Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chiang Mai Post Lube (Monday, 10/27)

The view at the rest stop on the way up to Chiang Mai
No job is too big for the ever-mighty pickup trucks of Thailand

Monday starts off with a three hour car ride up to Chiang Mai. After driving around for a while trying to figure out where we are, we eventually find the hotel that we are supposedly staying at. After asking the price, Alcoholiday and I (we decided to split a room to save money) decide that it is way too expensive and find out there is another cheap guest house down the road that some other hashers are staying at. It had started raining when we got to the hotel, but the rain had mostly stopped. The guy with the truck, “Lord Lucan,” tells us that it is only two minutes down the road, and to just hop in the back, so we do. About two minutes later it starts pouring rain. Great. About ten minutes later, we actually make it to where we are going… cold and soaking wet. We get a room and start changing into clothes that smell even worse than the ones we are currently wearing. After using a pocket knife and some string to tie the sole of my shoe back on, we head out the door to go meet up for the run.

After registering, one of the girls from the bar asks me if I wanted a beer. Sure, but I don’t have any money. I ask if beer at this place was included in registration, I am told that it is, so I order a good import. A few minutes later and someone comments on how expensive the beer is at this place. I turn to the guy who originally told me the beer was free, and he tells me that in fact it is not free. Fuck. Now I am drinking a $5 beer and have no money to pay for it. I manage to get someone to spot me the money, the buses (which are actually covered pickup trucks with benches) gets there, and we all pile in. After getting lost several times and going off-road, we finally get to the designated place.

The run starts off easy enough, running along the road, but that only last about fifty feet. We quickly veer off the road and start running through the bushes and briers. After that, the trail takes us through a creek and up a steep mud bank. We start traversing the mud bank through a bamboo forest, trying not to impale ourselves on the natural pongee sticks sticking up everywhere. The trail dumps us back into the sludge-filled creek, where we start walking upstream, knee-deep in industrial runoff. Whoever set this trail was a sadistic bastard. We finally get out of the creek, only to be walking through another marshland full of briers. Fucking-A. While in the marsh, I almost step on a huge freaking snake. Back in the states, I generally like snakes, but here in SE Asia, there are many more venomous snakes and I don’t know what any of them look like.

We eventually make it to the beer-stop, legs all cut up, and feet covered in industrial sludge. Five minutes later and it’s time to keep going. Yippee. The second half of the run takes us through progressively deeper mud ravines… something that is quite difficult after heavy rains, all the while trying not to spill your beer. We eventually make it back well after dark, I am greeted with a cold beer and some hot food, and life is good. After the hash circle (which includes a pig head frozen in a block of ice), we head back to the hotel and wash out our shoes. The water coming out of my shoes looks like hot chocolate, but without a pleasant aroma. Alcoholiday decides he is going out again, but I am tired, sore, and broke, so I call it a night. Again, no pictures except for the ride up to Chiang Mai… I know, I know, but my camera is too expensive to get messed up by a bunch of drunken idiots… I mean very intelligent hashers.

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