My time in Cardiff, Wales was pretty short. However, while I was there I realize it was the part that connected the trip. What I mean by that is, it was a nice stopping point between Ireland and London.
Before this trip I had never heard of this place. I naturally didn’t know what to expect. Once I got here a lot of things began to make since. In Dublin Ireland we used Euros and In Cardiff Wales we used Pounds. The United Kingdom is broke of two major parts. There is Great Britain and Ireland. Great Britain contains England, Scotland and Wales. All of Great Britain uses pounds, because they are loyal to the Queen. Ireland is split up into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I remember being in Belfast and learning about the divide between the Catholics and the Protestants, and why Ireland uses Euros. They do not consider themselves to be British.
Cardiff is a newer city, and that made since as to why the buildings and town felt so modern. Even in the mall there was an arcade, a movie theater and even a radio station. I couldn’t believe the station was so tangible. Back home I intern for a radio station and it was so low-key that know one would recognize it. I was so amazed that I had to take pictures to send to the radio personalities back home. A security guard with african decent ask me why I did that. I explain to him the rareness of this location compared to how it is in America. He went on to explain that I could even go in there and asked to be shown around. The radio personalities are considered local celebrities, but unlike the ones at home they’re the local celebrities that are approachable.
In my previous blogs I mentioned how I delt with a few race issues. In Cardiff I didn’t feel those vibes at all. The security guard I conversed with at the mall told me he lived in Chicago for a few years and that American discrimination and Welch discrimination are completely different. America has a longer history of racial struggle. Everyone I came across smiled and used kind phrases such as: please, thank you, cheers, and excuse me. These words seem pretty basic right? Lets just say I learned that I can’t expect that everywhere. Even after meeting with Angela Graham, I learned that the Irish and the Welsh are completely different.
Angela Graham is a professor at Cardiff University. She explain to us the history of Wales and the importance poetry is to the country. I found that extremely interesting because poetry and music are what gives me peace of mind.
After meeting Angela, some of us decided to have Lunch. We ate at Hashery right next to the Cardiff Castle. The scenery near the restaurant was amazing. The music playing drew us in. The lights and flowers made us agree that it was the perfect place. We sat there and noted the different forms of media surrounding us. People taking pictures, and even some street journalism. Although there was a football game going on, the men in the pictures below stop and ask pedestrians about the upcoming elections.
Troy took us to the Castle and I felt like a real princess. From the top you can see the football stadium and most of the city of Cardiff. I also stood up there and soaked in all the atmosphere. I reflected on how much me being brown wasn’t a factor nor did it determine how I was treated. In one of my post I talked about how the Guinness simply reflected on diversity. In Wales I noticed the same thing while at Golley Slater.
The second day in Cardiff was one to remember. We met with Mike Leeson and Golley Slater. I found this very interesting because Golley Slater is one of the leading marketing firms in the United Kingdom. To have them create a reason just for us is something to appreciate. We learned about the creative process it takes to put into one marketing campaign. They used their Mitsubishi campaign as their example for the class. Although I am not in advertising major I was fascinated with all the effort that was put into one commercial.
After Mike and his team kindly showed us around. Mike then took the group on trip to a near by pub for a round of drinks on Golley Slater. The name of the place was called City Arms.
In the commercial (shown above), The ad featured hybrid creatures and the hybrid Mitsubishi. How clever Golley Slater! What stood out to me was that Medusa was a black woman. In the United States I am use to getting excited when I see a company recognizing other races. Personally I feel more drawn to buy the product. At the pub I had a conversation with a few of the employees this topic came up. In America companies have try and draw in African American consumers. Sometimes they fail to do things tastefully. (Click here for more explanation) The point is American diversity campaigns tend force their efforts and in result tend to offend the diverse market they were trying to reach. After speaking with a few Golley Slater employees, I realized in Wales, they things are more naturally done. They didn’t have to place a black Medusa in their ad but they wanted to. Wales does not deal with many race issues from Black to White. Again, I was only In Wales for three days but for the first time on the journey through the U.K., I believe my skin color really wasn’t a factor.