The first time I heard about the hash, I didn’t believe it really existed. A few of my friends had seen an ad for a “community nature jog,” in their section of Pittsburgh. It sounded like a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon, so they went along. The next thing they knew, they were attempting to follow a mysterious trail of flour down a mountain to a beer stop, through a popular city neighborhood to a bar, through a cemetery to a beer stop, and back up another hill to finish by watching people sing dirty songs and dump beer on their heads.
I thought they were making it up. The next week another friend and I decided to try it out. We checked the Pittsburgh Hash website and found the starting location, a popular South Side bar, and went along. It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had.
The hash is a game that is perfect for exploring. The “Hare” sets the trail using chalk or flour. The hashers have to try to follow the trail. If you see three x’s in a row, you know you’re on the the trail. If you come to an x in a circle, you’re on the trail, but it could split off in any direction. The hashers have to split up and search in all directions until someone finds three x’s in row. They then shout “on-on” so the others know to follow. Players can walk or run the trail. Usually there are a few beer stops thrown in as well. Otherwise walkers can just carry beer. Runners are free to try to carry a beer without spilling if they’re really in need.
At the end of the hash there is usually a party. Nefarious songs are sang, and “down-downs” are done, where you take turns insulting one another and the hare for the crappy trail and the stupid things you did on it. Really, explaining all this does it no justice, you just need to come come along and check it out.
One of the best aspects of the hash is that you can find them in nearly any city in the world. Busan is no exception. Hashes are run every two weeks or so, and information can be found on the busan meetup website as well as on Koreabridge. The last one I attended took me up a mountain and through a lot of really interesting neighborhoods that I never would have seen otherwise. Another great part is that you get off the beaten path and have the opportunity to really explore some normally hidden parts of the city while meeting all kinds of really interesting people. It’s amazing how quickly you can make friends while semi drunkenly trying to follow confusing trails through the city and mountains.
The next hash is scheduled for Children’s Day and is set to meet at Busan Museum of Modern Art Metro Stop (green line, 1 stop past Centum City) exit #1 at 2:00PM. People usually pitch in 5,000 won for beer and snacks. Definitely check it out.