Friday, November 21, 2008

Hashing in Bangkok (Wednesday, 10/22)

Some anonymous wankers in the circle

I found out about a hash going on in Bangkok on Wednesday, and another big one going on over the weekend, so I decided to see if I could make it. I went to the bus station and got a ticket from Chonburi (where we are staying) back to Bangkok. After that it was back to the hotel room to “pack” for the weekend. Of course my packing consisted more of craming my camera, a change of clothes, and a hotel soap inside my manpurse, or murse if you will (, and tying my running shoes on the outside. Since I already carry around most everything I need on a daily basis in my manpurse anyways, this was a perfectly reasonable packing job for what might turn out to be more like a week long trip. I headed back to the bus station, caught the bus just before it turned onto the main road, and I was on my way.

About an hour later and I am off the bus, running up to catch the skytrain ( I manage to figure out where I am going and get my ticket. I decide that I should first go to the end of the run so I can drop my bag, and then go to the starting place. After riding on the train for a while, I look at my watch and realize that I am running pretty low on time. Nana is where the run is supposed to start, but I have to go past that to get to the place where the run is supposed to end. I am doing pretty well on time, so I decide to go for it. After another 20 minutes I get to the station where the finish is supposed to be, but I can’t find the bar. I only have about twenty more minutes until the run is supposed to start, so I decide, screw it, I will just run with my bag. I get another ticket on the skytrain, hop on, and head back to the place I was twenty minutes ago. I get to Nana with only five minutes until the run is supposed to start and try to follow the directions to the meetup. Eventually I find the correct street, and after walking down it for a couple minutes I find a huge group of people gathering around for the run. I get registered and start throwing on my running shoes just as they start explaining the run. At this point they inform everyone that we can leave our bags at the restaurant and they will be waiting for us at the end of the run. Brilliant!

I finish tying my running shoes just as the pack is leaving, throw my bag on the pile, and start running. They take us through some of the back alleys of Bangkok, through the slums, around parks, through crowded streets, and everywhere else you could imagine. After about five kilometers, we end up at the beer stop. I hand in the beer ticket I was given at registration, and they hand my a nice cold Heineken. Ahhhh, the refreshment. About this time I happen to notice that they have stopped us clearly in the middle of the red-light district. We are surrounded by such fine establishments as “Cat House” and “Pretty Lady,” all of which have women lined up in front. What can I say, this is Bangkok.

After about thirty minutes of drinking beer and shooting the shit with fellow hashers, I have finished my beer so I decide it is time to start running again. I round up some other people who are also out of beer, we grab some bottles of water, and start running the second half of the trail (which I am told is about 5k). On, on.

The second half of the run takes us through much more “interesting” parts of town than the first, including running along some underground walkways in the really, really back alley parts of Bangkok. We eventually reach the finish at Noriega’s bar, and we are greeted with cold beers… tasty. Snacks, beer, music, a hash circle, some singing, much debauchery, and much conversation ensue. As the night winds down, I start asking around to see if anyone has some floor space I can sleep on for the night. After a few minutes one of the other farang ( hashers gets my attention and tells me to sit down with him and a few Thai at a nearby table. They tell me they might have a place for me to stay, but they need to get to know me first. That’s cool. We end up talking for several hours and eventually they tell me that one of them, a girl named “Gift,” actually has a guest room I can stay in. Sweet! We get back to her place, I have the foresight to set my cell phone alarm, and I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Some interpretive dancing at the on-after

Gift and one of her friends

1 comment:

nursedanna said...

I am so jealous. --//--->> ON R2DoMe