Cheap bevvies beat sticky-carpet boozer for shivering Brits
Once upon a time, a steady stream of British relatives arrived at Chez Richards. They had an A to Z of wildlife to see, demanded barbies for every meal and wanted beers with a nice view of the “seaside”.
That was where things started to get hairy. Once they’d got over the horror of finding out the Aussies really don’t drink Fosters, my Pommy visitors realised those British pounds didn’t stretch quite as far in Scarborough, WA as they did in Scarborough, England.
A pint that might have cost a couple of quid back home would set them back the equivalent of eight pounds sterling in the WA sunshine — and it’d be a bloody schooner.
Granted there’s a slight difference between a sticky-carpet boozer in the north of England and a spot with a view of the Indian Ocean with Edison light features, but as is inevitable with Poms, the whingeing soon began.
Regular readers of these pages may remember me fuming about Perth’s public holiday surcharges, $30 breakfasts and extortionate charges for a “proper” coffee being a turn-off for tourists.
For my British mates, they were. A few years ago, visitor numbers began to drop off. The requests for a lease on my spare room were replaced with invitations to “meet halfway in Thailand. It’s dead cheap to eat out there, you know”.
After all, we’re talking about a nationality which judges the enjoyment of a holiday on the weather and the price of a pint.
It comes as no surprise to hear Sandgropers have been missing out on foreign tourists, who favour instead our Eastern States counterparts. The Poms aren’t daft, they know they can go out in the Eastern States without returning to Pommyland with an overdraft.
But, a message to Poms considering a trip Down Under — it’s time to pack your case and book your ticket on the London-to-Perth flight.
Someone over here has finally got the memo.
Forget fancy overpriced schooners, even The Breakwater — one of the city’s biggest Pommy hotspots — promises we’ll no longer have to “pay through the nose” to enjoy a bevvy with a view.
In fact, thanks to this new thing called a beer price war, you might even get change for a fiver at some pubs these days.
While the fancy among us might turn their noses up at $10 parma nights and cheap booze, for every snob, there’s an army of visitors happy to return.
Cheap pints are great for locals, and could be just what we need to bring foreigners back to our shores.
Meanwhile, I’d better clear out the spare room.