30th June 1979

I was at a meeting at the Jaya building and met Ian C, an acoustics consultant engineer, who had come over from Hong Kong to advise on the noisy ventilation equipment and the noise transfer from the squash courts which were all under the roof immediately above the Mandarin Suite, the most luxurious suite.

He was obviously a Scot, but a Canadian as I later found out, so I mentioned that the Highland Gathering was the next day. I said that nearly everyone was taking part somehow and he asked what I was doing. I said I was going for a long distance run, a kind of paper chase. He asked if it was a Hash and said he was the previous year's Hong Kong Master and his wife was that year's Hash Mistress.

I rang him in the evening at his hotel as I had heard of a Hash versus Ladies Hash darts match and I thought he would like to come along. We went to Frank B's house at the Country Woods estate. There weren't many Brits there as it happened as they had gone to a Ceilidh at the Hilton Hotel, nearly everyone there was an Australian Hasher, but it didn't matter.

1st July 1979

I had wondered what event to take part in at the Highland Gathering and decided I wouldn't go in for the welly throwing or caber tossing, etc. and decided on the "marathon" organised by the Hash. We started on the far side of the stadium and did one circuit before leaving for a long run. There were only about twenty runners, some young Indonesians who were probably professional long distance runners, a few other good runners I recognised and a few odd bods like Des C who probably wouldn't last the course.

We ran along the stadium's main road and into the back of the Hilton Hotel's enormous garden. At the far side there was a table with glasses of beer so several of us stopped for refreshment. After about five minutes I realised that the others standing around had no intention of going any further, but the faster runners had long disappeared. I decided that I had better catch up fast.

It was about 100 degrees F at nearly midday and I soon got really hot running along busy roads. There were only a few other runners in sight, luckily one or two behind me. We ran alongside the Executive Club and along noisy jalan Sudirman to "Hot Plate Harry", a huge statue erected by the Russians at a major road junction.

At Hot Plate Harry there was another obvious point for some runners to call it a day as we had really just gone in a large circle around the stadium block. I went on towards Simpruk and passed an Indonesian and Ian C running back towards Hot Plate Harry. I didn't know why Ian was returning so soon, perhaps the Indonesian had gone round and was heading home and Ian had decided to short cut, like a true Hasher.

I got to Frank B at the second check and he put a 22222 stamp on my T-shirt (I got the 11111 at the Hilton). I had apparently reached him from the wrong direction as I had not gone round a block to reach him, hence the reason I met runners coming the other way. I had to double back for only about 100 yards before turning left into Simpruk estate proper, past stylish expensive houses. I discovered later that Ian had missed this turning.

I ran past a golf course, then down a slope and onto a filthy rubbish dump. The paper led on into a Kampung, through narrow alleys between shacks, avoiding kittens and chickens and bumping into people suddenly coming out of their doors to watch us pass. Children everywhere were cheering. I was so hot I had been alternately walking and shuffling along for some time but there were a few runners visible a long way in front but only two that I could see behind me.

We ran along a railway line on the gravel. A train passed at one point. I then had to cross a bridge which was just sleepers at intervals over the void so that I could see the filthy canal below. The bridge had occasional loose planks over the sleepers to make it easier for locals to cross rather than taking large steps between each sleeper, but the planks tended to flip up, kick sideways or bend under my weight.

The squatter shacks were right up as close to the line as they could get. There was no room to run on the earth as their cooking pots and other junk was right up to the track bed. I walked most of the train line part of the run as it was too painful to run on the large track bed stones. At a level crossing I found John H with the 33333 stamp. I stopped for a chat and a drank some of his beer.

From there it was a road run to the distant stadium and I managed to run most of that stretch. It seemed easier to run when there were no other runners to put pressure on me. I reached the stadium after about one hour and about ten kilometres. I was frantically thirsty but had to pay 500 rp for a Bintang. Neil G and Len F were there, having taken about forty-five minutes. Neil was first; it seemed a lot of the Indonesians, not being used to a Hash paper trail, had got lost after the second check.

Jakarta Highland Gathering; the Tavern team beating Scotland on 1st July 1979

Jakarta Highland Gathering
the Tavern team beating Scotland on 1st July 1979
look at the size of the anchor man

Ian C and I went back to the Mandarin Hotel where we both had a shower. He had managed to get into the Hash no. 2 tug-of-war team while I was towelling; he found himself pulling against mini-skirted Hong Kong Bank secretaries who were very attractive.

Helga, Ian's wife, had an urinary infection and was in some pain. She was a KLM air hostess so luckily she could ring the KLM doctor who they used in Jakarta and he came with some pills.

I returned to the stadium but was so tired I just sat around taking photos. Later in the evening I met up with Ian and Helga again with Bernard G and his wife Jenny. Jenny was quite dangerous as far as I was concerned. A middle aged woman who always seemed to have an overwhelming desire to feel me or kiss me. This time she stroked both my thighs before I realised what was happening.