This are really becoming normal again, this past Sunday I found a running group! Not a normal running group though, but the Nagoya Hash House Harriers.Hashers are a world wide group of people who run then drink beer. Now, this is not to different from my friends back in Chicago, who would run and then drink beer, even race then enjoy a beer. But where my Chicago group had a known route, this group puts hash marks on the ground and everyone runs in different directions trying to figure out which way is the shortest path to the beer.This guy in orange pants is the Nagoya HHH leader, the guy who makes the route. Here he is explaining how hashing works, but doing so in Japanese and to my understanding I was about to get lost. An issue made even worst because there are no street signs that I could not read anyways and did not have cell phone either. There were two routs, one was 5km and the other 14km. I decided to give the 14km route a go. That is about 9 miles.So far so good, not lost. Really not to different from Chicago, chasing people around. At the start of the race, the girl in yellow (from the Midwest) challenged me, questioning my ability to keep pace. And BAM! I'm lost. At a hash, I went right, girl in yellow left. When you are on the wrong path you are suppose to see another mark telling you so. I ended up not seeing that and ran about 1/2 mile out of the way. It took me about 8 minutes to get back to the point where I got lost. By then, everyone was gone and granted there were all these marks on the ground, I had a hard time following them. In the end, I ended up running the long route once and the short route twice, something over 20km.
After a while, the leader from the start of the race found me on the path and gave me a ride to the finish line. I did not feel bad about this, I ran enough by the time they found me.At the park now, Japanese beer! Not fine beer, but Beer Fine. They had mostly diet beer, but assured me next time, they will have more normal beers.
Japan is kind of open about drinking beer in public it turns out. They also love baseball / softball. For example, on the south side of Chicago, if you are playing a softball game down in Hag-wish (... Hegewisch), you need to keep the beer in a cooler and when the cops drive through the park hide it. Sometimes the cops stick around to watch the game, just to see how long you can pretend that you have nothing in the cooler. In Japan, during a softball game, they just go ahead and put a keg off to the side of first base.