Bunnies in Britain (Part II): Pub Crawl in Liverpool

A brisk, balmy night in Liverpool beckons me as I head out of my hotel.  I am still new to this English port and I am hungry for action.  But right now, I am just plain hungry.  My stomach draws me to the closest place: the Crown Royal Hotel, which is conveniently located right across the street from my hotel on Lime Street.  Just like in Australia, “hotel” usually refers to a bar or pub where good food and booze go hand in hand!  Consider this my first meal in L’Pool.

Liverpool's Crown Hotel

Liverpool’s Crown Hotel

The tableau inside the establishment was the perfect setting for a British pub, sans the snootiness that Americans mistakenly believe in and no sign of a good meat pie.  But, the booze and good company was indeed, present.  Not wanting to be the proverbial fly on the wall, I ordered up a beer and a bag of Walkers crisps.  I’m not too crazy about English ale, so went with the next best Euro-brew: a giant champagne stein of Stella Artois.  Since Tooheys or VB wasn’t on the menu, this is the only other beer I enjoy.

How Liverpudlians unwind at the end of work!

How Liverpudlians unwind at the end of work!

Walkers and Stella: a winning combination!

Walkers and Stella: a winning combination!

With my tall lager in one hand, a bag of salty crisps in the other, and my South Sydney scarf around my neck, I hit the scene.  I was drawn to a table of raucous drunks, a term I use in the most flattering way, and they spotted my red and green stripes.

“What team do you go for?” asked the Brit who was sitting next to a slot machine to his right.

“South Sydney Rabbitohs, mate!” I chirped.  Of course, I knew that I was walking into dangerous territory here; carowsing with slightly drunk English soccer fans in a part of Europe where soccer is worshiped like the Red Sox are in Boston.  I was just hoping these blokes would more approachable than Red Sox fans were during the postseason.  I shook off all pretense and remembered that this was all about rugby and not soccer.

“Oh.  I saw the colors on your scarf; I didn’t know which team that was.” mumbled the same Brit sitting by the slot machine.

“I’m here for the World Club Challenge match at St. Helens.  This is a rugby league team from Sydney, Australia.  And by the way, I happen to be from New York City.” I said.  That’s when they all looked blindsided.  Here, they were expecting either a fellow Brit or an Aussie who came halfway around the world.  Alas, a Yank supporting an Aussie league club it was.

My new drinking buddies from Liverpool!

My new drinking buddies from Liverpool!

“You’re from New York?!  Bloody hell!  C’mere, you bastard!” cried the same Brit who pulled me in for a hearty hug.  Now, that I had earned their trust, we opened up to each other.  If being in South Sydney has taught me anything, it’s that sports are the ultimate icebreaker.  And just like the Rabbitohs, being an American fan can have its advantages.  For example, one of the guys offered to buy me a drink!  Yup, it was like I was back at ANZ Stadium!

They just couldn’t believe a Yank would come all this way for a rugby match, especially when it was for a team that plays on the other side of the world.  But I digress.  The chaps asked me about American sports like baseball; the inquired about the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” of Red Sox lore.  I spun the rather hilariously tragic tale of how Red Sox fans lamented this fatal trade and how they spent years hating the New York Yankees for Boston’s foolish move.  But when I told them that the Chicago Cubs had gone even longer without a winning a World Series, they looked like their jaws were gonna hit the floor.  In just a few minutes, I had managed to get these lovable, inebriated Brits to hang to my every word, and with a little encouragement, I like to think I made them into Rabbitohs fans!

After finishing off a tall Stella Artois and an icy Jack and Coke, I adjourned upstairs to the dining room for supper.  A massive plate of fish and chips with a side of mushy peas became the meal of the day; a crispy, crunchy pollock, smothered in malt vinegar and tartar sauce was supreme!  I was a little hesitant about the mushy peas, but I didn’t complain when I had it with a side of mashed potatoes in Sydney.

Fish n Chips with Mushy Peas: British breakfast of champions!

Fish n Chips with Mushy Peas: British breakfast of champions!

All the condiments in all the colors of the rainbow!

All the condiments in all the colors of the rainbow!

With my head buzzing from booze, crisps, fish, and congealed peas, I managed to make it back to my hotel; it was the longest 100 ft. walk ever!  But just before I left the pub, I gave my new Liverpudlian friends a big “GO BUNNIES!” just before I walked out.  And right on cue, they all put their fists in the air and, together in unison, shouted, “GO BUNNIES!”  If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: rugby brings the world together!  Especially league!

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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4 Responses to Bunnies in Britain (Part II): Pub Crawl in Liverpool

  1. Alisoun Brewster says:

    Love this Jared–can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!!!

  2. Patricia Coats says:

    I can’t wait for the continuation…Wish I could have been there, but you’re writing makes me feel as if I were! I mean it. I can imagine how cool it was to be a Yank in a world of Brit and Aussie sport! Thanks for the wonderful reporting Jared…Keep up the great work! :)

  3. Neil Connoly says:

    Where you in the ground on Sunday? Hope you enjoyed your visit to St Helens

  4. Paul Condon says:

    Good work mate!

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