The Great Pub Crawl of 2004

Trip Start Oct 28, 2004
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Trip End Aug 08, 2005


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Sunday, December 12, 2004

On our last night in the North Island of New Zealand, Mike, Molly and myself dressed up in our backpackers best and took to the streets of Wellington where we planned to spend a night walking from bar to bar. We figured 10 pm was an appropriate time for going out but we were wrong. What felt late to us was still quite early for the local Kiwis. It wasn't until 1:30 or so that they decided to come out.

Our first stop on our journey was Shooters, a three story building with enough room to house the entire New Zealand Army, the national rugby team and a string quartet, yet we were the only ones there. We had a pitcher of cheap beer (the first pitcher that we've seen avaliable in NZ) and then went on our way to find a more populated bar.

We spoted The Lab a block away which looked promising. While it had a modern looking building with stragically placed neon lights it was what us Americans would call a "dive bar." The handful of people there, all sitting at the bar drinking their standard beers, all looked as if they had assigned seats from frequenting the bar at the same time every night. We used the bathroom here and got an elaborate play by play of the urinals that he encountered.

Next on our never ending crawl was Molly Malones which we stopped at because it claimed the same name of my favorite travel mate. It was packed full of people yet we found ourselves sitting at table by ourselves in the corner, in the back, near the bathrooms. Being an Irish inspired bar (hence the name) we were forced to change beers from the standard Export Gold to Speights. We didn't mind the challenge...especially if you play dumb and the bartender decides to let you try all the are offered. I think that qualifies as free fun. We were just about to bounce when the advertised live band began playing. They played a great mix of U2 and No Doubt covers (and the unfortunate Creed song thrown in there) which got better and better with every song they did. Or was that just because we were drinking more and more beer? Hmm. Mike fell in love with the female lead singer and went and made eyes with her while she sang (groupie???) while Molly and I made friends with a rather friendly local. He claimed he was the nicest and funniest fellow we'd meet on our journey and since Molly and I are clearly the nicest and funniest Americans currently in New Zealand, we felt it was only appropriate that we stay awhile and chat with him. We talked about important things like Nascar and Taco Bell and Molly and I even got a linguistics lesson from him. Doesn't seem as if we will have that Kiwi accent by the time we get home. But one thing is for sure...we really wish we could have gone to Taco Bell for some nachos bell grande after a night of drinking...no Taco Bell (or Nascar) here in NZ.

Mike organized the grand exit out of Molly Malones and took us to a place called Rain. We were happily buzzed at this point and almost missed the larger than life photograph of Arnold Schwartzenager from when he visted back in the 80s on the wall when we walked in. We ordered some drinks and with me and Molly being in the dancing mood we made way for the group of people dancing and began dancing to such American hits as 50 cent's "it's your birthday" and Britney Spears' "Hit me baby one more time." It soon dawned on us that we were not only the tallest ones in the club (which is not a frequent occurance for me) but we were also a minority. The club was occupied only of Asians and we definetly looked out of place. As we left I could only wonder how Arnold felt welcome there...

We walked out of Rain and into The Sports Club which unfortunately did not live up to its name. Instead of cricket games being telecasted on the numerous television screens there were great music videos being played which allowed Molly and I to dance more. We were dnacing machines to say the least. We were having a grand ole time but apparently Mike decided there were other places that were worthy of our presence.

The Mercury Lounge was a hidden little treasure that required we walk upstairs and into a living room sized space that showcased all sorts of people lounging on couches listening to the dj spin records. Mike called it house music or something but Molly and I just found a spot on the couch between a kid who looked like he rode in on a skate board and a rather tall asian fellow who wore a long black trench coat and a top hat. He also had some strange peircings. We chatted about Queenstown with a patron and I really don't know much of what was said. We didn't stay long even though Mike said the beats were really great.

Last on our non stop party was Jet, another establishment that was playing beat box or house or something to that effect. Mike took us down to some basement that was full of loud people and we sat on some couch for a bit. At this point Molly and I needed a bit more excitement (not to mention a few more drinks) to keep us awake. We had taken to singing the Mellow Yellow song because we passed a Thai resturant called Saffron. It was officially time for bed.

Molly and I went back to the hostel and the two of us crashed there even though we had only paid for one of us. Another perk of the backpacker lifestyle. Mike continued his journey but we were happy to be in bed. We only hope that the great pub crawl of 2005 will be as great as this years. However, we already met the funniest and nicest guy and Mike may not be around to explain techno music for us. We'll just have to wait and see.
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