O Cardiff! part 1

O Cardiff! I’ll be staying with (or in) you for seven weeks this summer
O Cardiff! while I work on a presessional course at the university
O Cardiff! I think there’s only one university
O Cardiff! (I’ve just checked, there are two).

O Cardiff! when I opened Facebook this morning on the way to work
O Cardiff! there was an advert for a local company which hires out white vans
O Cardiff! just below an article about the Cardiff racist who carried out
O Cardiff! the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park.

O Cardiff! I will miss my wife and young child back in Italy
O Cardiff! but they’ll be there for three weeks in a holiday cottage
O Cardiff! from mid to late August
O Cardiff! I don’t have to make a joke about burnt-down holiday cottages.

O Cardiff! you are near my favourite city in the UK: Bristol.
O Cardiff! the English city that most resembles Berlin
O Cardiff! so I’ll be visiting there a fair amount to see friends.

O Cardiff! I wonder if I’ll learn any Welsh
O Cardiff! I’m curious to be around another local language
O Cardiff! being spoken in my ‘own’ country
O Cardiff! although you are not in whatever the Welsh call the Gaeltacht
O Cardiff! I hope I will overcome my slightly racist tendency
O Cardiff! to use your language as the easy punchline
O Cardiff! to any jokes about obscure languages.

O Cardiff! I’d be grateful if you could teach me
O Cardiff! teach me something about the difference between England and Britain
O Cardiff! having lived in Dublin, I wonder if there’s a similar distance in terms of
O Cardiff! cultural identity
O Cardiff! especially given that I’ll be (briefly, in some ways) an immigrant.

O Cardiff! I see you voted to stay in the EU
O Cardiff! and elected a full complement of Labour MPs.

O Cardiff! you will be the eighth capital city I’ve ‘lived’ in
O Cardiff! if spending seven weeks there
O Cardiff! can be considered living in any meaningful sense.

O Cardiff! I think you have a large Chinese population
O Cardiff! although when I google Cardiff Chinese it just tells me about restaurants
O Cardiff! if so it will be of particular interest to my students
O Cardiff! who will almost certainly be almost all Chinese
O Cardiff! so I’m looking forward to finding out
O Cardiff! what they make of the place in terms of national identity.

O Cardiff! I welcome suggestions on galleries and other things to see and do
O Cardiff! and am happy to hear from anyone in or nearby
O Cardiff! who wants to hang out while I’m there.

5 thoughts on “O Cardiff! part 1

  1. Enjoy Cardiff & Bristol 🙂 You’ll get to buy 7 weeks of The Big Issue.
    I miss Bristol – lived there for a few years before moving to Spain.
    There’s an open-air museum near Cardiff which I recommend. I went a few times with groups of English language learners & also with family. The volunteers are absolutely wonderful. I don’t know what Britain would do without its volunteers.
    St Fagans National Museum of History


  2. I’ll be happy to hang out with you Richard and I also work in Bristol. But I should point out that just because we have one district called Canton and another called Cathays and a district called Tiger Bay doesn’t mean we have a larger Chinese population than any other port…


    1. Great! Stay in touch, I’ll be there in a month. I think you may have identified why the Chinese community of Cardiff is so closely associated in my head with Shirley Bassey..


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