The path from Victor M's bar to rooms at Ubud on 24th October 1982

The path from Victor M's bar to our rooms
at Ubud on 24th October 1982

Bali, before the Interhash in Jakarta

I was picked up in London at 5.20 am on Thursday 21st October 1982 by the Cambridge Hash guys on their way to Gatwick airport. They were Warren D, Johnny B, Len B, Lew S, John D, Johanna B, Neil D, Chrissie C and Elaine. Gordon S and Penny drove us there in a minibus, picking up Ray and Jules T and some Surrey hashers on the way. We got a plane to Amsterdam, then to Jakarta, then to Bali. When we arrived in Bali we found that our luggage wasn't with us and the airport was virtually closed as it was 9.30 pm.

I happened to look through a glass door into a store room and saw our bags which had come down on an earlier flight, so I shouted for a "kunci" or key. Luckily one of the few men around had the key. We got a minibus to Legian first to drop off a few Surrey hashers, then went on to Ubud.

I hadn't had any sleep for thirty seven hours and others for longer as they didn't get any sleep before they picked me up. We started drinking in Victor M's private bar, the Beggars' Bush. He was a South East Asia rep for a wine company I believe and he had built a bar just for hashers and friends (in his wife's name). He had married a daughter of the owner of the rooms just down the hill where we stayed.

There were no lights on the path to our rooms and there was much giggling from Warren, Lew and Johnny as someone knocked over a stone statue of a god when stumbling down in the dark. The next day the poor fellah was put back up but had lost part of his nose.

On 23rd October we went down the side of the steep ravine to bathe in the rushing river early in the morning. Yassi, Victor's wife, was a very pretty small Balinese girl and looked lovely in just her wet knickers. Johnny, Len and I fooled around in the warmish water and Johnny soon took his pants off, rolling his back over some smooth rocks, in the process exposing himself to a crowd of young children, mainly girls, on the far bank on their way to school.

Later we walked up the road and a path to Victor's house. It was completely open-sided, having a raised boarded platform with large cushions on it. Views of trees, flowering shrubs and rice fields all round. He had steps up to a rooftop viewing platform where he watched butterflies and birds with binoculars. We saw a humming bird and large butterflies while we were there. He said it cost 6,000 to build.

After exploring Ubud we were hot and sweaty by 5.30 pm so we went for another bathe. Len and I and Johanna all stripped off completely and sat on the river bed while the water rushed around us. Johanna with her black skin and statuesque physique looked superb.

George asleep, being giggled at by young girls on the nearby bridge, before being covered up by a woman servant on 24th October 1982

George asleep, being giggled at by
young girls on the nearby bridge
before being covered up by a woman
servant on 24th October 1982

We went to see some Balinese dancing which sent us to sleep with its tinkling gamelin music. Then back to Victor's for more drinking. At 1 am George arrived. He had missed the flight from Gatwick and had found another flight. His train to Kings Cross was two hours late so we had to go on without him. He found his own way to Gatwick with twenty minutes to spare but Garuda wouldn't let him on the flight. When he reached Ubud he didn't have the address but the taxi driver found us because of the noise! It was Yassi's birthday and she had been dancing for us.

24th October 1982 - George was to share a room with me but came in long after I had gone to bed, then surprisingly got up at 5.30 am, had a bathe in the river and disappeared with blankets and a pillow. At 7 am I found him asleep stark naked in the garden being stared and giggled at by young girls on the suspension bridge which overlooked the garden. Later a woman servant covered him.

Some of us went to the Mengwi temple and then to the Tanah Lot temple where we waded around the rocks to see the poisonous sea snakes. We watched a fire dance in the evening, then late night drinking again. 25th October - off to Kuta Beach. I had to deliver a message to the Surrey hashers at the Loji Garden Hotel but discovered it was in Legian so John D and I walked there along the beach passing young Australian girls topless. Lunch at the Swiss Restaurant owned by a German or Dutch hasher.

We went on a Bali Hash in the evening which was quite exhausting across wet rice fields, rivers, and up steep hills. Down-downs in the dark watched by lots of locals. We got a lift back in the Toyota land cruiser belonging to a young Indonesian guy. There were three in the front and eight of us in the back on sideways-facing seats. He drove like a maniac, wrenching the wheel round on occasions to make the car jump and twist and it left the road completely at bumps and humps. The two Indonesians were passing a joint between themselves while driving, so they were high as well as drunk.

Whereas Brits just get relaxed and fall down when drunk, the Indonesians seem to get highly excited. Victor was pissed as usual, but even he was quiet and ashen-faced in the front. Eventually we came upon a temple procession but the Indonesian insisted on honking and forcing them to the side instead of waiting.

Tuesday 26th October 1982 - Lew and Johanna wanted to go to a temple celebration and had discovered that Wayeng, one of the servants, was going to one nearby, so we were all kitted out in sarongs and sashes. Wayeng walked there with an enormous pile of fruit neatly stacked up above her head. Lew had taken a fancy to Wayeng and was telling everyone he was going to come back after the Interhash and marry her. He even got as far as discussing it with her father but since he hardly spoke any English I don't know how far he got.

The temple ceremony was very slow, lots of long pauses when nothing happened, then a priest sprinkled water, then another long gap, more water sprinkled on kneeling villagers, bells tinkled occasionally, a gamelin orchestra played quietly in the background most of the time, then it all ended. I had bites on my ankles, bigger and redder than mosquito bites, probably from some sort of insect from the ground.

On 27th October 1982 some of us hired a minibus and driver and went on a tour round the east and north of the island - Kumung Kawi, the huge drum at Pejeng, Tampaksaring, Lake Batur, Kintamani, Singaraja, and Lovina Beach where we had a good swim in the sea and stayed the night. The mosquitos were terrible at night but surprisingly next morning neither Lew nor I could find any bites. Johnny had been swearing and trying to kill them all night - a hopeless task. Around Ubud and the coast they weren't bad at all.

Next day we went inland over mountains to Bedugal Lake and down to Mengwi and Tanah Lot again, then back to Ubud.

Bali photos - October 1982

Jakarta Interhash '82

At Jakarta I separated from my friends as I had arranged to visit my old office and stay with Dave L. I went to register for the Hash and found that Ron S was Hash Master that year. After registering for the Hash Dave and I went to the Hot Men bar. I saw that one girl had a plaster on her arm and Dave said the police doctors had been giving the girls jabs. I took a girl back to his house. She spoke better English than some girls I had known and asked why I had bathed in the rivers. She obviously didn't realise that the rivers in Bali were crystal clear compared with Jakarta's sewers. She also commented on the many bites on my legs.

The price had gone up in thirty months though, she wanted 30,000 rp compared to 10,000 rp I had paid in 1980. Eventually Diana settled for 23,000 rp plus a taxi fare. Perhaps she was trying to cash in on the fact that there were many expats in town.

The Interhash on 30th October 1982 was a complete "hashit" for me. The Hash had been organised into four runs, three of usual length and one short run. I was on the blue run and got onto my colour-coded bus. We reached the Merc factory but an army guy said we didn't have permission for the run. We assumed he meant he hadn't seen the letter of authority and of course the bus marshalls didn't have it with them. Arguments followed.

Only two or three runners managed to sneak away, the rest of us were kept on the bus. It was suggested that we go to the green run's start that was nearby but the army blocked the exit, then blocked the road to the green run. The bus marshalls eventually gave up and decided we had better go to the short run's start as we had already wasted time. The run was the red run and we found the paper scattered all over the place as it had started long before. I found myself hurrying rather than enjoying the run as it had got dark and I felt I was going to be late for the on-on.

At the on-on the beer was very warm as the ice trucks were late. The buffet was cold. Later, when the ice had arrived and the singing and entertainment started everything improved. Because it was such a large gathering there was a stage and microphone for special acts and for people to lead the singing. A pussy from the Semarang Hash stripped and did some contortions but kept her white knickers on. A recitation from the Bible, brought up to date HHH style, was very good.

Sunday 31st October - a series of Puncak runs, I was on the blue run. Shami P was a horn for it. It started from the soccer pitch of the tea factory. Len and George were on the same run, but there were only about thirty of us. It went down at first then uphill for a long time and I had to rest quite often, but even so no one overtook me. At the top there was a van with cold water, Sprite and beer. On down to the road and back to the soccer pitch where we were joined by the other runs. A long run and the hardest I had had at Puncak.

Games of football with a rugby ball, rugby in sacks, tug-of-war, wibbly-wobbly and so on followed. There were long queues for the barbecue as we had to wait for the food had to be cooked. I only got frankfurters when my turn came but I did get a piece of someone's liver which had a lovely sauce.

Our bus got a puncture shortly after leaving so we sat beside the road being jeered at by other hashers and watching an incredible traffic jam build up. Another bus picked us up but of course it was overloaded and I spent the whole long journey to Jakarta sitting on a cold floor and got a stiff back.

I met John C who had married a girl called Ilaf. He must have divorced his English wife and I didn't ask what happened to Erma.

On 1st November I met Warren D, Johanna B, Chrissie C, Elaine and Len B at the Mandarin. I had hardly seen them since arriving in Jakarta. We went to the Ratu Bahari restaurant for frogs' legs, fried squid, fried lobster portions, abalone and so on.

We went to Sarinahs store afterwards as Warren wanted to go there. As they got out of the taxi Warren slammed the door and the glass cracked. The taxi driver touched it and it fell out in pieces. I was going on in the taxi alone and he kept pointing to the window, twiddling his thumb and fingers as if he wanted money. I just shrugged my shoulders - it was the oldest taxi I had ever been in. One of the rear doors didn't open. At Dave's house I gave him 10,000 rp, 3,500 for the meter and another 6,500. He wanted 3,000 more but I told him the taxi was very old and walked off.

I missed the Monday evening run as I went out to dinner with Ian R and Christine who had a baby boy called Owen. Ian ran the office where I had worked until 1980. Most of the Cambridge hashers went back to England about now but I had decided to stay on a few days.

I had a quiet day on Tuesday 2nd November, going to the George and Dragon for a few beers and cottage pie where I inevitably met some hashers. A lazy afternoon then out with David to the Tavern, then the K Bar where I met a girl called Ida (not the same Ida I had met in 1980). 15,000 rp was agreed - much more reasonable than the price a few days earlier. David left me and I later took her home. She was the first girl I have known to knash her teeth while asleep. It was a horrible noise and done with a lot of power.

Another quiet day on Wednesday at Sarinahs, lunch at the Jaya Pub and out with David again in the afternoon to watch american football on the video. David drank too many vodka and oranges and got a bit aggressive, arguing with two other expats. He also took the cowboy and western hat off his favourite bargirl and tried to leave with it and his glass. I had to help him pay the bill, then someone got hold of David which made him wild and his shirt got torn. I had to get hold of the other bloke's wrist and try to get him to release David. At the door David threw the hat away but I had to get him to put down the glass, which he eventually did outside in a flowerpot.

I told his driver to drive us home, but then David decided to go on somewhere else. At 2.30 am I woke up to hear banging as he was locked out, had a shirt torn more than before and lost his wallet and credit cards. He had had food poisoning a day before, then drunk heavily on a dodgy stomach.

Thursday 4th November - George and Dragon and the Tavern again later. I had a cold so went home at a reasonable time.

I had lunch with David L and my old secretaries on 5th November. I think it had started as a joke by David that I should have lunch with Bintang, but she didn't want to come on her own so we ended up with Diana, Ita and two others new to me. David started on bloody marys even though he was on pills for his stomach upset. It was otherwise quite light-hearted and I think they got a bit emotional. Diana said she thought I would come back to work with them.

I went to the airport in the afternoon for my flight back to England with memories revived.