Clint Heine is an expert on London's Waitangi Day Pub Crawl though, so Fluid London simply had to chat with him.
Although Waitangi Day itself falls on Friday 6th February 2014, the Waitangi Day 2015 pub crawl occurs on Saturday 7th February 2014. It will see thousands of Kiwis taking to the streets of London looking to complete the mother of all pub crawls.
Check out Clint's very Antipodean Top 10 best bars and pubs in London to follow the Waitangi Day pub crawl.
FL: what the flippin' hell is Waitangi Day?
CH: In 1840 in Waitangi (a small settlement in NZ), the English signed a treaty with the native Maori. Today we celebrate it with a public holiday, sunshine and BBQs or in our case in London, wintry gusts and alcohol!
FL: And exactly how does a Waitangi Day Pub Crawl relate?
CH: Although Waitangi Day itself falls on Friday 6th February, the Waitangi Day 2015 pub crawl occurs on Saturday 7th February. It will see thousands of Kiwis taking to the streets of London looking to complete the mother of all pub crawls. Kiwis never need an excuse to gather together and have a few drinks. If anything around this time of year Kiwis are still in winter hibernation and are ignoring the messages from home of long hot summers so we need a distraction!
FL: Does the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl follow a specific route?
CH: We follow the Circle Line around London when the tubes are running. The 2015 Waitangi Day Pub Crawl is free from the annual "maintainence works" !?The route starts in Paddington and we'll try not getting lost on the way to Westminster where it all ends with a giant Haka.
FL: How do you decide which bars and pubs to drink in on the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl?
CH: Over the decades pubs have thrown their doors open when faced with the prospect of thousands of extra customers on an ordinary cold winters day. Most other bars have no choice if they are within a 1km radius of any tube station on the route!
FL: Are there any particular games, stunts or fancy dress rules on the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl?
CH: The rules are simple. Don't sit down on the tube, no holding on to anything on the tube – apart from your mates and don't upset the locals. Fancy dress is optional and encouraged. We have anything from sheep, human beer bottles to people bravely wearing just flags.
FL: So are you the official organiser-in-chief?
CH: No. There isn't any one organiser – my involvement is to inform people, especially new pub crawlers of the event and to make sure people know where to go and what pubs are good to drink at. Because it isn't organised by a main person, there is a lot of misinformation out there and plenty of confusion. It's best to have clear information as on the day people will be drinking and will improvise!
FL: No? Are you frightened of what the authorities might do?
CH: Not at all. The police we meet on the pub crawl are very supporting and enthusiastic of the event as we are comparatively less trouble than other nations. Many police on the day pose for photos with us and are interested in the event. We actively encourage people to respect the locals and have stewards walking along the route who keep a semi relaxed eye on how the day unfolds!
FL: You must've seen some crazy things on the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl in your time - what are some of the weirdest?
CH: I have seen streakers, over 50 people playing street cricket, a poor fellow who dressed up in a Borat mankini on a zero degree morning. The whole day in itself is crazy – you have thousands of foreigners from the other side of the world bringing tubes to a standstill, for peaceful means and which never fails to make people smile.
FL: There are rumours a-brewing that this could well be the biggest pub crawl in the world – c'mon, tell the truth, is this really true?
CH: This is probably the world's biggest unorganised pub crawl. I participated in the world's biggest organised pub crawl in London and the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl is much bigger. By the end of the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl there are several thousand people getting to Westminster.
FL: How long have you been doing the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl?
CH: For too long! This will be my 11th attempt. Only once have I managed to complete the entire Circle Line. To prevent mass liver damage, most crawlers including myself end at Westminster and then hit Kiwi and Kiwi-friendly bars afterwards to carry on the celebrations.
FL: Which equates to how many drinks exactly?
CH: If you add together the sneaky drinks on the streets, my annual backpack of cider (as the bars get too full) and the numerous cheeky drinks I get offered while doing the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl, I'd hate to even guess. It is a sustained effort to drink from 10am until 4pm not counting the after events, so you need to have plenty of food breaks if you want to last all day!
FL: So what should newcomers expect then?
CH: Newcomers should expect a shedload of fun and hilarity throughout the day. Expect singing, meeting up with old friends (New Zealand is a very small place), wacky costumes and a carnival atmosphere.
FL: This is the fourth the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl since the public transport drinking ban - will that be stopping you?
CH: Not at all. We will respect the laws and behave accordingly. It didn't dampen the mood last year and I doubt it will again this time around. The fact that you're traipsing around one of the world's greatest cities with several hundred of your mates is pretty cool and whether or not you can drink in a bar or underground is secondary to the event.
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