Sunday, August 17, 2008

Curly does not lie

River Towy

About 12 years ago, sitting in a pub in London with the drink flowing and craic at an all-time high, my friend, Jason, turned to me and said: "Man, you gotta love this place. But, still, there's no town in the world better than Fargo, North Dakota."

He said this in total seriousness.

The lesson to be learned there is that sometimes it's good to add a pinch of salt to whatever a person tells you about wherever they're from. I'll admit that if you ask me about Texas, I will conveniently forget about the endless miles of concrete wasteland in Houston and Dallas; somehow the myriad chemical plants are dropped from my descriptions of Lake Jackson and the Gulf Coast.

Black Mountain in background

That same sort of homerism runs rampant in Welsh people's descriptions of Wales. According to a Welshman, Wales is the greatest place ever. Ever. There are no problems. None at all. Everything is beautiful and everyone is lovely. Indeed, I used to say that one of the greatest ways to spoil a visit to Wales is to listen to anything a Welshman tells you about it. Because the disappointment will be staggering.

Unless, you happen to be talking to Curly.

The child bride and I last week wandered out to the hometown of our man with the voice that ladies love (a) and I am shocked, amazed and delighted to report that Curly is not full of shit. Llandeilo is actually a very lovely place. Llandeilo is actually surrounded by incredible natural beauty. Llandeilo actually has several nice pubs. Llandeilo is actually populated by really nice people.


Indeed, the people were so nice that they threw me off a bit. People kept, you know, speaking to us. In Cardiff the people are friendly enough, but it's a city -- so when we say things like "How are you?" it's just a civilised nicety. We don't actually want to know how you are. Give a quick answer to the affirmative and move on about your business. But in Llandeilo they were asking because they felt like having a little chat.

What sealed it for the child bride, however was Llandeilo's desert shop, Heavenly. A place with stuff so good that Rachel is already wanting to drive back out there.

All of this means that I need to start paying more attention to the things recommended by Curly. I can't really buy into fixing up a Ploughman's lunch, but I am now thinking that I do need to visit Sweden.

Tea time

(a) Seriously, if you speak of Curly behind his back, the thing that women identify immediately is his voice. Bastard. I hate him.


Lucky said...

Having lived in Sweden, I can honestly say you DON'T need to visit.

Sweden has many things going for it: beautiful scenery, unique history, some uniquely progressive laws, and the people are generally easy on the eyes.

However, the weather is weird, it's impossible to find decent beer, and it's really, really annoying when you start talking to someone in their language and they answer in English. Doubly so when one speaks fluent Swedish.

...having said all that, for some reason I want to go visit my old Swedish haunts again.

Anonymous said...

I have also experienced the wonder of Curly. Not only does he recommend cool places, he builds snazzy Google maps which tell you how to get there. Once you've had Curly, you never go back.

Curly said...

Your photos are much better than any that I've taken in the area. Don't tell too many people how great Llandeilo is though, even two more cars on the road is enough for the locals to complain about heavy congestion.

Huw said...

I am imagining Curly's booming voice singing hymns in that church...

Anonymous said...

The scenery is awesome!!! Love it!!
I shall pay that place a visit some day too!

Anonymous said...

Icky Fargo. Although their new Scheels flagship store has a ferris wheel in it.....

Go Grand Forks!

(love the photos!)

Burlesque Chic said...

Do definitely buy into the ploughman's lunch concept - as Curly can testify, you'll not be disappointed.

We need a soundbite here, of a booming Curly, just for us novice readers to fully understand.