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26 November 2017
NUI DINH - "The Bus Buster"
Hares: Flying Finn, Slipper
Hash Flashers: Basil, Dr. Who, Secs
A nice sunny Sunday afternoon and 49 eager Hashers board the battered Hashmobile to Nui Dinh. As the bus struggles to climb the mountain towards the starting point we get a sense of what is to come when we have to disembark 600m before our starting point because we have to let the overheated bus cool down.
We walk to our starting point where Flying Finn gives us the chalk-talk telling us it is an easy to medium trail which will take us through the forest and exit at the pagoda, the down-down will be on our usual place at the end of the asphalt road.
So on-on, into the forest we go. It is a pleasant, shady, well marked trail with few obstacles. Although, despite being well marked, some of us are waylaid by errant pink ribbons that take us off in the wrong direction. It doesn’t take long for us to realise our error and retrace our steps and pick up the correct trail again.
After about 3 km we arrive at the pagoda and, as we descend the final slope to the down-down area, we realise our previous sense of foreboding was warranted as we see our Hashmobile listing to one side. Upon inspection, we see that our bus is well and truly wedged in a ditch! We have many wannabe engineers in our midst - many ideas are floated as to how to dislodge the bus, none of which prove to be fruitful. After some faffing around we are able to rescue the eskies filled with our favourite San Miguel and begin the down-down.
We momentarily ignore the bus problem as Ringmaster Basil calls the circle to order. First order of business is to thank the Hares, Flying Finn and Slipper, and rank the trail. Faulty Brakes offers up 10/10 and Uncle adds on another, good humoured, 5 points for the bus debacle for a total of 15/10.
Virgins next. Finlander, Heikki, volunteers to speak first as he has somewhere some urgent business to attend to. He tells that he enjoyed the Hash however, his shorts - not so much, as they had split from top to bottom. Luckily his dignity is intact as nothing too revealing is on display. Next up we have a family from Vietnam all sporting the Scouts T-Shirts - Ms. Hong, Mr. Trung and daughter Jane. They introduce themselves stating that they liked the exercise and social aspect of the Hash. Next Ms. Thuy from Vung Tau introduces herself and finally, Bon and Vy, children of Ms. Quyen, Buddha’s partner, say hello. We welcome our new recruits with a song and they down their drinks, at which point Heikki jumps on the back of passing motorbike and disappears into the sunset.
Now to the returnees. Dr. Who and Blondie had been travelling in Europe. Ron who had been teaching in China. Buddha was out of action due to contracting Dengue Fever - we are pleased to hear he has made a full recovery. And Andy who was just lazy.
Time to charge the Sinners and first in the circle is Flying Finn who led the front runners on the wrong trail claiming he was unable to recognise the difference between pink and red and followed the wrong path - being the Hare he should have known better. Uncle enters the circle for the same sin of following the pink ribbons and charges Rita with the same sin. Uncle is nominated as the most serious sinner and has to down his beer with the sinners pipe armband and does an excellent job of contorting himself and barely misses a drop as he downs his beer.
We give a call out to our foodies who have kept us sustained with delicious and nutritious snacks and then finish the circle.
Circle over, we turn our attention to the bus. The bus owner arrived in a car with his family and, comically, armed only with a shovel has attempted to dig the bus out of the ditch - alas, to no avail. He requests that we help push the bus out of the ditch - we humour him - and many Hashers get behind the bus in a futile attempt to move the 10 tonne behemoth. The attempt ends in a cloud of exhaust fumes and finally the bus owner realises that he will have to send another bus - however, he refuses to bring the bus to the end of the road. So we have to pack up our belongings and begin the 1 km trek down the mountain to the next pagoda where the replacement bus will meet us. The sun has set and we have to find our way in the dark.
Knowing this is going to be thirsty work Boozer suggests we take the eskie with the remaining San Miguel with us and some of us take it in turns to carry the heavy weight down the road. Thanks to all those who helped with this task - you all deserved your beer.
We arrive at the pagoda and the bus hadn’t yet arrived and many of us are tired and anxious to get home after what has turned out to be a long afternoon despite our new start time. Relative newcomer, Andy, generously buys another case of beer from a nearby shop - thanks Andy. At last the replacement bus arrives and there is a collective sigh of relief. Finally we are homeward bound stopping only for Boozer to replenish our supplies of beer - thanks Boozer. Before long we arrive back tired but safe and sound at Hon Ru Ri.
We’ll meet again on Sunday, as always, at Hon Ru Ri: 1 pm for 1.30 pm start - in any weather!
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