We ventured into enemy territory last night/early this morning, The Australian Bar, getting there just before 2 am to watch the Kiwis vs Australia League game…nek minnit half time and no points. That’s when the Australians started coming up to us, asking if we were feeling nervous yet. The other common question was, “why the hell would you come HERE to watch the game?” Answers: No, we’re not feeling nervous, and we’re here because it’s going to be great seeing you guys cry when you lose. All rivalry and half-jokes aside, the Ozzies we talked to were hilarious and good-natured, even if the friendships built up before the game were forgotten as soon as the whistle blew. The mood in that bar during the haka was electrifying.
We’d managed to find a little corner of Kiwi supporters, where I caught up with an old friend I went to High School with (Hi Zeb!) and we cracked up at all the stupid things we did in school and buzzed out at how after all these years the place we meet up is in New York, at an Australian Bar, watching the All Blacks. (Mangere Bridge represent). It was also great because his brother in law and friends are Australian, so we got to witness some next level abuse hurled back and forth with no fear of a fight breaking out. We had an American with us who’d never watched rugby in his life before, and his assessment of the game was simply, “Y’all cuss a lot man!”
Oh, and the bar had Steinlager! And then ran out of Steinlager!! (Don’t ever, ever drink Moa Beer, even in times of desperation). The Ozzies were gracious in defeat, and we were gracious in our win, because, well, we were outnumbered. All in all it was a brilliant night, or morning rather, climbing into bed at 7am after consuming the best tasting Turkey sandwich in the world. GO THE ALL BLACKS!!!!