dimarts, d’agost 16, 2005

Rainbow Tour 2005 Travel Log - Day 18 - Sunday 7.24.05

Dydd y glaw - rainy day...

On what would prove to be the first of several soaking wet days in Wales I mostly stuck around the house and read and watched TV. When it rains in Wales, and I don't just mean the little drizzle that can come at almost any moment, piddling down out of some errant cloud escaped from the Gulf Stream, but when it rains in Wales, it's not pleasant. The rain tends to blow in in sheets, few people bother with umbrellas because the wind has a way of coming in sideways as well. Your best defense, if you have to be outside is a pair of wellies (rubber boots, known otherwise as Wellingtons) and plastic rain poncho (gone are the days of the ubiquitous plastic "mac", which didn't include a hood). If you don't have to be outside, do something nice like read and drink tea. I had thought of going to see a film that was playing at the new artspace in Caernarfon, Galeri. I decided that I would venture out in the afternoon just the same. On Sundays, Mary and Olwen go to visit Olwen's daughter and son-in-law on their farm, Tyddyn Gwynt, but I long ago gave up on accompanying them. The folks at Tyddyn Gwynt are kind, but a whole day there is a bit much, even a rainy miserable one like today.

Once I arrived in town, I thought about stopping at Dylan Thomas, the cybercafé, but it's closed on Sundays, so I went on to Galeri, housesd in a new postmodern building along Doc Fictoria on the Menai Straits. I asked about the movie, but it didn't seem all that appealing. Nonetheless I wandered around Galeri and into a gallery, hehe, with a WWII display about the "facwîs" - evacuees from England. As luck would have it, they were actually giving away copies of the book 100 o Arwyr Cymru - 100 Welsh Heroes, so my trip to Galeri was worth it for a free copy of the book alone. After Galeri I went back to Tai'n Lôn and got ready for dinner, not with Mary and Olwen because they wouldn't be back yet from Sir Fôn, the rather large island northwest of Caernarfon where Tyddyn Gwynt lies, but to Madiba, the Bengali restaurant in Garndolbenmaen.

If it seems moderately ludicrous that a place called Garndolbenmaen would have a Bengali restaurant at all, never mind a very good one, you're not alone in your thinking. Garn, what the locals call it for short, is pleasant enough hole in the wall, but hardly the place for the best chicken vindaloo you can imagine. Nonetheless, along a windswept stretch of the A487 between the village limits of Bryncir, Dolbenmaen and Garndoldenmaen lies Madiba, in an old Little Chef, now elegantly remodeled and serving the best curries west of Dhaka, well at least as far as I'm concerned. The Bengali staff doesn't speak Welsh, but they're friendly and the chicken vindaloo I had was just what the doctor ordered on a cold, rainy Welsh evening. It was so suculent and spicey, I could feel it work its way all through my body. The waiter looked at me in shock and respect for ordering, my being a pastey white boy. I extolled the virtues of their vindaloo to them even as the sweat was beading on my brow, telling them how we couldn't get such good vindaloo in America, and we can't. The Indian beer, Cobra, was an excellent foil to the main course, and went well with my vegetable samosa I had to start out.

After dinner it was back to Tai'n Lôn and a quite rumble as the vindaloo worked its way through, releasing endorphins the whole while. A sublime meal and a path to at least temporary contentment. With the chemicals the vindaloo released in my body coursing through my veins, I wasn't worried about the second investment property I was trying to buy, or all the silly hogia hoyw, my bittersweet companions in lust and ersatz love. Nothing annoying, not a single pertubation of chemical vindaloo induced bliss could get through!

1 comentari:

Rhys Wynne ha dit...

S'mai Gwyddno

I've stumbled across your blog this morning after typing 'Welsh' into Technorati, and the strang thing is I've also come across another blog by a Welsh learner in the New York area this morning (see: http://saywelsh.blogspot.com/) by typing 'Welsh speakers' into Technorati.

Falch o glywed eich bod wedi mwynhau eich amser yn ardal Caernarfon. Bues i yno ar ddechrau mis Awst ar gyfr yr Eisteddfod. Mae'n ardal brydferth iawn a hyfryd yw clywed y Gymraeg yn cael ei siarad gan gymaint o bobl.