It was with some pleasure that I watched the start of the Six Nations, taking shelter from the Californian sun in Ye Olde Kings Head just off Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. I had been warned to get their early, as despite the pub charging a whopping $20 just to enter (to cover the “feed” yeah right) it was expected to be standing room only by the time the game started. As I walked into the dark room, my eyes taking time to adjust from the beautiful sunshine outside I saw a sea of red all around. It seems like every Welsh ex-pat in the city had descended on the bar to cheer on their country. I had hoped to have seen famous ex-pats such as Vinnie and Catherine Zeta Jones, not a couple in any way and sharing as many Welsh roots as Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pieterson and Zola Budd had to be English.
The US is no longer the cheap place it used to be thanks to the weakness of the pound. Gone are the days of your £2 pints. Now the going rate for a beer out here is $6, plus of course the obligatory $1 tip for serving it. It’s your job to serve it mate – why should I tip you for doing your job? Anyway, rant over I found a small space in the English corner and sat back awaiting fireworks. Continue reading