A few vague recollections from my first Bangkok Hat experience. After 11 years of tournaments, I experienced one of my favourite weekends of frisbee in my life. Thank you to Tri for the invitation, for our friends from down the road showing up, and to my awesome, fun loving team of new friends for showing some great spirit and also a little bit of grit when the going got tough in semis. (For those who don’t know, these ‘hat’ style tournaments are common in Ultimate. Players arrive without a team. Teams are then drawn at random from a hat! So you have a whole bunch of new friends for the weekend).
With a frisbee clinic to make in Kuala Lumpur, we had a four day limit for the cycle from Singapore. We cycled around the west coast taking in Muar and Malacca. In Muar we became local stars front paging the local paper after being interviewed at the traffic lights on the way out of town. “What did you do in Muar?” “Erm, cycled through it!”. It went well.
After arriving to Singapore in the middle of the night from Indonesia, we rested up in a hostel in China town. Our time in Singapore was a brief eight days, but we have with us now many fond memories and new friends. We ambitiously set out to run a fundraiser Ultimate Frisbee tournament for Ultimate Peace at about one weeks notice. My email from Indonesia met Enrique Lee at UPA Singapore and he moved things along for us with help from the board. In the end, we got a free set of fields, and a turnout of around 65 local players. We met pretty much every one of them for the first time on the day of the tournament! But more about the tournament later.
After her run in with a truck in Babat, Jess recovered well enough to continue cycling after three days, and we legged it West as far as Jatibarang, West Java for Christmas. The stitches are now out, but she still has a lump on her forearm three weeks later. In Jatibarang, we stopped in at Hotel Aneka Baru and booked in for the cheapest clean room. When Herman, the hotel owner, noticed we had come in on bikes, he immediately upgraded our room, returned the money we had paid and invited us to stay a second night on the house. That’s some great hospitality! We went to Christmas Eve church with Herman and his family – which was an experience to hear the Christmas carol tune you knew but accompanied with completely foreign words. When we did move on from Jatibarang, Herman and family ensured our panniers were loaded with mangoes. As we left, Herman explained with a gleam in his eye that a few years prior, he himself had set out from Jatibarang and cycled to Denpasar, Bali – all to celebrate his 70th birthday!
After a five day wait due to maintenance at the Sape port, we boarded the ferry to Sumbawa. Bunking up in the cheapest hovel we could find we stayed the night before putting in a big 120km day to the city of Dompu. The first guy we met in Dompu, like the first guy we meet in most towns, was an absolute champion.
Hello Mister. Where are you going Mister? Where are you from Mister? What is your name? What is your religion? And hers? Are you married? Oh we thought you were married. You must be brother and sister?