17 MAY 2020
Hares: Mr. T, Secs, Zidane
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Mr. T, Secs
A bus load of 40+ happy hashers convened at Lily’s Baradise and Restaurant (formerly Tommy’s) on Sunday to mark our second consecutive away run following relaxation of travel restrictions in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. The registration demographics showed equal numbers of male and female adult Hashers, with another 25% below the ‘Junior’ age limit (youngest 5yo) – an indication that VTH3 remains faithful to its long-established ‘family hash’ values.
We collected one more excited returnee at Seaview apartments (Mr Dat), then completed the trip to Nui Dinh via the newly constructed Ba Ria bypass. Up and up we went, until our driver just managed to squeeze the (v.large) bus into a relatively tiny off-road spot outside the familiar ‘swimming pool café’ about halfway up the mountainside, with only inches to spare!
We offloaded, and co-Hare Secs explained that we’d be walking back down the mountain a short distance before turning into the undergrowth; then down, along, over (river beds), up and down again to finish at the starting point. So “On On” we went, and soon found the going a bit tricky – with dry, fallen leaves making it v.slippery underfoot.
And then we were suddenly climbing over large rocks up the side of the mountain to an extensive pagoda, multi-shrine and lookout spot, ideal for the selfie brigade!
The final leg followed a typical ‘monk trail’ of granite squares to the main road, then down from the bus parking area to the swimming pool café – replete with eskies full of ice-cold drinks and soon joined by several kinds of fruit (including a bag of mangos gifted by Doyle) as the FRB ladies sliced and diced like the culinary experts they are! A bonus this week was Lovely Anh’s home made banana cake – absolutely delicious! And then we were treated to an impromptu performance by the Vung Tau Hash Singers with lead musician Aqua.
The skies began to darken (night, not rain!), so we grouped for the team photo by ‘Cecil B de Chom Chom’ and then the Circle was called by duty Ringmaster Uncle.
The trail was awarded maximum points ‘plus, plus, plus’: a well-deserved accolade for Hares Mr T, Secs and Zidan! Hash Virgins, visitors and returnees were welcomed, and sinners punished for misdemeanours real and imagined (as usual!). Then the Circle was closed and everyone helped load the assets back onto the bus and dump the rubbish.
We thanked our hosts, then headed off back down the mountain with the melodious strains of the ladies choir (with occasional male backing) soon joined by an impromptu ‘VTH3 international aisle-dancing team’! And so another great day drew to a close, with some hard core enthusiasts sharing several delicious pizzas at Lily’s Baradise, courtesy of genuine Italian chef Leonardo. Nothing like a good day’s Hashing to work up an appetite!
Next week’s trail will again depend on external factors so will be announced as soon as known – watch this space!
Explainer – Hashing in Vung Tau: VTH3 moved to a new Hash kennel at Lily’s Baradise (formerly Tommy’s), at 3 Le Ngoc Han, Ward 1, in February. At the same time, a breakaway hash was formed as ‘VTCH3’ in what seems to be a clumsy attempt to confuse the two identities. The usual strategy for spin-offs is to adopt an obviously different name (there are many examples around the world, including four in Ho Chi Minh City alone…), but that didn’t happen in this case, which is regrettable; we can only hope that common sense and a little imagination prevails!
Meanwhile, the real VTH3’s ongoing story continues on this site and social media, and we also communicate via our official mailing list – to which all friends of VTH3 are welcome (scroll down our home page to HOW TO JOIN US > STEP 3).
Footnote: In the current CV-19 environment, we continue to reassess our activities every week to ensure compliance with the VN government’s latest edicts and advice about the pandemic; we wish all friends and fellow residents of Vung Tau an uneventful journey through these uncertain times – please stay safe!
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