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Thread: Pubs, beer joints, and the like

  1. #1
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    Default Pubs, beer joints, and the like

    I'm starting this thread in hopes of raising some witty remarks and to perhaps even learn something useful!

    In the states we have our bars, but I think they might be perhaps a bit different than the pubs in the UK and NZ. In the US you might arrange a specific day and time to meet with friends at a bar. Would it be safe to say that in the UK and NZ it's more of a social thing to stop by your favorite pub on a regular basis meeting up with your "mates" who also may be there? I'm not trying to generalize, because I'm not saying that this includes every Tom, Dick, and Harry (or Sue, Bette, and Gladys)...just those who enjoy a good brew.

    C'mon, don't hesitate to add your 2 cents worth!

  2. #2
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    I'd say people in the UK do either thing you mention, or both. Sorry there's nothing witty about that - that's just how it goes!

  3. #3
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    I found it to be very different from the bar scene here.
    Here, bars are loud, people are drunk, people are on the prowl for for the opposite sex. Sometimes there are bands and karaoke. One tends to go after dark and stay til 2am.
    In NZ it's like the local pub is the neighborhood clubhouse. People swing by after work and before dinner to have a beer to shake off the day. Most know each other and there are sometimes children or very young adults present. I'm sure there are belligerent drunks sometimes but I've not seen them. The cussing is through the roof though.
    There are also pubs in NZ where the food has almost as much significance as the booze, but not with a "restaurant and bar" feeling like TGIFridays or similar. If I may romanticize for a moment, it's like the fantasy books you read where the the character visits a tavern, has some stew and ale, and finds out current gossip, without the exposed beams, rustic charm, and straw on the floor of course!

    These are my personal experiences, I'm sure others have had different ones.

  4. #4
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    I think the country (rural) pubs in the UK and NZ are quite different. In the village I lived in the pub had its regulars from the village who would pop in for a pint or three several nights a week. Numbers would swell at the weekends from other villagers and 'outsiders' heading out to dine. Going to a country pub for a meal at the weekend is a popular pastime.

    In NZ the rural pubs I've observed in Northland do not entice me to enter when there are several utes parked outside by 10 am. But I was probably put off the NZ pub experience by Lonely Planet (our guide on our first visit to NZ), which said something to the effect of don't enter x pub unless you want a 'once were warriors experience'.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by norma View Post
    I think the country (rural) pubs in the UK and NZ are quite different. In the village I lived in the pub had its regulars from the village who would pop in for a pint or three several nights a week. Numbers would swell at the weekends from other villagers and 'outsiders' heading out to dine. Going to a country pub for a meal at the weekend is a popular pastime.

    In NZ the rural pubs I've observed in Northland do not entice me to enter when there are several utes parked outside by 10 am. But I was probably put off the NZ pub experience by Lonely Planet (our guide on our first visit to NZ), which said something to the effect of don't enter x pub unless you want a 'once were warriors experience'.
    Generally I have to agree.

    In nearly 6 years I have barely been out to the pub to be honest. Most mainstream beer is pretty poor stuff to a lad raised in the English real ale tradition if I am honest and it is egregiously expensive to go.

    For example the other day we went unexpectedly with another couple. A round (1 cider, 1 light beer, 2 Guinness) was almost $30. We had VERY average food (burger & chips and ice cream) and it worked out at $75 or something per couple with the drinks, which for a very rural location I think is somewhat OTT.

    Rural pubs on the whole (not all) tend to the rough and ready: The pub in Martinborough has a car park full of utes by noon on a Friday! City pubs are usually a bit more civilised but food wise can be either basic or overly pretentious in my experience.

    As to the cussing (nice Americanism!) - well, if you find that offensive, I wouldn't actually move here! I have heard people use words in business meetings, on national TV and radio that have actually shocked me, and I am pretty unshockable. The standard of what is acceptable here language wise is quite low.

  6. #6
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    I have only been in one pub here in 3 and a half years (The Cook in Hamilton) and that was for a drink after work with all my work mates. It was very similar to many city pubs in Britain - full of people having a drink after work, a nice building with a high roof and some history, lots of sofas etc. In Britain we only ever went to pubs to eat, there were so many 'gastro-pubs' which served better food than many restaurants, and they were usually lovely historic buildings in beautiful rural locations too. I don't think the same things exists here at all ... or have I been missing out?

  7. #7
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    In Wellington we are spoiled for good bars and yummy food. People do stop by after work for one or two before heading home. You end up seeing a lot of familiar faces and get make friends and know the bar staff etc. There are even places with good beer. Proper pubs are rare though, but there is always the Welsh Dragon which is the most pub like place in Wellington. Of course people also arrange to meet for a night out.

    I also enjoy workmen's clubs. I find them very down to earth, and the old timers always have good stories to tell. Workmen's club is more like a social club. But I don't go to them too often and usually only while visiting my father-in-law.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi Mac View Post

    As to the cussing (nice Americanism!) - well, if you find that offensive, I wouldn't actually move here! I have heard people use words in business meetings, on national TV and radio that have actually shocked me, and I am pretty unshockable. The standard of what is acceptable here language wise is quite low.
    +1 on that, the swearing is very prevalent, doesn't bother me in the slightest but if it does offend this isn't the place for you.

    Matt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattandjax View Post
    +1 on that, the swearing is very prevalent, doesn't bother me in the slightest but if it does offend this isn't the place for you.

    Matt
    Yes - my OH says Kiwis have yet to learn what "inappropriate" means!

  10. #10
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    I myself can cuss a blue streak but I was still taken aback by swearing in NZ. It may be the delivery or the connotations, or maybe the casualness of it. Even in dive bars in the US I'm used to a man apologizing when he realizes there are women present after he's used colorful language. It's not that I mind swearing, it is simply a shock. Also there is one word in the US that is generally considered the worst/dirtiest word of all, the dreaded "C" word. I heard it A LOT in NZ, though not in the same context it would be used here. Every time though, I'd cringe; it takes a while to lose one's cultural conditioning. It's simply another thing to become accustomed to.

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