Wales and Tub Laundry

 

Lunch yesterday at a small Welsh cafe with Chinese girls. I spent the day with them, they adopted me.

Talked for hours over beans on toast and eggs and chips- interesting things I can remember- students get jobs in China for the work experience. Paid 3 pence an hour (6 cents)  at KFC. Next to NOTHING but completely legal if the employer and employee make an agreement and sign a contract. No minimum wage laws at all. Also talked about how we all wanted to be journalists, but got disheartened when took journalism courses at uni and realized you don’t get to “uncover the truth,” you get to write the truth that those above you want written. It’s like this in the US unofficially, but in China it is actually regulated as the government owns the media. I did not realize this!! More private publications coming out now though…

All I ate yesterday: fried egg, digestives and a snap pot of beans in a cup. Roughin it and lovin it. :)

Spanish language so expressive, slow fast loud quiet. :)

And then later that night I realized I HAVE to be a journalist; paid or not. Writing is in my blood. Experiences are mine to share. :)

Let nothing get me down, can conquer anything. Can turn anything into a better situation. Start with a notebook and a shower. Bueno. Always. Sempre. :)

ALL LANGUAGES

Breakfast the next morning- 2 pound Welsh breakfast at the Inn. Brought my French book to study during. Guess what it was?? Orange juice, coffee and toast. :P I kept waiting for them to bring something else out but that was it. Haha.

Never thought I would use language, now it is going to become my life. I can feel it. And I love it.

On Irish radio that morning, talking about Greek and Irish relations. “Now that Greece is broke Ireland has a lot more in common with them.” Ha.

LOVE Irish accent/culture. I feel a connection to it. My homeland. OH! Talking to a girl I met today, Juni, and we are going to apply for a host family in Northern Ireland for the Easter week!

Irish fish commercial “port to store in 24 hours.” Must be on the coast.

So friday night I did not sleep, and it worked out very well. Met the bus for Wales in the dark at 6 am and hopped on and slept for a good four hours. :) SO MUCH TO TELL. Going to scratch a few notes out for you tonight and add more as I remember. :)

When got to Wales listened to radio being broadcast from Ireland on the bus. :)

Snowdonia saturday morning. Picture to follow. ;) Basically, it was one of the most badass hikes of my life. Vertical and sheer WET rock cliff climbing. AMAZING. In the rain, no less. Tallest mountain in Wales. Much more mountains to come on Scotland trip… :)

Welsh mountain men ripping their shirts off as they got ready for the climb and climbing sticks and gear. Hats with bobbles on the top, nice contrast. Love it.

Sheep all over on sheer cliffs of North Wales surrounded by green green grass and moss.

Met Chinese girl, Xiaoxi Zohou and we bonded on the climb. Talked all about Chinese language and English slang. Nee-how! Eloi learning Mandarin right now as well, I might learn a bit with him and Xiaoxi! Met Xiaoxi’s friend and we stuck together the whole day. :)

Creftau- coffeepot in Welsh

Purple and blue rocks under my feet

Met and took pictures for a nice German couple from Frankfurt. So classy, so obviously from Deutschland. I’m sure I impressed them with my Danke and Guten Tag. :P

“And I never tried to change you, honey I’m your biggest fan” :)

Ty Mawk- Tea Room

sun coming in the window

German tight skinny tall tree forest

lush Jurassic park

FERNS

“Got songs in my blood/ carrying all the love of an orchestra”

Ilwch- give way

“Life is a machine/with the mechanics of a dream/and it’s your mind that spins the wheel” -Noah and the Whale

Twmpathu- humps

All street signs first in Welsh and then English. Cute.

Get Better– Scroobius Pip

Unffordd- one way

Carol y Dinas- city center

big brother cameras all over UK

Hate on and ignore the boy two seats in front of my because I briefly fell in love with him. I am such a child. :P

Yasin such a great leader!

England-no big deal. France- next. Then Asia. And eventually Africa and finally Middle East.

“Whether you have/or have no wealth/ the system might fail you/but don’t fail yourself” -Scroobius Pip

Diwedd- end

Celtic.

“Welshmen are not like polite Englishmen, a bit rougher. Don’t hang around quite late” -Yasin

The Black Boy pub the most popular pub in town. Still not sure if it was just historical or a bit racist but it was really cute. Ha. We all went. Low ceiling cave pub close tables dim light and stone walls. Beautiful. So nice.

“You’d never be the kind. With an ordinary life.” -Guster

There did not end up being enough room in the Hostel for us all so some of us got to stay in a Welsh Inn. :) I stayed with two Spanish girls I know, Anna and Beatrice (Bea).

Upset at first when got to the room. What am I doing here? I’m totally out of my depth. Felt uncomfortable without a buddy to back me up. Took a nap from 6-9 and then got up and took a shower.

If you remember anything I write in this blog, remember this: SHOWERS ARE LIFE.

After my shower everything felt so much better and I felt so much better and back on track. :)

Played a Spanish card game with Anna and Bea called “the Broom,” you had to get your cards to add up to 15. Really fun, I did pretty good! 15 pontos. Also, learned that the Spanish card deck is different from the usual card deck. They do not have 7, 8,9 or 10 and instead the J, Q, K and A stand for these, respectively. Not sure at all how that works, but I will look into it and get back to you on it. :P

Nice talk with Bea and Anna about cultural norms in America and Spain and then some fun political talk. They couldn’t understand why American’s do not want universal health care. “Are they just that selfish? It is a necessary thing. So the mentality is that if you don’t have it, it is your fault?”

la noche. perfecto. mucho.

Also used a bit of my gradeschool Spanish. :) It was fun listening to them talk together as I could understand every few words they said. If only I had met Spanish people back in grade school, I might have paid more attention in language class. :P

First night of traveling always the hardest for me, and I blasted through it.

Heights and views. LOVE. Castle and on mountains and looking up mountains.

Traveling is such a learning experience for me. You know how I am, I will not learn anything until I am basically thrown into it. Before I came to the UK I had not idea where LONDON was in the UK, much less Wales. Now I could point out 20 plus cities in England alone. Being British means the WHOLE of the UK whereas being English, Welsh, Northern Irish or Scottish is for each specific country.

I had no idea WHERE Wales was until I came over to England. And I would have never gotten a feel for the layout of Wales until I finally went there. :) Not sure if this is a good or bad thing… :P Regardless, it is how I am. Hands on experience.

“I got songs in my blood. Carrying all the love of an orchestra” -Noah and the Whale. xxxx

Lamb with her Mama. Miss my Mama, but so happy for the technology to be able to talk to my parents everyday. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And so happy they are supporting me in my dreams. Owe them so much. Love them so much. :D

Beautiful scenery! Houses on rivers on vertical hills and lush gardens.

Black sheep! :P Reminds me of Pop, he always said he was the “black sheep” of his family. :)

Restless. Learn it all and be it all. Loving it all.

On bus again driving through the countryside. Every time we passed cows, horses or sheep I fell in love. I am so Kansas. :P

The farm animals look a bit different over here. A bit more traditional? Like the cows have long hair and the sheep are more wild.

And then they are next to these old old old old old stone cottages. So freaking cute. I want to be a European farmer!!!! Everything is a bit more packed together compared to the expansive fields in Kansas. You can see like 3 or 4 farms out of the window with one glance. Also it was tiered since we were in the mountains. So cute.

On bus again driving through the countryside. Every time we passed cows, horses or sheep I fell in love. I am so Kansas.

The farm animals look a bit different over here. A bit more traditional? Like the cows have long hair and the sheep are more wild.

And then they are next to these old old old old old stone cottages. So freaking cute. I want to be a European farmer!!!! Everything is a bit more packed together compared to the expansive fields in Kansas. You can see like 3 or 4 farms out of the window with one glance. Also it was tiered since we were in the mountains. So cute.

Writing in my journal on the top of a beautiful castle overlooking a port and beautiful seaside town. Sea gulls squawking. I need to live on a northern coast harbor. It’s calling to me. Love.

Journal resting on the ledge of a mossy 800 year old stone castle. Wonderful. Breathe the fresh sea air! LOVE.

Colorful flats and white boats (bow-ats)

Snowy hazy mountains in the distance. This town has got it all. Caernarfon.

By far best place I’ve been in the UK so far. Only 4.50 to get in compared to crazy Winsor castle for 13 pounds. Caernarfon castle get to explore and wander and get lost in the secret passage ways and endless spiral staircases. Windsor just went on tour. LOVE Caernarfon. Highly recommend. Literally felt like I was in Medieval and in danger of being locked in one of the prisons in the bottom of the castle.

Back on top of the towers though, sea gulls and cars and ships and breeze the only noises. Beautiful. Motion.

After left castle I wandered down to the coast and gave the sea a kiss goodbye. Promised it I would be back to live by it one day.

Pieces of Ate cafe outside of castle. Haha. But then remembered, I’m in ENGLAND. This is where the pirates were from. SO COOL, yeah?

Rochester ginger drink in Wales.  English literature class so enlightening, John Wilmont. :)

Welsh/Irish wit and witticisms book. :)

uh- (American English)

em- (Irish/Welsh)

erm- (English)

Welsh carved wooden love courting spoons all over. Traditional. So cute.

announce on bus- “Be back at the Apollo- 1 pm. So that means Anna, Bea and Annie, quarter til for you.” :P

“I don’t think it’s you, Annie. It’s the Spanish influence on you.” :P Little does he know… :P

courage quick wit

seagulls and castles

“Growing up in contemporary Ireland” program on the radio on the bus.

Keep in moy-und… keep in mind… mastering Irish accent

Night in Wales, check.

Irish music.

Irish poetry.

How to live without money- my Irish heritage. Embrace it. Love it.

Maybe I should work my way backwards through the trip. The last place we went was a two hour hike up the mountains in Bets-y-Coed. It was really fun. With two Chinese friends and then met Juni from Haiti and a guy from Canada who was really nice and lives really close but I have already forgotten his name. The guy is doing Biology and we had a lively discussion on the origin of the human species on the walk back down the mountains. Love scientists! Juni is doing politics and wants to go to law school as well. She sat next to me on the bus and we talked for literally 3 h 45 minutes straight the whole way back to Leicester. Politics and sociology; race and gender and Africa and aid and charities and trickle down effect and bush and obama and michelle and growing up in haiti and all the break ins because people cannot find money and her mom got shot twice and they moved to America when she was 13 the government in haiti and how the president does not really do anything and how when poor countries borrow money from the IMF the IMF does not let them pay back until the interest has started so that they make money. How can people stand to earn money off the poor?

Different names for all their drinks in Wales.

SO badass. Definite culture shift. Welsh more expressive and rough. Cute, but a bit disconcerting after polite English pubs.

Traveling by self and felt a bit uncomfortable and hostile. Realized as long as I allow myself to smile, others will smile too. :)

Tub laundry worked out brilliantly!! Took a few days to dry, but thanks to nice drying rack my parents bought me, that is not a problem. Now I have nice clean air dried clothes and and extra three pound twenty!

Em put up a big poster of Kate and William’s wedding in our room.

Just went to the kitchen to get milk for my coffee– thank you Mama for the sweet letter and Dicken’s article!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!! :D

Sea weed for Jisu and a cookbook for Birgit, you are so sweet! And Mac and Cheese for all. :P

Birgit would LOVE a cookbook from you!!! I was going to buy you guys a German cookbook when I was in Germany- but realized how expensive it would be to send. SO I will buy you one when you come. :D And Jisu already thinks you guys are the sweetest people ever. :D Maybe could you bring some “American” crunchy peanut butter for Eva? Even though we already have it here, they don’t have it in France, and I’m sure she would LOVE something from the US as well.

Em just tossed me a Hob Nob from across the room. We never get up to hand stuff to each other. We have become excellent at throwing digestives like frisbees. Anyway, first time trying a Hob Nob. Really nice, like a digestive except more classy- biscuit is made with “oats and magic” according to Emily, then have the chocolate on them as well like a digestive. Mmmm. I’ll bring some back with me. For those of you coming to Europe, let’s buy some.

I’m that weird writer that you see desperately scribbling notes down like my life depends on it. I realize this. But I’m okay with it. :P

SING

invincible

Em’s can opener in It Dan’s room

People walking on trails along with sheep!

MYTHICAL forest. So Harry Potter esque. Strong crooked trees.

Still super creeped out by being out in the middle of nowhere walking. It’s beautiful but I still have an innate fear of small towns/empty places. Need the city to live it. Farm for fun every now and then when I’m feeling adventurous and romantic. :P

vampires in old days- they think myth probably stemmed from people dying from serial killers.

Before started our hike up Bets-y-Coed mountain, these nice local people shared sandwiches for us– they had like HUNDREDS of sandwiches, and handed them out like candy to us, random strangers. So nice!!! We all had them, all 40 or so of us!! :P They said they made loads of food for every football game, and apparently there was one that day. People can be so nice!!!!

“Hush. Listen cus the stars’re trying to sing you home. Let the stars sing you home”

Absolutely SPECTACULAR mountains. Holy cow. Sheer cliffs and rocks. Vertical.

“Trust what’s in your heart, what better can you do?” -N & W

Waterfalls. Ears popping a bit. Altitude _____?

Stone fences. Wonderful.

VAST

Freaking fabulous. Bus silent in awe. Out of nowhere we are suddenly SOMEWHERE. stone cottages and being enveloped by the physical earth towering over us.

“Give a little love, you can get a little love”

Holy cow. I feel insignificant. Empty with the vastness around me. Longing to be filled. Happy. :)

So many things happening in the world that never reach the media etc. Hikers, farmers, cows, sheep, hermits.

Love being physically ENVELOPED by the world in the mountains.

No more hanging around Hastings. The world is far too vast and brilliant and big.

Mountains in Wales, talk about mountains in China with friend.

Desolate.

No people here, land far too prominent in the picture to hold people as well. People don’t like to feel insignificant usually, and this will do it. Lovely.

Sorry to all the new study abroad people I am meeting, but I just do not have time to hang out all day and hold your hand. I had to figure Leicester out and meet people by myself as well, and so can you. I need to stop feeling guilty because this was always my plan– live the British university experience the first semester, and then the second semester to TRAVEL. NOT to stick around Hastings and continue going out every night. I hate telling people no, but I have to get used to it. It’s a midday on a monday and I have already had to tell the two people, No, I am not going out tonight. I don’t have money for it anyway! Went out friday night because Eva and Eloi and Jisu were all going out and I was staying up all night anyway. But had to spend 2 pounds on taxi on way over, 5 pounds to get in the club, 4 pounds for drinks, then 1.50 for the taxi home. (I found us a cheap taxi with my new taxi bartering skills. :P)

Anyway. Decided on semester one being British club experience and then semester two being traveling well over a year ago. It was written in the stars. You can travel WITH ME, though.

Just as much my experience as yours. That’s what I need to remember. I need to remember to be selfish.

Have not been painfully tired the whole weekend even though I did not sleep at all friday night. Love having energy. :)

 

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