For those of us that are really into Hashing, the past 3 months have been particularly terrible. We relish our twice or thrice a week get-togethers with pals to get a bit of exercise, socialize with other locals, maybe make some new friends, and of course drink some ice cold beers while being forced to sit on actual ice.
This past Saturday, the 20th of June marked the first time we had received clearance from local authorities to resume our Hash runs in Chiang Mai and what a glorious day it was.
Prior to everyone's arrival we had been extremely clear about the fact that we would not be social distancing and that if this was something that was going to cause anyone some sort of unease that it would be better if they did not attend. There was no mask requirement or restriction, although hand sanitizer was provided but not required either. Honestly, it just felt like any other Hash that we have ever done and we actually had a better than expected turnout considering how many of our members have left to return to their home countries.
Just as an extra precaution and mostly to not alarm any locals, we have been intentionally traveling to the sites that we use that are the farthest away from residential areas. Not because we are worried about virus transmission, but just so that we can avoid causing any trouble with local Thai people who might still be a bit apprehensive about having crowds around.
Some of our members were still wearing masks and this is totally fine. No one is going to be shamed for wearing a mask and this is also true for the majority of people that were NOT wearing them. I don't know if you are aware of this, but it is actually pretty difficult to exercise with a mask on.
The weather couldn't have been more cooperative as the pollution problem in Chiang Mai is gone (for this year) and this is totally normal. Of course it was hot as can be but this is simply normal seasonal patterns for the area.
We did about 7km, a good time was had by all and it was fantastic to see all of these familiar faces again. For the time being it appears as though we have the "green light" from the authorities to continue doing this 3 times a week and that is precisely our plan. The meetups will continue as they always have in the years past.
For the sake of not creating unnecessary problems with the Chiang Mai public we would like to request that those that are waiting for pickup at the Mc Donalds do some level of distancing just so that we don't attract any sort of unwanted attention. We are all wearing Hash shirts after all and there were some rumblings of a person taking photos of us all grouped up while we waited last time.
We have out connections in the police force who have given us expressed permission to do our runs, but we would rather avoid any unnecessary confrontation if at all possible. Please maintain the peace while in public... you can always act like yourselves once you get on the bus.
There are runs scheduled for Monday, Thursday, and Saturday for this, and every other week into the foreseeable future.