Talking to Strangers: Cardiff, Wales 2

"If you talk to a guy here, it doesn’t really matter how you look, he’s just charming and flirty."

BY JENNIFER BURNS

Tommy, 28

Where are you from? 
I’m from Cardiff. 

Ah, you don’t have a very strong accent.
I’m from the outskirts, so it’s more of a soft accent.

What’s the biggest misconception about Welsh guys? 
That we’re all rugby-orientated, drink too much beer – all that, really. 

The whole laddish culture? 
Exactly. That’s a part of it, but you’ll find that anywhere in the world. 

How did you and your girlfriend meet? 
We went to school together and we knew each other, but not very well. And then we worked together at a Tesco job, and it just happened, really. We’ve been together about six-and-a-half years now. 

Wow, congratulations. 
Yeah, cheers, man. We’re off to Malta next week for a little holiday and that. 

How did you know it was love? 
You just do. It’s when you can’t stand being apart, I guess. It’s like that person is a part of you. I know everything she thinks, and she knows everything I think. If she’s even slightly pissed off, then I know about it. I think that’s what has made us work so well – the fact that we don’t hold back on anything. 

Does she ever get jealous about your work as a bartender? 
No, no, not at all – she knows she’s the one.

That’s sweet. What’s your idea of a perfect night with her? 
Anything where we can get together and explore, maybe try out different restaurants. She’s a bit of an herbalist, so a lot of the time, we go up and down the Taff Trail looking for different herbs she can pick and make tea out of or cook with. We also like to get out and see the Forest of Dean or different cities and just get lost and find our way around. 

How do you keep the love going after six years? 
So far, it’s just worked for us. I work nights, and she works in the day, so we don’t get to spend that much time together. So absence makes the heart grow fonder? Maybe that’s part of it. But we have different tastes, and we like different things, so she goes her way, and I go mine. 

Does that mean, for you guys, opposites attract? 
In a way, yeah. To a degree, but there has to be that little bit of similarity. 

What’s the nicest thing she’s ever done for you? 
For Valentine’s Day, me and her went to Amsterdam. She got the tickets, and we just went straight out there. 

Just like a spontaneous, “Oh, we’ll just go to Amsterdam today?”
Yep, just gone. We got a little house boat for a couple of days. Got totally lost, totally lost. Checked all the places, saw what was happening.  

I don’t know how to say this in a polite way... but I loved the “excess” of it all. 
Indeed [laughs].

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