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I thought this an interesting photo when I arrived to the end of the race. God alone knows what the mannequin stands for - although I think I may have heard that the mannequin is dressed with tokens of Hash races past. Isn't she lovely?
The end of the race was, well how should I put it, bizarre?
The Hash House Harriers are truly a drinking club and the end activities are centered around drinking beer - as much as possible. They pass out run violations for which the violatee has to stand in the center of a chalk drawn body part I shan't mention here and listen to his/her violations, then listen to a raunchy pub style drinking song shouted at them off-key, and drink a "beverage of his/her choice in the vessel of his/her choice" on cue.
But that wasn't the only after race activity. We also got to witness two people get new names. You see, after 5 races you get a new name under which you can drink copious amounts of beer and be totally anonymous - uh huh.
At the start of the race we met people with such names as - and some are unmentionable - Saigon Sally - for a guy (who I thought was a really nice guy) who likes Asian women and spent time in Vietnam, then there was an Abercrombies _itch - don't remember why he's got that name but can guess (also another really nice guy) - White Shoes - who is my upstairs neighbor - Thong Way - for a woman who only wears thong underwear - Cuban Beef - for a Cuban guy...
The naming ceremony consists of the victim standing in the center of the group and undergoing questioning about their personal life, after which they are asked to leave with a few beverages of their choice and come back only when called. When the person to be named leaves, the group goes around and throws out two or three lined words related to information disclosed during the questioning.
Of course they brought Diaz Martin and I up for being newcomers and they gave us three token questions that they give all the "virgins" or "newbys." The questions being, "What is your name? Who brought you? And why are you here?" The answer to the last question is supposed to have a pre-programmed answer which is "to drink beer" of course.
So there were a lot of pub style raunchy songs being thrown about, a naming session or two, violations, eating of snacks, and let's not forget, God forbid we should - drinking of beer.
Being involved in a Hash House Harriers race was like being a part of some kind of fraternity - or spiritual community with out the spiritual part.
After the race everyone gets together at what they call an "On After" which is essentially picking a place that has food and alcohol and going to eat and drink there.
I decided I was going for the whole Hash House Harrier shabang experience so we came home and showered after the race and headed over to a place called Lupi's in Isla Verde which is where everyone was meeting. I had a good time there but I spent a good deal of that time in conversation with a pilot from American Airlines and his co-pilot who had nothing to do with the Hash House Harriers (HHH). Basically I wanted to take their table since they were paying to leave and pilot Steve from Chicago and I started up a conversation. I grilled him on plane crashes and conspiracy theories first and we ended up talking spirituality by the end - much to the dismay of the co-pilot who was over it and ready to go. And much to the dismay of the HHH I later found out. Apparently it wasn't cool for us to be fraternizing with non-Hash members. (This coming from Diaz Martin who said he witnessed what he thought was HHH members discussing my infraction).
Can I just say - WHATEVER FREAKS!
No. Like I said, that was heresay. Don't know if they really cared. But if they did, WHATEVER FREAKS!
Diaz Martin has made it pretty clear that he won't be doing another Hash House Harrier race because of the fraternity element. It's not for him. And as for me, I don't know, probably not, especially if it's a no-no to talk to strangers. I've been a part of a community with social control issues and it's not for me anymore. I really like the adventure part of the group to be sure, but to be honest I didn't feel overly welcomed, especially by my alleged critics.
There's no doubt that there are some very nice and interesting people in the Puerto Rico Hash House Harriers group. And if you are a single woman in Puerto Rico, there are definitely some men to be had if you can stomach the drinking, raunchy jokes, dry humor, and testoterone pumping through the group and its rituals. It is also a good way to meet Americans if you are in a foreign culture. And although I believe the group was originally started by a Singaporean, I get the feeling Americans with jobs that force them to travel for a living often join HHH to meet other Americans - or to meet other people just like them who like to drink beer, sing r
I'm in bed watching The Simpsons and sipping on ice water. I can't stop
coughing and its 5 am. I really want to go to sleep. Ate today for the
first time in 5 days (other than popsicles, water, & soup) at a mexican
restaurant with Mei & Rob. I got a cheese enchilada w/ beans & rice. It
was actually perfect and it felt so nice to have food in my tummy. When
we got back we watched "An American Haunting" which was totally not what
I expected but was interesting nonetheless.
I didn't have a chance to update about yesterday since it was a miserable hellish day, so I wanted to make sure & let everyone know what happened. I didn't sleep well at all on sat night and kept waking up having problems breathing and panicking because it hurt to swallow. When I finally woke up I didn't feel good at all. I barely made it out of bed to take my medication because my head was throbbing and I felt nauseous. I stayed in bed almost all day and tried to sleep. At one point I slept for about an hour and it felt great. My temperature was gone but I still had chills and couldn't stay comfortable. I decided to call John to let him know I was nauseous and needed to know what to do if I threw up again. He told me to take my antibiotic so I did. I went right back to bed for fear of throwing up but felt sick to my stomach. I managed to keep it down for awhile and take a nap.
When I woke up I called John again. I was having problems breathing and the mucous was getting so thick it wouldn't come out. I was in extreme pain and really scared. He told me to call 911 because I couldn't even stand up but I told him to come here instead. As soon as he got here he packed my bag for the hospital and helped me to the bathroom because I needed to clear my throat. As soon as I got in there I started coughing hard, coughed up blood, then started dry heaving. A few minutes later I started throwing up just blood. He helped me out to the car and we raced to the hospital.
As soon as we got there they got me right into an ER room and checked my blood pressure & pulse. It was 144/96 and p=120. Totally abnormal for me by the way. The doctor came into see me and said it could be mono. I didn't think it was but I had to do tests still. They hooked me to an IV and pumped me full of 3 liters of saline (that's A LOT), 2.5 bags of pain meds, 1 of antibiotics, and a shot of steroids for the swelling. My throat was almost completely closed and I was so dehydrated I couldn't function. After a few hours of waiting for all the fluids to enter my bod I was able to have a smoothie. It was the first thing that even resembled a meal that I had eaten & held down in days. I left the ER around 9:30 last night once they gave me take home steroids/nausea meds and I was able to walk again. I came home and showered and made soup. Last night my bed felt so soft and amazing. After going through all that, I can't even tell you how happy I was to be alive. So so scary!
~? Alesha via ??
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