Monday, February 20, 2006


Before I begin, let me make an important statement. The story that I’m about to tell is true. 100% true.

That said...I spent the weekend in the Mediterranean coastal town of Javea (pictured above); located between the Spanish cities of Valencia and Alicante. I was there because the Madrid Hash House Harriers held an “Away Hash” that was attended by nearly one hundred Hashers; some of whom flew in from Germany, Switzerland and England.

Our Saturday run took place near a large orange grove in the middle of nowhere. Before the run began, we gathered ‘round for a briefing and were informed that we would—at one point—be passing through the scenic grounds of the Fontilles Leper Colony.

“Ha ha,” I thought to myself. “Nice try, but I’m not buying it.”

And so...the run began. Forty-five minutes into it, we passed through an old stone gate and into a large, walled complex of columned buildings, intricate ceramic works and wide lawns. We ran down a tiled walkway and around a corner. And as we rounded the corner, who do you think was there to greet us?

A smiling old man in a wheelchair. Waving to us with his right hand. Which, I should mention, was missing all of its fingers.


At 4:28 AM, Blogger Nyana said...

OK, I've been looking at that picture for too long I have to compose a message here. (shakes up) Well Sal, it's -12 where I am in Canada. I guess there are two things to say:
a) thanks for the pic, it really brightened my evening;
b) any spare beds in your house & for how long?
Wow, what a nice trip that was..!

At 11:20 AM, Blogger christina said...

I guess next time you'll believe them when they tell you where you're going! :-) First the haggis-in-a-can, then the wild boars, after that a leper colony. What's next?

Unfortunately, after reading your post I was reminded of that awful "What did the prostitute say to the leper?" joke.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger euro-trac said...

OK Christina, rather than me trying to guess..(and I'm not sure I like what I'm guessing!?)
Please tell me the answer! :-)
(I probably won't like the answer either!?)

At 5:53 PM, Blogger christina said...

I just realized I wrote it down wrong! It's "what did the leper say to the prostitute?"

And the answer is..."Keep the tip!"

I know. Eeeeew.

But Sal started it.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Wow, you have all the fun ... but Sal, aren't you just a teeny weeny bit suspicious about the hash-routes you're doing?

There seems to be a 'personal risk' element being woven into the whole hashing thing.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Alison said...

We all know 'personal risk' just adds to the excitement don't we?

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seldom run, unless something bigger (or very scary)than me is chasing me.
-- DJG

At 6:05 PM, Blogger euro-trac said...

Oh Dear! I thought I wouldn't like the answer! It's my own fault, I knew it was risky when I asked! :-)

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Nyana: I wish I could say that it's a photo of my town, but it's not. On the bright side, however, it's only a five hour drive away. Besides...I'm sure that many Javea residents stare at photos of Canada and wish they could go skiing. Well, I'm sure that one or two of them do.

Christina: What's next? Hashing in the mouth of a live volcano, of course. Barefoot.

Euro-Trac: I suspect that you knew the punchline all along.

[Editors Note: I would like to extend my most heartfelt apologies to the many lepers who read this blog each day. I know who you are, because that little Site Meter box at the bottom of the page knows all and tells all. Lest there be any's all Christina's fault. Send your used drinking cups to her house...not mine.]

Lady Di: First, it's good to have you back. Now, on to your comment. I must say that I've been disappointed by the Hash's reckless attitude toward the well-being of its members. Could it have something to do with that life insurance policy that they made me sign during my first day?

And now for a moment of congratulations to you...the VTB Regular Irregulars. During the Javea Hash last weekend, a guy named "Chueca Boy" (i.e., the MHHH's web goat) pulled me aside and informed me that the MHHH website received more hits from this VTB last week than from any other source...except Google. Good job, guys!

At 6:16 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hey Alison! Happy 24th birthday! Is it really true that you cut Lady Di's hair at your birthday party?

DJ Jazzy G: My friend Fernie-baby (from Ferblog...see sidebar) gave me a similar lecture when I began running last year. In the case of Hashing, however, we run not because we are chased...but because we are chasing. Chasing beer, that is. Seems as good a reason as any, don't you think. Certainly better than that "Trying to prevent a heart attack" nonsense.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger ironporer said...

I suppose that I must agree with the previous comments about where your 'hashs' are scheduled...wild boars, lepers and the like. Though Xabia sounds nice this time of year.

In my times in Spain, 'hash' always had a different meaning- let's just say your version is healthier...and more legal.

Oh- to be 20 something in Spain and free read:STUPID) again!!

At 8:28 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

I wasn't gone, I was just waiting for you to post ... silly billy and then Alison made me drink, time passed ... you know how it is.

2 inches (at least) of my hair is still over at Alison's place (if she tries denying it was cut there) ... they did good, I was lucky.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Iron Man: You'll be delighted to know that the smell of hash (your hash, that is) is still a common smell on the streets of Madrid. The chicos are not shy about lighting-up public. My Hash may be healthier, but I still think that yours is safer.

Lady Di: I'm envisioning a Billy Idol-esque look. Do you own a silver-studded black leather jacket? We're all waiting for Alison to post some photos on her CheeseWeb blog. She said she would do so before 2330 GMT.

Sal (still with all his parts attached)

At 12:46 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Lordy lordy, it's incredible that your nose didn't break your computer screen Pinnochio Sal!

No photos were taken and 2 inches still leaves me with long hair ...

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Alison said...

Thanks for the b-day wishes. I actually didn't do as much of the cutting as the American but it was about two inches worth as Di said. Unfortunately the photos were confiscated by the CIA the next morning... something involving the donkey in the backyard, tinfoil and Di screaming "pass the apple Genever!" The neighbours won't look me in the eye today.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Hah! ... may I remind you, Alison (in my best grown-up tones) that I went out and got the breakfast croissants and the birthday cake ... my goodness, how a girl's reputation can be besmirched if she doesn't pay attention. ;)

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Alison said...

It's my party and I'll lie if I want to...? :)

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Angie said...

I'm late for the party on this one...

To Ironporer, re: "In my times in Spain, 'hash' always had a different meaning- let's just say your version is healthier...and more legal."

Times haven't changed that much! ;) (But I never inhaled!)

Sal, a belated "awwww" for your little fairy princess with fangs!

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Sara said...

I used to be one of those drinkers with a running habit back when I lived in Tunisia, but for some reason, haven't bothered to check out any of the numerous northern Cali ones. Your account made me wistfully want to join up again... but the Madrid Hash!

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hey Sara.

Probably a smart move. I think Hashing would lose a lot of its allure if done in your native country. One of the cool things about Hashing in a foreign land is that its a cultural oasis for expats. But to do it in the US as an American...I suspect it would feel more like a frat party.

BTW...I am putting a link to your blog on my sidebar. Every time I visit yours, I get hungry.


At 8:27 AM, Blogger Sara said...

Actually, I'm more Tunisian than American given that I'm half-half but lived 19 years in Tunisia to 11 in the U.S.... But thanks for the lovely tagline - always glad to inspire hunger (and then feed) others :)


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