As of now, I’m on a train back to the Manchester Piccadilly station from Cardiff. Derrick fell asleep and we have an hour left until we arrive. We talked about Cardiff, and shared our opinions on social media, friendships and relationships. This post is about Cardiff.
I can’t help but to immediately form a one-sided opinion of the Welsh: English people aren’t the nicest people the world, and although both cities are part of the U.K, they make the Welsh appear to me as though they were angels sent from the nests of holy red dragons. You will most definitely think, “That’s a bit too unfair! There ARE some nice people in England!” But whatever ‘some’ means really depends on how much you look like you’re from China, because for a Malaysian who looks like he comes from China I get a lot of shit from random strangers who love to talk shit about me behind my back. Derrick and I came across a few incidents where people actually offered to help us without us asking, from the train station to the city center. Even our AirBnB host was such a relaxed, easygoing person!
When we arrived at her place, this happened at the door:
“Should we take off our shoes?” we asked.
She paused, and then shrugged.
“Up to you!”
Besides that, it was a major plus point that we had awesome friends who spent both days (and a night) with us just to give us the best of what Cardiff had.
If there was a chance to reconsider university applications, I would have included Cardiff; but for the average person who adores the city’s features such as its highly regarded prestige, congested pavements and skyrocketing prices, Cardiff would have been crossed off the list. When we arrived at our accommodation, Derrick and I thought we were in Iceland as the houses were plain white with colorful doors. Quiet and simple, a person would feel no need to worry about walking too slow. Cardiff Bay was beautiful, with the sight of the sea at one side and a little quaint town on the other; the city centre was like any other but without the congestion; the university, near to the student halls and residences with the discount supermarket Lidl just 5 minutes away from a friend’s place; Barry Island was a good place for socials… but for dogs; and, this is excluding all the other castles left to be explored.
The gastronomic experience can be summed up in three things: Mimosa, Welsh cakes, and The Plan. Located at Cardiff Bay, Mimosa serves traditional Welsh food with a modern twist: we had fish pies, Welsh rarebit, and cockles & bacon on toast. Moving on, Welsh cakes are small delightful bites of sugary scones that come in the shape of mini pancakes. Located at Cardiff Bay as well, Dawn brought us to Fabulous Welsh Cakes. “… and that kids, was how I lost my Welshcakeginity.” It comes in many flavors: raisins, chocolate chip, vanilla, you name it! Some have more floury textures like scones; and others, fluffier like buttermilk pancakes. Finally, The Plan. The LS6 Clock Café of Cardiff. Yes. Had the eggs benedict with Serrano ham, and thank god it was matched with the perfect Hollandaise sauce. Tangy, creamy, just nice la. A cool thing about this café was that the head barista once won the UK Barista Championship! Super cool!
Cardiff’s a tough city to say goodbye to, especially after it has shown us all its wonders on a rare sunny day. The Welsh are friendly people, and that is something I can never forget as a student who studies in an English university; the city has an Icelandic (or Scandinavian) feel to it, with zero rush; and, Welsh cakes are to die for.
p.s Dawn, Jessy and Terrance, it was really kind of you to accompany us during the whole weekend. All the best in your studies. Till’ we meet again!