Dylan Thomas, poet and Swansea’s only renown character, once called his hometown the “graveyard of ambition.” When I had just arrived to this city in Wales, I didn’t know this phrase, this character nor any reasons to judge Swansea.
After a few days there, I noticed something was fishy, and I’m not talking about the smell coming from tha bay. The city had this trashy atmosphere all around; something completely new to me, a fresh newcomer not only to this place, but to Europe. “Maybe it’s just me” I thought. But it wasn’t.
A friend of my girlfriend, when we asked him what did he think about us as a couple, simply said that we are equally weird. That was funny; yet not as funny as what I witnessed that night out at Wine Street, city’s bar and club central. Slutty pink dresses, very short skirts, cutoff shorts showing half the ass. Girls did not know how to dress up nor showed any interest to cover up their excess of fat and abundance of cellulite. And the guys did not do any better, with extremely tight shirts, ridiculous muscles and “Douche 101” looks. “God, what’s wrong with this people!?” I constantly said. But it wasn’t until we decided to return to our place when the newly learned words from Swansea’s most popular man came to my mind.
On our way back home, we saw a guy sitting on a bench, pucking while talking to his mates about going to a club afterwards. That and all the dog shit on our way back to our house made me realize that the poet’s harsh words may have not been just a simple metaphor. Dylan Thomas was right. “Welcome to Swansea, the graveyard of ambition.”