I was glad to finally locate the bus to Caerleon, where the teaching campus is located. The people in Caerleon were a much nicer breed: they actually smiled and were helpful. This was a pleasant surprise, as in most of my trips across the border I have always sensed the kind of suspicion you get in old movies where strangers turn up in remote public houses to be met with complete silence. That was north Wales, though. My friend's parents bought a hotel in the valleys of north Wales, and their welcoming present from the locals was a dead cat hanging from the front door. They would only speak to them once the name on the door was changed from his fathers name, a Yorkshireman, to his wife's Welsh maiden name of Jones.
The most bizarre thing about Caerleon was the number of children. When I left the town the place flooded with so many school children that didn't seem feasible for such a small population. There were literally thousands of school children on every street corner, in every shop and filling up the bus as I returned to Newport; this is about the same as the actual reported population of Caerleon. It was almost as if the desperate population of the city were sending their children away from the hideousness that is Newport out into the wilds of the surrounding villages and vales. This idea was supported by the huge traffic jam created by the early afternoon workers returning from their jobs in the city to the pleasantness of rural Caerleon.