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The Hash

In Geek Alert on September 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

A warning ahead of time, this posting is not about the recreational herb/drug. If that is what you are looking for, please return to your search engine/pharmacist/dealer/greenhouse.
Geek alert: This article deals with the movement that describes itself as a drinking club with a running problem. Now why would that be interesting for you?
The first time I heard about the hash,I was in Nigeria and heard about it from a local colleague and associated it with the herb, but was educated that it is in fact a group activity, where a bunch of people gather with drinks and then follow a previously set trail around a particular area to arrive possibly at the starting point or other destination for more drinks.
At that point, I felt reminded of my childhood in Germany where we used to play a game called “Schnitzeljagd”, which was very similar, but without the drinks at the time. Back then it was fun, but I had trouble transferring the concept into adulthood.
In Nigeria, the education remained academic, and I left before I could see the event in real life.
The first actual time I went on a hash was when I got to Angola, and only then I realized the appeal. In a rather difficult location you get to meet a lot of people outside work (hint, talking shop is punishable by beer shower) from different backgrounds, you get drinks, and because you are walking around (or running around, as is the original concept) in a sufficiently large number to discourage opportunistic assault and robbery, while behaving silly enough to break the ice with the locals whose neighbourhoods you are passing through. So you get to see something of your assigned location, which might not be from the guidebook, but it is certainly the real thing. And it comes with exercise.
Now I have only seen/heard about this in action in West Africa, but I thought I should at least share it.
And since starting to hash in Angola on a more or less regular basis, I have been initiated to the higher mysteries, such as wearing a blond wig, a Merlin hat with German colours, several rounds of punishment for wearing inappropriate gear, haring (as in gather ahead to set out a trail complete with false trails, beer stops, song stops, view points and arrows) and finally on the day before leaving Angola for good, receiving my hash handle (i.e. the name I shall henceforth be known amongst the hashers) Hare today, gone tomorrow. Now if that is not a fitting name 🙂 And following fellow hashers, this limited perception of hash geography is actually due to my ignorance, so if you would like to learn more or find a bunch of hashers, check out the global website

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