• Emily Kim


First thing I open my eyes to in 2015 is a poster of One Direction. I roll over in one of the two twin beds Cerian, Emmie’s fifteen year old sister, has generously loaned us for the weekend. Her room is warm, a few trinkets shy of meriting the word “shrine” (to aforementioned boy band, respectively). And it feels good to be in a home after two weeks of hostels. I stretch and decide I’ll buy Cerian some cider and chocolate as a thank you. But first things first, the new year…

Alright, thoughts:

  • First new year abroad- Hellooooo Wales! Who am I that I got to ring in the New Year with Barry’s finest?! Emmie, her fam and friends are fantastic, full stop. I get to wake up this morning in a Victorian home--it’s precious.

  • I kind of don’t accept that it’s a new year. I’m not feeling renewed, just slightly hungover (victory that I’m only slightly hungover) and already behind…

I haven’t made any resolutions. I’d hate to start the new year off on an undecided foot…If I run, does that count as seizing the new year? It’ll have to do… After coercing myself to run all of one mile down the street and back, I come back reeking of last nights’ gin. Mmmmm.

The day moves slowly; the house awakens in stages: the boys, the couples, the parents… All shuffling about with eyes half shut, mumbles and grumbles the common tongue.

As the daylight wanes, hunger pangs overtake laziness and we all agree we need food. Good, greasy, hangover food. And in Barry that means Wetherspoons. So we set off on foot.

In an old theater around the block, a jack-of-all-trades sort of restaurant has made its home. The menu is a small novel and boasts everything from burgers and fries to curry. We walk in and manage to slump ourselves around a long table in the very back corner of the very back room at the very back of the building. We’re in no condition to be seen. At this point there are about eleven of us. So we take it in turns of three to go up and order at the counter. For such a fancy looking restaurant it’s an odd set up. You order at the bar, take a number, and a runner brings you your food. There’s a small table of condiments and silverware, help yourself style. 
Emmie, Marissa and I maze our way to the counter. Behind the bar, his sole charge taking orders, is a tall open faced guy our age. He smiles, so happy, so… damn happy.

“May I please have a regular burger with fries crisps and an extra side of mayo with a diet coke to drink?” I venture. It feels good to order shit food in its mother tongue. 
He cocks his head, his wavy brown hair falling to the side.