JAKARTA HASH HOUSE HARRIERS
Dave R and me on 4th February 1980. Don't ask!
Typical Hash runs
I used to leave the office at 4 pm, change into running kit and drive to wherever the Hash was to take place. It was usually around the outskirts of Jakarta but sometimes further out off one of the main roads and sometimes near Bogor.
It took about thirty to forty minutes to reach the start and was often just getting gloomy, sometimes raining.
After signing in and paying we would be off. The run followed a paper trail of torn up telex strips. A good run would have gaps in the trail so that you had to go off in every direction to find the continuation. The idea was to have a group run, not a race, and the pauses would allow slower runners (the pack) to catch up. If you were a leading runner but went off in the wrong direction to find paper, you would hear someone calling "On-On" from somewhere and then have to run hard back through the pack to get ahead again.
A run lasted about forty-five minutes usually. Anything less than that, or just an easy circuit without any checkpoints, or a run where everyone got lost, or a run where everyone got stuck at a deep river, or ran along a busy road, or an extremely long run and so on was considered a "hashit" with a certain "down-down" for the hares that laid the run.
It got dark about 5.30 pm most of the year, so if you lost touch with the pack you might find yourself in deep, dark, forest on flat terrain not knowing which way to go. Once near Bogor we had been going for about twenty minutes when the trail went cold. I was with a small group of about fifteen that found the paper, but we had lost touch with the others. We ran on and on, miles away beyond other villages, all in the dark, but the paper was good from then on luckily. We were out for nearly two and a half hours. When we returned the others had long been drinking and singing but we felt proud that we were the only ones to run the course.
After returning to the starting point we gathered round a stack of beer crates and a hurricane lamp and drank beer and sang lewd songs. Usually it was near a kampung (village) so there would be villagers and children watching us from the shadows, some women with bare breasts feeding an infant.
Any minor misdemeanour, birthday, 50th run or other minor matter was rewarded with a "down-down" (a full glass of fizzy local Anker beer drunk as quickly as possible with glass then upturned over one's head, preferably empty). Getting lost and having to come back on a local man's motorbike from some other village was a certain "down-down".
Once or twice a year we went away for a weekend to Samudra beach and to Puncak when the Hashes were around lunchtime with a lazy afternoon and barbecue to follow. There were sometimes other hashes at weekends if a hasher had a special reason to lay one near his bungalow outside Jakarta such as Ciawi near Puncak.
Puncak - 28th January 1979
A very sunny day and tiring running uphill. Neil G and I got ahead at one point and lost the trail in impenetrable jungle. We had to take a short cut through it. There were bungalows in the way later but we decided to run through private property rather than find a long way round. We climbed over a fence into one garden and saw a swimming pool. Without even slowing down we ran into it. When I surfaced I looked back and saw a large brown cloud of mud in the otherwise blue water. We got out immediately and ran on, very refreshed.
A pleasant picnic afterwards, lots of girls including Erna and Elly.
Samudra Beach - 24th March 1979
Lots of people went down by car but I went with about ten others in a thirty-three seater bus which would be used to ferry people from the beach to the hash. Samudra was beyond Bogor on the Sukabumi road, and it took about three hours. Beyond Bogor we came upon a crashed car and Julie H recognised it as the car of one of the co-hares. It had a smashed windscreen, bonnet and front wheel but no-one was there.
We were put into a complex of modern bungalows at Pelabuan Ratu near the beach around a pool, each having air-conditioning and a fridge, much more advanced than at Carita. We had lunch, then a swim in the sea which had a nice shallow sloping beach under the water.
At 2.30 pm we left for the Hash a bit further along the coast at Samudra. It went inland and uphill through dense undergrowth along a narrow track, so when we found ourselves on a false trail, I couldn't get past the slow runners easily to get back down to the right one. Eventually we got down to the beach and ran along it which was very tiring running through soft sand. After a milder "On-On" than usual, (too many newcomers and visitors) we returned to our bungalows for a swim and general messing around building human pyramids and so on.
At 7 pm we went to the hares' house for a barbecue. Ron S asked me if the spare bed in my room was available as a young lady wanted it because of a cock-up with bookings at the hotel. I was mad because I had only just offered it to one of Martin's colleagues, Dave, who had come down without booking. I was even madder when he said it was Martha, a very pretty girl who was a Key Club regular.
I said that James A had a spare bed and he was volunteered, lucky devil. We assured Martha that he was quite safe! Anyway, she had her young daughter with her so funny business might have been a bit difficult, but it would have been nice to have her company. Ron S paid her a lot of attention the next day teaching her daughter to swim and I was envious, but also not sure whether I would want to get involved with a girl who had a child.
Next day I went along the beach to a fish market, then along to the hash beach for swimming with those who had stayed near there. Someone discovered that there was shallow water up to one's chest beyond a deeper area and just inside the breakers. It was about a hundred yards from the beach. I noticed a line on the water beyond the breakers pointing at me and looked up to see if it was a reflection of the sun, but it wasn't really visible through the heat haze. It also occurred to me that it might be the trail of a big fish but I couldn't see one.
A bit later on I was standing facing the shore just inside the breakers when Andrew L who was nearer the beach but facing the breakers said "Did you see that fish - about six foot long?" which had been just behind me. I said I hadn't but he said he wasn't going to hang about and walked backwards. Only about three of us had heard his comment and we continued swimming.
Later we discussed it and Andrew said he didn't see its head or tail, just six feet of its dark grey body about ten yards behind me in the crest of a breaker. I realised that the line on the water I had seen must have been the greasy line that big fish leave, such as sharks. Other big fish such as marlin and tuna don't come in close, the only big fish that does is a shark. However, they rarely come inside the breakers. If Andrew had said "shark" instead of "fish" I think I would have left the sea too.
We went along to the fish market again later and saw several blue and hammerhead sharks there. There were tuna fish built like miniature nuclear submarines, really hard and dark with sharp ridge projections along their backs. Maggots were everywhere over the fresh fish and they crawled between my toes if I stood still. The floor was covered in red liquid which splashed all over my sandals.
Ciawi (near Puncak) - 15th July 1979
I had been asked by Dhany if I would take her and her friends - Enna, Nancy and Lillie. Enna was Andrew S's secretary and had moved into a house with Dhany. Two more girls turned up - Tati and Dini, so I had quite a car load of young girls, all in short shorts. Tati, the smallest girl, was squashed up next to me near the gear stick and I couldn't help touching her thigh when I changed gear. At the Hash site Ron S had two friends on holiday from Oman, so the spare girls were welcome.
Ciawi and Puncak are in the hills, so of course the Hash started uphill. A greasy, slithering sort of run. It rained heavily at the start of the drinking afterwards, then stopped and the rest of the time it was pleasant sunshine.
Lali was there in a bikini, she was still beautiful up top but putting on a lot of weight around the hips as Indian girls often did. I gave her a cuddle and she was like a honeypot for Ron S, Andy H and others. The Indonesian girls were slightly put out by her talkative nature and sexuality. Elly, a small but normally vivacious girl, was very quiet, looking a bit lost. She seemed to be having a hard time with Ross S her Australian boyfriend who didn't pay her much attention. We heard of fantastic rows they had at home when Elly was eventually forced to pick up his TV and hurl it to the ground.
Samudra Beach - 17th to 19th August 1979
I had arranged to take Lali and her friend by car as the bus was going down on Thursday night. Later Lali said Rosita was having boyfriend problems and wouldn't be coming, so I drove down with Lali. I knew that we hadn't been booked into the same resort at Pelabuan Ratu but into single rooms (I had only booked one room before Lali had asked to come). It was tiny and bare in an old bungalow the other side of the road from the restaurant and beach. It didn't appeal to Lali at all, and anyway, being the upright Indian girl she was, I wasn't really surprised that she didn't want to sleep with me after all.
Ron S turned up in a rented combi van with a group of girls including Enna, Lillie and Nancy, Heng his girlfriend and a Swedish girl who hadn't booked anywhere to stay. In the end, most of the people who hadn't booked a room seemed to spend the warm nights in Ross S's bungalow where we spent the evening or in the restaurant chairs.
I had been locked out when I got to the bungalow and had to wake Jim P, his wife and child to get in. Later as I was going to bed more people were locked out. I went out in my underpants to let them in and found the Swedish girl with Folke E who was married but had come without his wife. They wanted Ron S's room which was a double. I let them in and assumed they would sleep together but next morning I found Folke sleeping in his car. God knows where Ron and his girl slept. I expect they were up all night.
Lali had apparently spent the night in Ross S's bungalow between Andy H and Ross S in a double bed. The stench next to two heavy drinkers must have been unbearable but no doubt they were incapable of doing anything to her, and knowing her, she wouldn't have let them.
The Hash on Saturday was much the same as last time, up through coarse undergrowth then down to the beach and along the sand.
The fish restaurant in the evening had the best seafood I had ever had, huge prawns about a quarter the size of lobsters, freshly cooked. There was a disco afterwards. Lali spent a lot of time with Mike R and he took her back to Jakarta the next day. She seemed to be a noisy girl who made friends easily but never wanted to go very far with them.
We spent a lot of time on the beach on Sunday.
Jim P on the Puncak run on 24th February 1980
Puncak - 24th February 1980
I took Rita up to the Puncak Hash. She was one of the few girls who came regularly to the Tavern who wasn't anybody's wife or regular girlfriend. She was a quiet girl, quite sexy but a bit moody. No one seemed to be interested in a long term relationship with her.
The run was near Puncak at Bert Van V's place. He was a long-time Dutchman who had survived the break-away from The Netherlands and the Russian era. A good run on a sunny day. I took my mini-camera on the run.
The run started uphill and soon there was an obvious false trail. Jim P and I and a few others went off another way and were soon on paper miles ahead of anyone else. He said he had wanted to get ahead so that he could have a piss, so I took his photo. He was a marathon runner and had run from Jakarta to Bogor before the Hash, about 50 km.
Gerry Scott's girl and Rita after the Puncak run
on 24th February 1980
Ron S came up with Heng, Lillie, Shelly and Lali. Gerry S came with a girl who knew Rita, they ran together and spent the time afterwards near the pool.
Rita and I both wanted to freshen up by having a mandi in the wash-house so we stripped off and doused each other with cool water. Some Indonesian girls, especially like Rita, were totally unconcerned about nudity. She seemed to like me, smiled, but seemed loath to express herself more openly. I had slept with her but she didn't show much enthusiasm, she just seemed to accept it without fuss.
After a long day at Puncak I drove Rita and another Tavern girl home. I went to the Tavern in the evening to meet Dave L and other guys who had returned from a rugby match in Singapore. Various girls were there that night, including Rita and one who didn't seem to be with anybody. Don L was talking to her and said something that involved me. She moved close to me and patted my backside. Dave said she fancied me.
Later when she was paying her own bill Dave said something needed to be done about the girl as she couldn't just be allowed to leave on her own and that I should do something, as she fancied me. I was paying my bill when she was close to the door and Dave and Don were still joking about the situation so I said "Hey, Ida, don't go yet". I went over to her and said something about her coming home with me and put my arm around her. Dave said several times "I don't believe it, I don't believe it".
I had been reluctant to do anything before because Rita had been near the cash desk for some time and I had been with her nearly all day, but at the crucial time she just happened to go out into the lobby or into the smaller bar. I caught sight of Olivia with some other girl looking at me and talking volubly. She had said to Andrew S that she didn't think I liked Indonesian girls.
Little Ida was fantastic. She came from Banka in Sumatra. She showed me some photos of her home which had good inlaid furniture so she probably came from a well-off family. Definitely not the normal bar-girl type. Just my luck to meet a girl like that days before I was due to leave Jakarta. I had a guilt complex about Rita, though. On second thoughts, neither of us regarded each other as in a relationship so perhaps she wasn't too upset. She seemed to have a quiet fatalistic view of life anyway.