If you like long walks on the beach, rainbows and learning about the world then Swansea is the place for you.
Wait, let me rephrase that. If you like long walks on beach trying to avoid rusted cans of Stella, rainbows in the ocean caused by runoff from the steel works and nutters shouting at you at the bus stop, then Swansea is the place for you.
The Pretty Shitty City was once a thriving working class metropolis, producing some of the finest raw materials in the world – then Thatcher did her thing and it all went to shit.
The mines were closed and replaced by benefits, heroin and alcoholism.
Now, Swansea is home to the most notorious street in Europe: Wind Street. What a lot of people don’t know is Wind Street is one of the few places the blitz didn’t destroy in the city.
But instead of keeping the street as the banking quarter or the beautiful buildings as part of Swansea’s pre-war heritage, the gorgeous architecture has been taken over by tacky chavvy scummy wanky nightclubs.
Revolution, Peppermint, Varsity – this is what Swansea has given its history to. The Valleys bints and their cohorts line the streets with pavement pizza every Friday and Saturday night without the faintest idea of the wonder that used to evolve from the buildings they’re in.
The only part of Swansea where perfect property could have been kept is Townhill. The views of the bay with the Mumbles headland in the distance are some of the most beautiful in the world. Instead of building properties to benefit from these views, the council decided to coat the entire hillside in council homes.
One great geographer once described the scenes in Townhill as the only place they’d been where both bathroom and kitchen equipment littered every front garden.
When people think of Swansea, they rarely think of the great minds like Dylan Thomas who once walked the streets.
They think of drugs. Drugs drugs drugs. All Swansea does is drugs.
Swansea Love Story – a documentary which follows some of Swansea’s smack addicts – is routinely the first topic of conversation when talk of hometowns arises.
It’s not just the documentary – everyone in Swansea has a link to the drug trade. Some of the best businessmen helping to gentrify the decaying ruins of a once great town had their start in business through the 1990s ecstasy scene.
Everyone from Teabag the homeless man to members of the city council have been linked to the drugs industry.
The most wanted man in Britain even chose the Gower Peninsular as the location for the front (an ostrich farm) of his cocaine trafficking business.
To the outsider, Swansea could quite happily be twinned with Mordor. To the local, it’s an escape.
The real world doesn’t impact on Swansea because Swansea Jack’s don’t give a shit about anything further than Port Talbot.
For those that have managed to escape, Swansea is a tool for success. We pray that we never go back, we work extra hard to ensure our beloved families can leave with us, we even shy away from watching the football matches if they’re a home game.
Despite this, only people from Swansea can say how fucking awful it is.
Anyway, it’s always going to be better than England. Yuck.