Wednesday, March 07, 2012


I went to Wales yesterday. I basically haven't slept since I got back home.

The small amount I got to see of Cardiff (out of the windows of multiple cabs in between managing a media circus), it looked completely agreeable.

The sky was open, blue and there were rugby flags everywhere. Disappointingly, I never got to see any drunk people awash the gutters in the street. The UK has one of the highest rates of drunk people per capita, and Cardiff hosts a proud heritage of the most jovial binge drinking on this island. (My favourite kind!)

As seen here in the Wall Street Journal.

It must be said that Welsh people really are most delightful. The accent is better than Christmas. The moment we got there, people fell over themselves to offer us a "won.der.ful. cup. of.tee." That's how they talk. With exaggerated space between syllables.

They'll really exaggerate words like telescope. Or opportunity. 'Tel. EE. Scope.' Or my favourite: ''

But if there's a word that's one syllable, like 'tea' they'll add another syllable. So they'll say 'Tee-ee.' or 'Have a nice day-ay.'

I absolutely love it. Lap it up like a sponge. My Welsh Colleague supplies me with endless fodder on a daily basis.

And all with enthusiastic niceness. Niceness is always noted outside of the M25. Anything within the ring road of London, people are pretty highly wired. Terse.

Let's take The Quiet American, who this morning said:

"Some dude on the tube was breathing on me and I thought of four ways I could kill him."

Peas: What were some of these ways?
Him: Mostly just choking.
Peas: Wow.
Him: Northern Line. Warren Street. Southbound train.

Anyway back to Wales - I started talking like them by the end of the day. This happens to me from time to time, almost only exclusively with American or Welsh accents.

Welsh lady to me: Wha-at a won.der.ful
Peas: Is.n't it a won.der.ful in.dee-ed?

Then I stepped away.

I'd like to go and visit Cardiff when I'm not working. Perhaps for some festive rugby watching. Welsh people live and die by rugby (and beer), something South Africans are most likely to enjoy.

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