Step off train.
But am I Cardiff? Is Cardiff me?
One year to find out, one journey to commence.
Problem: where’s the exit?
Resolution: straight ahead, I should have seen it.
Man: where is Platform 2?
Riposte: I am sorry, I don’t know. Are you on Facebook?
An awkward silence like moss on a Norweigan tree in June. Is this the Day of Thunder?
I feel lost. Draw me a metaphorical mind map and I’ll lay down on your molten train tracks.
Exit the train station.
Flashing neon lights of the Burger King. Fast food generation nation. I think of fresh cod and trout, but this ain’t no rainbow city.
Me: Excuse me, where can I see a map for directional advisement?
Man: You don’t need a map, you need a new hat.
A languid finger points to a direction collection encased in grimy glass and ripe for intro-outro-meta-spection.
I walk 5-10 meters. Symmetry achieved.
Walk walk walk, stop, walk walk, stop.
St Mary’s Street, carnival and revellers. Sundown smile, my vision becoming multi-peripheral.
An Asgardian clock encased in glass, tick tock tick tock. Time flies when you’re coke and rum.
Friday the day of wages.
Factory workers reminisce of steel shaping shifts, blackened hands and tankards of ale.
Estate agents close a sale, suits pinstriped and pressed for success at half past wine.
Boozer, the Borough, Yates the wine joint.
Our money is the all the same and the drink takes the blame… or close acquaintances.
Closer yet further still, to whit the steel worker motions to a call centre executive with a closed fist and stiffening shoulder ensemble.
Conflict in Cardiff. Welsh Warriors. Fear flights through the five boroughs but I see no painted baseball clowns, only enraged dragons wearing culture crowns.
Drunk and a stumble. The Isle of Hayes.
Waterstones has a buy one get one half price.
Reminder: I’m here to learn, academia awaits.
Roath. Elegant two bedroom apartment; both en suite, but who’s counting?
Full media connection, but I need to interface with me.
This year is my journey, I need to make Cardiff my city.
I bite into an apple and open my Mac.
An email for an internship; please sir, can I have some more? Disaster interaction: the editor vexed with my corrections of his holy words. My direct style of communication is not in relation to the egos borne of procrastination and Big Ideas.
Culture: what is it? I am a force for my own stylings; drip drip drop drop, I need a trip to the shop.
Open my journal.
Words spill like snow in the winter from the requisite clouds and their multiverse formations: Afraid. Excited. New. Old. Castle. Take away food. City. Capital. Uncle Torr.
Entrance to the scene.
Roommate: I am your roommate.
Me: I am your roommate.
Roommate: We are at A, let’s get to B.
Me: And then C and D.
Both: This feels right.
Nods and smiles and flowing conversation covering a complete collection of crazed recollection. Squared. Rooted. Rebooted. Nostalgia nightmares of animatronic bears.
Speech slurring, world whirring.
Roommate: How about that 2 Fast 2 Furious?
Me: Yes! I own it on digital video disk, truly the filet of the franchise.
Roommate: Bond now assured and let me be clear; we are friends in concrete absoluteness, to which cannot often be said over such brief interaction. Rare.
Walking home to Roath.
Roommate has long since expired ‘pon a corner of the castle. Grassy knoll, well don’t we all? Life and death in the Diffusion City.
I look up to the sky, the stars aligned I see Oslo, Norway.
Focussing my spiritual and atomic distribution here I am in Cardiff, Wales.
I access, accept, and assimilate my fate for one year less one month. A beautiful city with opportunity aplenty and unto much learning to be anything less than a fleeting yearning.
We Are Cardiff? Yes. Yes we certainly are.
A writer, poet, artist and polemicist, Plangu, originally from Oslo, Norway, resides in Roath where he is undertaking a year of study at Cardiff University. Plangu’s debut short story collection, ‘Grenene Av Våre Trær’, is due for publication in late 2013.
The image above is a self portrait by Plangu.
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