny and Mr. T accounted for the finances, as the days dues were handed over and recorded. Then the sales team kicked in, as the store room doubled up as a changing room, as the run 1000 designer t-shirts started flying out of their boxes. All said and done, this was a very efficient start to our hash. The day's supplies were loaded onto the bus, followed shortly after by the hash runners. It was sad that a few people had to cancel at the last minute, but this was countered by the many new faces who filled bums on seats, so the bus was not full but far from empty with the final number of hashers recording itself at 32.
On On, the bus departed and headed for the mountain area of Nui Dinh, a place just beyond the city of Ba Ria. These mountains hold a special place for all those that climb to its peaks. They hide so many amazing trails, but hopefully some are still waiting to be discovered by the hares.
Secs announced the trail and with that the group moved out on the main trail. It was great to see that a Hash lite trail was employed on the day. This catered for hashers who prefer not to walk in the mixed terrain of the forests. The Hash light trail held its own challenges and so it was enjoyed by its participants. Camera’s, phones and pro-go’s recorded our path, as the trail led us up and then some further, as we travelled through forest and by road unit we all reached the helicopter point at the peak of Nui Dinh. Here there are many large rocks which when climbed deliver spectacular views from numerous vantage points. At this point the cameras went mad for a bit, as people challenged and expressed themselves by arranging themselves into some strange yet playful poses.
As we all followed the red tape to charter the descent, one youthful fellow did things a little backwards and ended up at the start rather than the finish, which did cause a minor drinking distraction.
However, level heads prevailed as the captain commandeered a bike and soon returned with the unphased youth no worse for wear.
So with distraction removed, it was once again time for the drinking and fun to resume. As traditions go young Doyle yet again produced another cake of his own creation, which contained marshmallow I think, along with a host of other sweet flavours. The circle was fast and efficient as we welcomed new virgins, who promised to return again soon as they all gave the day a 10/10, which was a ratio that we could all agree on. There were a few returnees who had not been seen for so long, most notably Ice Water and her elegant smile. We finished the day by leaving our footprints behind us, and some melting Ice which slowly watered the trees.
As we raced back to Vung Tau with our new memories installed, and the excitement that lay ahead for a night of Saigon Chill and pizza at Tommy’s Bar. The night at Tommy’s was most satisfactory, and as we ignored the musical entertainment and raffle draws we instead drank to good cheer and enjoyed the shared memories and stories from run 1004.
RUN 1004 GALLERY
APRIL 10 2022
Hares: Chippy, Secs, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat, Sang
Report: Chom Chom
Another dreaded Sunday arrived, so another Hash run was imminent. How hard was it going to be? Would the ice turn up in time? Would we get more than 5 Hashers? Would the banh mi lady remember? These, as always, are what a Sunday morning is all about.
As 1pm approached, our Hash Home was getting busy. Was it for the special on Imperial Blue Vodka and Whiskey? Was it to get a good seat in preparation for the evening’s entertainment with Art? Or was it just to use the free super-fast wifi at Tommy’s and catch up on a bit of Aussie sport? Seemingly, most seemed to be joining us for our trail on Small Mountain that our Hares Chippy, Secs and Have-a-Chat had set. Johnny/Jenny/Quynh, whatever her name is, took up the role of Reg + Cash Mistress and efficiently managed the registered Hashers.
In the background, the lovely, shiny Saigon Beer and Saigon Chill eskies were being filled with our usual great selection of soft drinks, together with Saigon Green Lager and our premium “cold-filtered” Saigon Chill.
The logistics team had sorted out the beer truck and a dieselectric golf cart to transport the essentials and the Hashers to our starting point at Beach Valley.
Once all the admin and logistics had been carried out and we had all safely arrived at Beach Valley, our lead-Hare, Secs, explained the trail ahead. The following paragraphs will describe the adventure ahead…
We crossed over the main Ha Long street, in a style similar to the classic game Frogger, as it was somewhat more busy than usual – it was some holiday (King Hungs Commemoration Day), so the entire populations of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh City celebrate by choosing to be stuck in traffic for an two entire days, only to enjoy a coffee in Highlands, and some mediocre seafood in a packed-out restaurant in Vung Tau. Anyway, we survived, and the next challenge was up the Jesus steps. Luckily we only had to go a short way up, before making the crude climb over the wall towards the quarry.
The trail across the quarry was a delight, it was a beautiful bright sunny day, with glorious clear blue skies. Together with flowers in bloom, there were plenty of places to take in the views and capture some photo and selfie opportunities. We climbed up and down the rocky bits and continued around the mountain enjoying a slight breeze.
We headed into the forest and followed a path with a gentle incline that eventually would bring us up at the Jesus statue. One or two brief detours were included to view some old cannons that again provided some great photo opportunities and interest to many. At the top of the mountain, the Jesus statue, we took a break to recover, to have a drink, to enjoy the breeze and of course the great views across Vung Tau City. Before long it was On On again as the trail continued.
The next stage of the trail took us down from Jesus on to the mountain path leading up to the army base. We turned off into the forest and navigated around the army base, carefully following the red tape that had been so competently tied. At this stage things were getting a bit more challenging as the ground was so dry, it was getting harder to grip and this area wasn’t exactly a path. From here, we arrived at the Birds Nest Factory and were greeted by the sound of friendly dogs, barking and welcoming us. They followed us around the factory as we attempted to find a way back to Ha Long Street. This was a new path for us and one that proved quite an adventurous end to the main trail. Clinging onto the factory fence we found the steep path down, and it was steep with many choosing to simply slide down. With a few slippages and a few dusty bottoms we eventually hit “Angry Ladies House” and proceeded down the stairs along by the, now derelict, Uno Coffee.
The final stage was a pleasant walk down Ha Long, along the beach road back to our Down Down location at Beach Valley. On arrival the drinks, food, fruit and music was all ready to go and what a great location it is for a Down Down. We enjoyed the refreshments and snacks whilst watching the sunset, many Hashers enjoyed a swim in the sea, and once again took advantage of the countless photo opportunity spots.
The Hash photo was taken and this week we had the privilege of Uncle taking on the Circle Master role. He welcomed our virgins, returnees, sinners and hares with his selection of alternative “classic” Hash songs.
All in all, another great Sunday afternoon Hash run. See you all next Sunday. On On!
RUN 1003 GALLERY
APRIL 3 2022
Hares: Chippy, Secs, Have-A-Chat, Rocky,
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Ringmaster: Chom Chom
Report: Faulty Brakes
Having just celebrated our 1000th run recently and now a confirmed member of the exclusive international hash family, with the pedigree and provenance to back it up. Last Sunday’s run took place in Nui Dinh with the Down Down at the end of the tarmac road where we had the incident of our bus falling into the ditch some years ago. The trail itself was a gentle stroll in the forest with a little sting in the tail as we came out on the lake where it was a little more arduous. The weather was ideal for trekking today as we had good cloud coverage and avoided the sunny conditions of the previous days.
Our trailfinders department had set out the previous Friday to lay this trail and we fortunate to have their expertise available for us every week. Sunday 1.00 at Headquarters on Le Ngoc Han the weekly exercise of chilling beer and softies took place along with provisions of fruit and the much appreciated ban mi were stored on Mr An’s bus all set for the journey to Nui Dinh.
Around 16.00 hashers arrived back at bus in our Down Down location after the pleasant exertions of the previous hour with welcoming beers and the usual veritable feast. Chom Chom our ringmaster conducted his circle with the usual aplomb, deriving a standard 10 out 10 for this trail from our hashers. Borneo Bum Biter and Catwoman or Stu and Huong to you and I are VTH3’s answer to Sonny and Cher, always available for weddings, funerals and Bar Mitzvahs. Both were baptised with their original names B.B.B and C.W. Another lady hasher chose the name “two ball”. My apologies for forgetting her name, it could be due to Apres Hash on Sunday evening.
When Henry Ford spoke about the Model T and said you can have any “colour you like as long as it’s black” all those years ago, maybe our founding members 30 years ago had this in mind with the saying if you hash with the Vung Tau Hash, you will always enjoy a good time. All good things come to an end and Run 1002 was no different, drinks trolley on board bus with vital refreshments for the return to Tommy’s Bar and arriving in Tommy’s the eskies were removed and emptied to be stored for the next week for Run 1003.
The usual “one for the road“ sneaky beer took place out of sight of the proprietor and we prepared for Apres Hash, now an integral part of Sunday Funday Hash, where the frequent outburst “Saigon Chill” can be heard sporadically and has nothing to do with Tourette’s Syndrome rumoured to have infected our hashers. The hash table was fully occupied with pizzas and beer and again that “Hash Atmosphere” - if you could bottle it would be worth a fortune. Another day in the successful history of the 1000 club hash in Vung Tau, we will do it all again next Sunday.
RUN 1002 GALLERY
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