SEPTEMBER 4 2022
AN NHẤT PADDY FIELDS, LONG ĐIỀN
Hares: Secs, Chippy, Mr. T, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Have-A-Chat, Chom Chom, Uncle
The rain had been threatening since late morning and finally gave most of us a sprinkling as we made our way to Nắng Vũng Tàu (“Sunny Vung Tau”) at 5 Lê Ngọc Hân – immediately next door to Tommy’s, our previous Kennel, for VTH3 run #1024 on Sunday, 4 Sept.
Hash Cash Mr T had enlisted the help of Hasher Reardo to collect our hard-earned this week, as they both sheltered from the rain – and a different face with a fistful of đồng was our first change for the day. Then we boarded the trusty Hashmobile and found same bus, different driver – the second change! (could we make it ‘lucky three’? – please read on…).
With funds replenished and eskies primed with Saigon Chill, softies and water we headed north, stopping briefly to collect out-of-towners on the way to Bánh Hỏi An Nhứt, a very nice restaurant in Long Điền’s An Nhất commune which is famous for the local delicacy, Bánh hỏi – soon to be sampled by more than 50 hungry Hashers after our exertions in the local countryside!
We dismounted for the group photo in perfect Hashing weather – cloudy, cool and no rain in sight: our ‘third time lucky’ change for the day!
Secs gave the Chalk Talk, reminding everyone to be careful crossing the busy highway 55 before we turned off for a 7 km hike through picturesque paddy fields as far as the eye could see, “but don’t forget to watch for the red marker tape”. It was very different from VTH3’s usual mountainous jungle trails, but nonetheless very welcome – especially for the ‘townies’ on today’s run.
“On on'' we went, and quickly found that this trail had something for everyone: Junior Hasher Rio and a pal used net and bucket to trawl the irrigation system for ‘bugs’; some of the much younger and smaller lady Hashers picked flowers by the roadside while mums and other lady Hashers took selfies with the taller flowers; several Hashers picked fruit from the sung (“fig”) trees; Junior Hasher Sunny decided to run the trail to be first home – and she did! (leaving Uncle and Anti in her wake!); and many Hashers told later how they’d met and chatted with new friends as they strolled together through the countryside, stepping around fresh ‘countryside trail markers’ (who needs red marker tape when you’ve got so many water buffalo doing the job for you!). As one Hasher drily observed, “This trail’s full of sh*t!”
And the whole experience was made even more enjoyable as friendly rice farmers passed by on their tractors, waving and shouting “Xin Chào” to what must have seemed like a lot of strangers wandering around their paddy fields!
An extremely sociable afternoon was then topped off by yet more socialising as we took our seats to sample the local delicacy: Bánh hỏi. The tables were quickly filled with dishes and then it was “On on” again, as plates were emptied and refilled in quick succession!
The Circle is a highlight of most Hashes, but cancellations do happen – usually weather-related; but not this time. The Run 1024 Circle was regrettably cancelled because we’d spent so much time eating the delicious Bánh hỏi and socialising that it was not only getting dark but the restaurant was full of people and the highway full of traffic! So the Circle was cancelled for an entirely new reason: “No safe space”!
But it had been a great day and the Circle would surely have awarded full marks for a trail that made it so easy for people from many different backgrounds to thoroughly enjoy a leisurely afternoon together. “Well done, Hares – you’re true blue. You are Hashers through and through!”
It was certainly a contented group of Hashers who finally arrived back at our new home: Nắng Vũng Tàu. The assets were unloaded, unpacked and stored for next week – except one eskie, which was emptied at a more relaxed pace by a dozen or so ‘stayers’ who continued chatting in the well-appointed courtyard of our new home as they downed “one last Saigon Chill for the day”!
Until next week, then…
RUN 1024 GALLERY
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