I believe I first discovered the Hash House Harriers in college when I was looking up additional lyrics to band songs. It seemed like a fun, interesting, funny, and rude hobby, but I never actually got out into LA to do it. Every hash seemed dead and I didn’t want to drive to find out the truth. Then I moved to New Mexico and had a lot more time, but the closest option was El Paso which just felt so far because it was across the state line.
This Sunday, I finally kicked myself out of my computer chair and joined up with the China Hash for a run from Xinbeitou. I was thrilled because it has been crazy cold recently (well, below 60ºF) and I planned to hit the hot springs afterward. Even though I was late, the group hadn’t set off, so I met a few people and we got a taxi, following flour on the road and thoroughly confusing the driver. Once we arrived, there was more chatting where I met a nice Dutch tourist who I mistakenly called German later (it’s okay, we bonded over how adorable Afrikaans is), followed by a brief orientation and then an immediate and abrupt start.
The course began by a small park with a creek on the edges of Beitou, and proceeded immediately into the brush of Yangmingshan. It would be hard to describe the enjoyment I took in running through mud beside tiny vegetable fields, worming through bamboo groves, and slipping down a cliff, so I won’t. The rain only made it better, even though I couldn’t see well. By the end, I was muddy and wet, but at least I wasn’t cold! I hadn’t brought enough clothes to change into, because, even though I knew it was in Yangmingshan, I had gotten to used to the Taiwanese idea that hiking requires pavement. The upshot of all this is I was really looking forward to the Beitou hot springs by the end of the Down Down, but I was sorely disappointed. I really need to tattoo their hours on my arm or something, because I never seem to get it right.
It was a lot of fun, and next week will be some place I’ve never been, and my roommate is interested, so I’m looking forward to it! The week after, my birthday, is in Yingge, so that will be both convenient and a nice occasion. On on!