Always Room For Caredigrwydd

, , , , , | Hopeless | May 28, 2019

(I have moved from France to Wales. It is the first time I have ever traveled away from home on my own. I have been accepted into a university in Wales; however, the university is located in a very small town, lost in the Welsh countryside. After successfully landing in Cardiff, I realize I have no clue how to even get to that small town. I look for some staff members in the airport in order to ask for some help.)

Me: “Excuse me. Would you happen to know how to go to [Small Town]?”

Staff Member #1: “I am afraid I don’t.”

(I have been travelling for five hours, the battery of my phone is dead, and I have no clue as to where to go. I am completely lost and panicking.)

Staff Member #1: “You know what? I think someone here comes from this town. Let me check.”

(She then calls one of her colleagues, who promptly tells her that the one working at the currency exchange does come from [Small Town]. She walks with me to find him. As soon as I ask how to go there, I see the staff member take a paper and a pen.)

Staff Member #2: “It’s a bit complicated, so I will write it down for you.”

(I watch him write to me in great details which bus to take, where to stop, and so on. After thanking him a lot, I get on the bus he told me to, stop at the train station which is no more than a platform in the middle of nowhere, and sit down. I don’t see anyone at all for ten minutes, until a woman who appears to be in her 70s arrives. I am completely exhausted and even more panicked due to the fact the train stop has no name, nor a machine to buy a train ticket.)

Old Woman: “Darling, are you all right? Where are you going?”

Me: “To [Small Town], but I have no clue if I am at the right station. I can’t even buy a train ticket; there is no machine…”

(She looks at my paper and confirms that I am at the right place, then explains to me that I can simply wait for the train controller and buy my ticket from him. This is not possible in France; you must have your ticket before boarding or you will get fined. She even goes as far as stopping two teenagers who walk past us, literally grabbing them by the collar of their shirts.)

Old Woman: “Hey, you two! Help the young lady with her luggage! Don’t you see she has two suitcases?”

Me: “Oh, no, that’s all right. I can do it.”

Teenagers: “It’s all right. We are happy to help!”

(They helped me carry my suitcases as soon as my train arrived, without ever losing their smiles. This made my day, even my whole week. I have now been living for eight years in the UK, but I will never forget the kindness of those staff members in Cardiff, nor that old woman or those two teenagers who helped a lost and panicked foreigner. Welsh people are truly amazing!)

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