We arrive at Rumsey Playground to wait for the guy who's bringing our tickets for the Arctic Monkeys and sit on some rocks watching the sound check. All of a sudden this guy who seems a cross between Dennis Hopper and Eddie Murphy keeps asking us if we need "good buzz", he eventually latches on to a guy near by us who's drinking white wine, who in turn gets booked by an under cover cop for drinking in a public place at which point Mr Good Buzz says "goodbye". We get our tickets and get in line and forget the local lingo and use the word holiday. This gets the attention of the person in front of us who originally came from Ipswich but has lived in the US for two years. We get chatting and when his wife and two friends turn up we get adopted by them under New Work adopt a limey scheme. I bought a beer and got asked for ID to check I was 21, read it and weep Martin! The Arctic Monkeys are fantastic and it's great to see them in a small venue, even the guy behind me singing a semitone out during When The Sun Goes Down can't spoil things. After the gig our new friends take us too their local bar, Sue goes off with the girls and Mat, myself and his friend Keith go to find another cab. We hail this cab driven by a Korean called Chan and get in, what follows is the conversation in the cab.
Keith "put the meter on".
Chan "there's no meter, its strike".
Mat "put the meter on".
Chan " its strike".
Keith "put the meter on or I'm calling you in".
Chan, holds up a clipboard" it's strike, no meter it's 10 dollars a zone each".
Mat "its a 5 dollar ride I'm not paying you 30".
Chan "it's strike it's strike".
Keith "I've got 12 dollars, it's that or let us out" .
Chan, waving at others trying to hail cabs "look there 20 dollars, 30 dollars, it's strike you give me 30"
The conversation goes this way for the first couple of minutes then a black limo pulls up along side us and starts pointing at us, my laughter at the cab baiting suddenly dries up, unknown to me Keith kept the door from shutting so we couldn't be locked in. At that point Keith opens the door, gives the guy the 12 dollars and we all get out and run down a one way street so he can't follow us, I look back and he's waving the 12 dollars at us shouting "it's 30 dollars, it's strike it's strike". We eventually make it to their local bar called Ryan's Daughter, the girls haggled their fare to 20 dollars and without incurring the wrath of the Korean Mafia. We stay drinking to about 2am and then head back to our hotel. We are making friends fast here and looking forward to an early start to The Statue Of Liberty, Sue has wisely set her alarm to the tune of Head For The Sunshine by Billy Wears Dresses.