Upon leaving the Bacaro Jazz, we made our way to the Fiddler’s Elbow. We were starting to get a bit hungry which worked out perfectly, because there is a kebap shop right next door to the Fiddler’s Elbow. Wayne’s eyes glazed over when he saw it and made a beeline with me close behind. The right drunk food is paramount to any pub crawl, and the kebaps were about the best thing we’d ever eaten at that moment. Ian was conspicuous by his absence, so I thought he was dissing us. I called him and he showed up a half hour later with his lovely wife Allison. Allison was very quiet, but a “fantastic bird”, as the Brits would say. We spent the next hour or so listening to Ian’s stories, making jokes, and downing pints – me of Guinness, Wayne and Ian of cider, the American guys of Kilkenny Cream Ale (at my urging). Soon it was time for Wayne and the Americans to depart.
Ian and his lovely wife Allison
Allison, Ian, me and Wayne at the Fiddler's Elbow
So I walked with Wayne and the 3 American guys to the train station (Kevin, Bo, and MIKE, that’s the other guy’s name!) and headed back towards the Fiddler’s Elbow. Along the way, the Guinness, combined with the Cabernet, was starting to hit me pretty hard and I’m ashamed to admit that I actually started to consider cutting Venice Pub Crawl short. I figured most of the guys had left, so what’s the point? Luckily for me, it was Ian to the rescue. As I’m walking back, debating what to do (geez, it was only like 11pm! Shame on me!), I get a text message from Ian saying something about “Let’s go mate, we need you here”. Suddenly I was jolted back to reality, given new vim and vigor by the fresh Venice air and pungent canal water aroma. I got back to the Fiddler’s Elbow and lo and behold, Ian and Allison had met three British girls from Ian’s hometown (Ian was rapidly approaching “pub crawl legend” status). A couple of them were sort of reserved, but there was one who was just a laugh a minute. She kept doing the thing to me where you make a pistol out of your hands and pretend to shoot someone. We ended up spending another hour or two there just telling more stories, jokes, and laughing uncontrollably. Eventually the Fiddler’s Elbow must have been about to close because we left and Ian says “Oy, let’s go to the Jazz bar!”. So back to Bacaro Jazz we went. Mary was thrilled to see me (twice in one night!) as you can imagine. Things started out sort of laid back, but eventually an entire gaggle of beautiful women came in and sat at the tables right next to us. Must have been about 20 of them. They seemed to be on some kind of mission as well as they were playing games, talking and joking around loudly, and singing. I mean these girls would sing constantly. We’d be sitting there and all of a sudden, one of them would just start belting out an ABBA song and away they’d go. After a few times, Ian and I started joining in. Then it was Rod Stewart – “You’re in my heeeeeart, you’re in my soul” – with us singing right along with ‘em.
At some point, an Irish girl named Eefa (not sure how to spell it, but it’s pronounced ee-fa) and her British boyfriend came over and joined us. Eefa was pretty tanked too and was very friendly, and a lot of fun. I can’t remember her boyfriend’s name, but he was a little quieter. Eventually Eefa starts buying Sambuca shots for the table. I normally don’t mix liquor with my beer, but I’d already had beer and wine so I figured what the hell, let’s go for the Trifecta! Eefa’s boyfriend was a smoker and kept dragging me outside with him to smoke (can’t smoke indoors in Italy anymore) where we met some other crazy characters. Venice Pub Crawl was now officially an unqualified success.
Bacaro Jazz - Eefa and her boyfriend are in front
Back inside, the songs were coming full force. At one point, Ian grabbed my shoulder and starts singing U2’s Van Diemen’s Land; “Hold me nooooooow…Oh hold me noooow…” which we ended up doing a few times as I recall. The night went on like this for a while longer and eventually the Bacaro Jazz, the last vestige of Venice Pub Crawl, had to close. We all said our goodbyes and crawled out into the Venice night. I finally made it to bed around 3:30 and immediately passed out.
Sunday morning was a little rough. I woke at 10 and had to check out by 11. I cleaned up as quickly as my hangover would allow and planned to just go home and sleep it off. However, upon stepping outside, I was met with an absolutely gorgeous day. The sun was shining brightly and I felt recharged. So much so that I dropped my bag off at the car and spent the next few hours walking around Venice taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful day, my hangover mysteriously absent.
I want to thank everyone who helped make the April ’05 Venice Pub Crawl a smashing success. Probably the best ever. Many thanks go out to Wayne, Ian, Allison, Kevin, Mike, Bo (yes, even you Bo), June, Jill, April, Eefa, her boyfriend, Mary, the weird bartender at the Devil’s Forest, and the chorus girls from the Bacaro Jazz. You all contributed to a great night. Can’t wait for the next Venice Pub Crawl...
Next up: Amsterdam Pub Crawl!
And Ian, if you’re reading this: Dude, you got much game. You were the shining start of Venice Pub Crawl. Tell Allison I said “cheerio”, and I’m looking forward to hoisting a few pints with you again in the future…