Friday 6th Feb - I had drinks for my birthday on Friday night, at Detroit bar, Its a really nice place, free entry and free to reserve the area we had. Its downstairs and has a cave like feel too it - it has curved brown plaster walls with little alcoves where you sit, and only 1metre between the bar and the walls in some places. It has only candles and dim lights to light it. Good staff too and nice atmosphere. There were 10 or so of us that went, and we fitted nicely in the cosy area/room that I'd reserved. it had cave walls round 3 sides and seats and little tables. Everyone had a good night talking away and the evening whizzed by. After a few wines we all caught the last tube home.. most of us had the waitangi day pub crawl or things to do the next day. I'll definately go back there, I recommend it. The music was an eclectic mix of hip hop, lounge and other random stuff, and at a good volume where you could still talk and enjoy the tunes. I requested the bob the builder rave remix so we could all practice our big-fish little-fish cardboard box, but sadly the DJ didnt have it. ohh well.
(ED: thanks to those of you who came it was a real pleasure having you there :)
Saturday 7th Feb - Waitangi Day! And when your in London this means pub crawl day. By the time i crawled out of bed at 10ish there were a few hardy souls already beating the paths of london in their kiwi flag capes.. i did some washing - way more important than a pub crawl of course.. :P I had to go to laundromat because our washing machine broken again.
Anyway so I catch up to our crew just after gloucester road, and we have a few beers as we wander through the streets with the many other drunk kiwi's dressed as the 4 square staff, sheep, and some mullets in stubbies and jandels. we got lost about kensington somewhere and ended up walking quite far in the wrong direction and got to chelsea?. so a couple of us caught a bus straight to the Shaftsbury Ave Walkabout and joined the rest of the group who'd all gone there too. We all decided to skip the westminster haka because a) you can't see the haka through the crowds anyway.. b) people were dragged into the mud and that wasnt really our thing, c) because we were lost and missed it anyway d) we were freezing cold. All good reasons. So we had burger and chips and spent the night dancing and singing away to kiwi classics, such as crowded house and the haka.
There were a few moments on Waitangi Day where I felt proud to be kiwi - such as walking down the road amogst fellow kiwis informing curious tourists that its waitangi day and that we are kiwis... and hearing kiwi slang.. Then there were moments where i looked at some kiwi people and thought omg am I one of them.. where people were talking and acting 'rough as guts' and of course the boozed up meat market of the walky is enough to turn anyone right off!!
A few of us will be going to a civilised british pub for a quiet pint and some nice conversation in the future, where drink stays in the glasses and not on the floor and where people are generally a bit more well behaved.
But I do have to says there is something about the loud, jovial atmosphere of the walky, complete with rugby on the big screen and great music going all night and a dance floor so you can have a good dance, that keeps drawing us all back there time after time.. :)