I had a lovely drive the other day. A good chunk of the principality of Wales. I drove from Welshpool to Cardiff on Monday afternoon, a distance of about 120 miles. The road is fabulous, winding, great views, wonderful countryside. The Welsh valleys have much to recommend them as a treat for the eyes. On the road from Welshpool to Cardiff there is a large town called Llandrindod Wells. It’s a nice looking town but it seems it has been evacuated. I have never seen a whole town so bereft of populace. There were empty streets, empty shops. The roads were empty. The place appeared to be closed. Except it wasn’t, everything was open. It was eerie !
Wales is an extraordinary place really. Much like some of the out-of-the-way parts of NZ, there is just no-one about. I drove into Cardiff from the valleys on a dual carriageway that takes you almost to the city centre. I barely went below 70 miles an hour all the way to the last set of lights before you have to start driving round the actual city centre. This was at 6pm on a monday evening in the Capital of Wales. I don’t know what to make of Cardiff. I don’t think it was bombed in the war but literally nothing remains of the old city. There is a castle and a bit of an old wall but downtown Cardiff is all modern. It’s all new! There must have been some massive building work going on quite recently. The magnificent millenium Stadium is right in the city centre. Literally the focal point! I like that.
I came to the conclusion that girls in Cardiff are a bit two tier. Tattoos appear to be compulsory. Flesh is to be displayed in abundance regardless of the temperature or the volume of flesh. I don’t believe they sell mirrors to girls in Cardiff because many of these women clearly have never looked in one. My view, and I gather one shared by the vast majority of people who have access to visual media. Is that if you are slim and fabulous, people like to see you dressed in a fashion that allows us to admire and/or envy your uniquely lovely figure. If you are a big fat heifer though, we like you to cover up. It’s a universal truth and quite simple. I have yet to meet a sane person who enjoys seeing acres of stomach and bum hanging out of clothing several sizes too small. It seems this information has yet to reach the ladies of this fine city
On the subject of flesh. In Cardiff girls flesh comes in two colours. translucent or orange, with various tattoo hues to complete the picture.
I had the most extraordinary taxi experience though.We went to the head of a taxi rank and as I was about to knock on the window of the car the following happened. The driver exploded in a display of emotion and extravagant hand gesturing I assumed he was listening to the winning runs being scored by some gentlemen from the subcontinent in a cricket match. However upon entering the car it was obvious that the radio wasn’t on.
Looking at the driver it appeared more likely he may have just got news that his son, recently graduated from Taleban explosives school, had just successfully survived detonating his first IED. We informed him we would like to be taken to a particular place of refreshment and we set off. During the journey the driver was literally as fidgety as a bunch of jack russell terriers who are about to go for a walk. It was like he had just found out he was wearing a suicide vest and it might or might not go off before he was able to get to the right spot. It was very disconcerting. We made the mistake of asking him how long he had been in Cardiff. It seems 49 years is not long enough for a man driving a taxi every day in a western city to get a grasp of the local linguistics or even the general gist of the language of his new home. I am not even talking about the Welsh language. The man was as indecipherable as he was restless. It was surreal.
So we survived the journey and had a great burger at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. A really cool burger restaurant chain run by kiwis. Where I can get a proper kiwi burger with egg and pineapple and beetroot in it as well a big chunk of meat patty washed down with Macs gold or steinie pure. Jen had a habanero burger. I don’t think she is going to do that again.