Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Madcap Misadventures

First and foremost, I happen to be bored out of my mind. I've been in this state of being for roughly nine days. There was a whole week before classes started, and I was supposed to have class yesterday, and when I showed up - along with about seven other International students also in this class - there was a note on the door saying that it was going to start October 4. So another whole week of waiting and sitting and chilling and generally doing nothing.

There's class on Wednesday but other than that, everything else is up in the air.

And before I get to what I've got up my sleeve for the rest of this week, I'll take a few moments and backtrack to Friday.

Which was Math's birthday. Cue slightly massive, incredibly loud flat party to celebrate. I hung around in the kitchen for a little while because, yeah, that's what you do - and Math is my flat mate [lives across the hall] and it was his birthday - but when you don't really know anybody currently sitting in your kitchen and on your counters, you kind of shrink into yourself a little. Well, you do if you're me and you're not so much accustomed to large quantities of people that you don't know as well as you'd like. So after Amy and Huw brought out the birthday cake and we sang, I made my disappearance shortly thereafter.

The very good reason for this was that Saturday was the trip to Cardiff and St. Fagans. And the bus left at 9:30 in the morning, and I didn't want to sleep all the way there and back again. The trip out was pretty tame - I played games with Craig on his iPhone [and would have beaten him more soundly at chess if the timer hadn't run out on him] - and the outside of the Museum of Welsh Life doesn't look like much, honestly. Then again the whole don't judge a book by its cover thing? Completely applicable here. It's an open-air museum that has replica buildings of the early days of Welsh history, complete with its own little Celtic village nestled among the trees. And how the Celts weren't asthmatic after wheezing in the amount of smoke while smoking hanging meat is unbelievable.

Unfortunately I didn't get to make it all the way to the castle [ran out of time and it was too long of a walk to attempt in the twenty minutes I had left before the bus left] but it was a really awesome place and a very interesting look into what life would have been for people back then.

They were also really short back then. There were occasions when I was walking through doors that I actually had to duck.

And if you haven't been following my Twitter stream, I more or less suggest that you do because gems like, MollyLouise10: FACT: sheep dung is used to make card (stiff paper) and random quotations will probably make it worth it.

We got off the bus in Cardiff proper by the castle and then were basically told, be back here by a certain time and head off on your own. I was quite perturbed for a bit because the group that I was with made a detour into H&M and the last thing that I want to do while abroad is shop. In all honesty, though I really like the people I've met, I should have left them when we first got off the bus because I wanted to see the harbor, since someone had told me there might still be the replica ship there. Replica as in a replica of a frigate, and when you've read as much Age of Sail novels as I have, well, this was practically saliva inducing. The next part was figuring out how to get down the bay, and while everybody else was in line for Subway, I more or less headed back to the little bakery on the corner and asked for directions to the bay. And me, looking to save money and figuring that I have to walk everywhere in Carmarthen, too, asked how long it would take to walk. The answer was about forty minutes. Okay. We'll take the bus, instead.

I wound up down at Cardiff Bay, near a place called Mermaid Quay, and then just sort of started walking around. Keep in mind that at this point I was all the way down by the Millennium Center which is absolutely breathtaking because it is massive. I sampled some Welsh cakes - absolutely fabulous, by the way - and then looked at my watch. Fifty minutes to get back to the castle. And the quickest way back? A train that runs from the center of the city to the bay and back again, every fifteen minutes. Okay. We'll do that.

Now where in hell is the train station?

So began Louise's somewhat semi-frantic search for a train station [the only one that I found was no longer working, and to take the bus back to anywhere somewhat recognizable was going to take an hour, so that was not an option] and then I figured I would just hoof it.

Hoofing meaning speed walking meaning running on occasion. Good thing the mp3 player practically lives in my backpack.

And while there weren't signs for this mysterious train station, there were plenty of signs pointing in the direction of the city center.

I was so worried that I wasn't going to make it back on time that I didn't really tweet much about it. I just more or less speed-walked all the way back from the Bay to the shopping center that we had started at - in view of the castle - and after calming myself down, proceeded to find myself a cup of coffee since I had the time to spare.

I slept all the way back. Most of that time with my head on Craig's bony shoulder after first reassuring what I already knew in that he wouldn't mind.

That was my Saturday in Cardiff.

With all the time that I still seem to have on my hands, I'm going to take advantage of it. I booked my train tickets today, booked where I'm going to snooze [a bed and breakfast] and I'm heading to Snowdonia [the Northern, mountainous part of Wales] for two days. I've got the time, I've got the means, and while we'll trek all over Southern Wales with these prearranged weekend trips, we're not venturing much into North Wales.


Connie W said...

Yay! Man...you had me stressing out! I was so afraid you weren't going to make it back.

How is the coffee? Is it good or are they more tea drinkers?

Molly Louise said...

They are more tea drinkers. The coffee is what you would consider Americano - espresso with hot water and maybe a little bit of milk. And most everyone (actually, I haven't met anyone contrary to this yet) drinks tea with milk and sugar in it.

"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz