1) It's okay that you don't speak Welsh because everyone in Wales also speaks English.
This is false, false, false. Yes, it is true that only 20% of people in Wales speak Welsh as their primary language. HOWEVER, in certain northern parts of Wales near Snowdonia--AKA where I was the whole time--Welsh is spoken primarily. A lot of people don't even speak English. A lot of the signs aren't even in English. You walk around all confused because you expected to be able to understand what was going on and you DON'T. And then, to make things worse, every now and then people speaking Welsh throw in an English phrase here and there and your ears perk up and you think that you'll be able to understand *something* but you don't understand *anything* and you're just even more confused. All very disconcerting.
2) Old Welsh men break into opera songs a lot.
True. At least for me. I ate lunch with a delightful old (70 or 80 years is my guess) man named Alan who barely spoke English and kept slipping into Welsh. He told me not to tell my husband about our lunch so Steve wouldn't get jealous. He also kept breaking into opera and kept trying to get me to sing, too.
3) The Welsh are very anti-American.
False. They're so relieved that you're not English that they fawn all over you.
4) But the Welsh really love the English, so if you're an American, you should consider putting on a fake London accent so they'll be nicer to you.
False. They hate the English. Don't know enough history to understand it, but it sure does come in handy when you're a stranded American girl! Yay for the Welsh!
4) KFC is very popular in Wales. So is Subway (the restaurant, not the mode of transportation).
5) But, really, there is so much good food in Wales that why would you ever want to go to KFC?
FALSE, FALSE, FALSE. My favorite food in Wales is this nasty pastry thing that has a semi-gelatinous meat paste in the middle. Welsh cakes (kinda like flat scones) are pretty nice, though.
6) BYU is totally right to be all proud of its dress code, because immodest dressing is a big problem at the University of Wales.
Immodest dress? Uh, not a problem in Wales. Cause it's friggin freezing. I actually didn't realize it, though, until I was at this kegger/wine tasting thing and everyone got to the point of drunk where they started showing each other their tattoos. And EVeryone had tattoos. (Except me.) It totally surprised me because I hadn't seen tattoos on anyone at all. And then I realized that it was so friggin cold that everyone's skin was always covered from just below their chin down to their toes. (I call the Welsh style of dress "bag-lady chic.") If they were to have a tattoo where I could see, it would have to be on their nose. So, uh, no. Immodesty is not a Welsh problem.
7) Oh, and students at the University of Wales drink a lot of alcohol. Mostly really cold wine in plastic cups and not the hard stuff, though. And they like to drink with Twix candy bars on the side.
8) Wales and England are basically the same country.
ha! wanna get beat up? tell someone this in Wales. False, false, false.
9) It's really easy to get to Bangor, Wales, from London. All you do is hop on a train.
False. More like six trains. Depends on which tube lines are down that day. And beware, some of the trains are really full so you end up sitting on top of your suitcase in front of the stinky train toilet. Makes lunch yummy.
10) Welsh hotel owners might not call you back when you try to make a reservation, but that's because Welsh people prefer to do all business face to face.
False. Welsh hotel owners don't call you because they're FULL. Everyone in the whole town is full. And you find this out at nine at night when you're exhausted and you have no place to stay. And then random strangers are so upset at the sight of a cute little homeless American girl that they all get on their cell phones and start calling everyone they know. And then they invite you to stay at their house and you're just about to when a random hotel calls to say they just had a cancellation. So you go there. But you're all weepy because random strangers were just so amazingly sweet to you. And you have jet lag, which makes the weepies turn into full on sobbing. And that's kinda hard to explain to the taxi cab driver, so you just leave him a big tip. And then he's all happy because he likes Americans because they tip and so he forgives the weeping.
11) No professor at the University of Wales would EVER have an affair with one of their tutees.
False. Apparently, this happens so often it's a cliche. _______________________________________________________
12) When you fly to Wales and you get bumped up to Business Class because you have the best father in law EVER, there is this secret room they let you in at the airport that has a buffet of food and a full bar and massage chairs and showers and places to plug in your laptop and a bunch of other stuff that should probably be kept secret so that the proletariat masses don't revolt.
True. The room would astound you, people. Seriously.
13) It takes three days to get to Wales.
True. I guess it's possible to get there faster, but that's how long it took me.
14) They totally understand the concept of chastity in Wales.
False. When they found out I'd actually lived the Mormon chastity rules they were silent for approximately 1.5 minutes. They kept trying to speak and then couldn't. Finally a stuttering dude from Scotland said, "Well, I guess tha's kinna sweet." Apparently, they didn't realize someone like me could exist. It was actually really nice to feel all conservative and provincial for once. At BYU I always feel like a psycho-liberal-heretic who's inches away from being thrown out. Yay for racy European cultures!
15) The best place to get food in Bangor is at the grocery store.
True. That's where I met Alan.
16) Jet lag is a b*&^% and can make you literally vomit.
True. BLECH. (Literally.)
Barb's the winner cause most of you lovies were too lazy to comment. Love you all anyway, though.
Yay for being back!!!!
Reviewing the Mail: Week of 12/9
2 days ago