Sunday, October 21, 2012

An evening out in rural Wales

Just got back from an evening out in a pub in rural Wales. And what an evening it's been. First, the Welsh are a very friendly bunch. This is just about the first pub I've been to on this trip where people have started talking to me right away and pretty soon I was chummy with the whole bar.

I then got kudos from a couple of the slightly drunk gentlemen at the bar when I sang the chorus of the Welsh national anthem in Welsh. I was told my rendering was "close enough" to the actual pronounciation (they were native speakers, so they should know) and that I had "music in my soul". High praise in a country where music is held in such high esteem. One of them even told me he used to sing in a male choir in Aberystwyth, and he'd won some kind of national Eisteddfod back in the day.

What followed was a series of very pleasant conversations on all sorts of topics British and Norwegian; everything from the state of the British school system to the price of beer in Norway (everybody knows someone who's been to Norway and has some horror story about the price of sinful substances). I'd noticed that they had a "Kingdom Hall" for Jehova's Witnesses a few miles down the road, and figured the pub was a safe place to bring up the subject. One guy passing by said he had a good mind to go around knocking on their doors and tell them about beer and free sex.

Later on I stuffed the bar's jukebox with tons of tunes from the 70s, and found out the bartender was a great lover of all things from that decade. We waxed lyrical about everything from ELO to Creedence and soon another couple of guys from England joined in, drunk as skunks. It was all good fun. I shall be sad to continue south tomorrow, but on the other hand I am definitely coming back to Wales.

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