Wales: By Ata Us Salam

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Wales is a small and beautiful state in the west of England and part of the United Kingdom. In the past this country has been a part of Norman and Roman empires like many other parts of Great Britain. Its national language is Welsh. It is considered as a very difficult language and a large number of Welsh people cannot even understand their own language neither they feel its need because of the popular use of English language in their daily lives. “Cymru” and “Caerdydd” are the welsh names of Wales and Cardiff. From these names you can imagine that how difficult this language would be.
The longest bridge of UK which is called “Second Severn Crossing” joins English city Bristol with the Welsh capital Cardiff. Length of this bridge is almost 5 kilo meters. It can be considered as the master piece of British engineering.
Green and white flag of Wales has a red dragon in between. One can say that actually Welsh flag represents the war history of Great Britain. In contrary to its flag, color of Welsh buses is green. Almost all buses have televisions screens and many CCTV cameras in them which broadcast different view of bus and different news channels as well. Some free newspapers are kept in these buses. These newspapers are usually full with different advertisements.
African people are very few in this country because they usually prefer to live in London. Pakistanis and Indian are in majority in some of its areas. Some Pakistanis have very successful businesses in Cardiff and its surrounding areas while Indians generally prefer to work in offices like Royal Mail etc. These Indians always prefer to speak English and they do not want to speak Hindi. Even I felt that they feel their insult in speaking Hindi while in their films they never hesitate to abuse British rulers who had given them freedom after centuries of foreign rule. They have strange psyche, may be in reality they feel complex from their own culture and language.
Local post offices are usually established in private stores or shops in Wales. Staff of these post offices also works for the private companies. It was very surprising for me when I saw that clerks of one of the post offices were selling mobile Sim cards. Sometimes post men of Royal mail drop leaflets of different companies with their post.
999 is the emergency service number in Wales and may be throughout the UK. This single number is used for Police, Ambulance and Fire brigade services. These services are very active and if you are really in emergency they would be at your home within 1 or 2 minutes. Local doctors are called General Practitioners. People have to register with them to get an appointment to see the doctors. Medical is free for all of the registered patients but it is very expensive for the foreigners.
Dentists are not easily ready to register new patients by saying that they have no space but personal links work at here. I could not see maladministration in any other department except in the Health department of UK. When I was living in the city of Cardiff, my wife and I visited the dental clinic of Grangetown to be registered but the receptionist told us that they were not recruiting new patients and suggested us to wait for at least 6 months or try in other areas. In those days my wife had regular bleeding from her teeth and she was in great pain. We had to go to the hospital for regular check-up but the same clinic registered a young healthy man whose uncle was a friend of the clinic’s doctor.
Wales is a very peaceful country and its police is very rare on the roads. There is no restriction on drinking outside clubs during weekend nights. Due to the severe cold weather majority of the people have skin problems. Fast food is very popular at here like other parts of the UK and obesity is common problem in Cardiff while a large number of people can be seen while running and cycling for their fitness.
Welsh people are crazy for Asian foods and I think their stomach is comparatively very strong than Asian people. Once I attended the marriage of a Pakistani family. This marriage was held in the Cardiff County Council’s hall. After ending of the marriage ceremony, I saw that the security staff of that council was collecting remaining food in their plastic bags very hastily while others was busy in eating that food madly.
Government laws are enforced here with full power. In cars children’s should be put in their car seats and they cannot be taken into arms. Libraries are opened in every areas and every one can use and study internet or books free of cost. Books can be taken to home for 28 days and then they have to be renewed if someone wanted to keep them for longer duration without any charge.
Until 16 years of age, the education is mandatory and free for everyone and after this age loans are provided to study at undergraduate level with very soft conditions. Those people are very unlucky who want to study at Masters Level and had already completed their undergraduate degree from any other country because no support is available for study at Masters Level. I could not understand the reason of these unfair laws for Master’s students in Wales while study is completely free at Masters Level in Scotland which is also a part of United Kingdom.
There is an international cricket stadium in the city of Cardiff but due to its rainy weather Welsh young generation does not look busy in cricket. Their favorite sports are rugby and football. In the last world cup welsh rugby team was the only British team who had got access to the semifinal. Welsh authorities have allowed everyone to see their team’s matches free of cost on the large screens which were fixed in their international rugby stadium.
Many vacant houses can be seen everywhere. I think severe rainy and cold weather is its main reason. During my stay at there, I met with many people who wanted to move to Australia or America where weather and job opportunities are comparatively better than Wales. Before migration, people bring their household items in the “Boot markets” where clever traders purchase them at no cost and then resale them at good prices. Some people go to these markets on regular basis and earn a good profit by selling and purchasing different used items from there. These markets are blessing for poor people who cannot purchase new expensive items from markets.
Prince Charles, who is expected king of UK, has the title of “Prince of Wales” that is why he visits the Wales more frequently. Cardiff Castle is one of the most beautiful tourists’ places of Wales. This castle was also attacked by the German bombers during World War II. Voices of these jets can be heard by visiting this historical castle. Famous Cardiff Bay is also a worth looking place for tourists.
Welsh people are very friendly. They very happily ready to help any stranger. Richard Burton, a famous Hollywood actor and husband of the Elizabeth Taylor, was originally from Wales. During my short stay in the city of Cardiff, I felt that in contrary to England, majority of the staff of its public offices is very young and smart especially of “Home Office” and “Cadwyn”. I will suggest Mustansar Hussain Tarar to visit at least one of these before his death otherwise his travelogues would remain incomplete without narrating the beauty of Welsh girls.

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