Rehashing the Hash ...

I can’t imagine that there are many individuals who head off to a social gathering hoping that they will not meet anyone new or find anyone to talk with.  Yet it seems to be the nature of many expat groups to be less than welcoming to strangers.  Responses can range from looks, to avoidance, to dismissive monosyllabic answers, when attempts are made to break the ice, with the established members of a group.  Then again, I could be lacking in social graces, since I have led such a charmed existence, where jobs, friends, women, all seemed to present with little or no effort on my part.  It could also be the transient nature of expat existence.  People come and go from our lives with such regularity that perhaps calluses are formed in places one cannot see and it takes time to size one up as worth the effort of befriending.

And so, I left the Hash last week feeling less than satisfied and completely unaware that a chain of events had been set in motion.  A chance encounter, beside a babbling brook, of two individuals feeling a bit on the fringe of an event.  Few words were exchanged as we crouched at the waters edge.  I basked in the simple pleasures of Cookie lying in the cooling waters.  Next to me a proud father stood guard as his beautiful young son frolicked in those same waters and caught Cookies attention.  As fate would have it he read my blog and was gracious enough to email a kind remark and remind me that our paths had crossed, if ever so briefly.  Emails went back and forth, and culminated in an invitation.  My wife and I became last minute additions, to an informal dinner party.  We knew one other couple, and they were quite surprised to see us there, as they had no idea we even knew the hosts.  I was perhaps just as surprised to be there, considering the way it all unfolded.

It was a perfect evening in a good location, with good food, good people, good conversation and gracious hosts.  No one could have asked for more.  We were the first to arrive and the last to leave of the farang guests, though I’m sure that Thai family and friends kept things going a bit longer.  An evening that will not soon be forgotten.

Living as we do, scattered over the Rai in sometimes distant locals, finding friends and meeting new people takes more effort than in a city.  No doubt luck plays a major part as well.  Though I have lived in Thailand for a very long time, I am still a newcomer here in the Rai and am still trying to strike a balance between being both old and new.  Somewhat reluctantly I must revisit the Hash and give more credit where credit is due.  We received good exercise on the day and explored new trails and while not enthralled with every aspect of the day, did in the end in a somewhat circuitous manner, make new friends. 

My apologies to those hashers who found my words disrespectful and irreverent.  If as I have heard, the official scribe can fall afoul of the faithful, then what hope have I to escape their wrath, however.  My only true regret, being my detractors lack of eloquence in articulating their displeasure.  Though some may not be pleased to see me, I am not dismissing a second coming, depending on the host and location of course.