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One of the special joys of living in a market town is that people get to know each other. This is especially true in Wales. Going to the town is rarely a quick affair because you will most likely meet someone and chat. This is certainly the case with the older locals who treat these occasions as a catch up time ... their local newspaper!
Sadly the big cities have lost the personal touch. It is unlikely that the person behind the counter will hold a conversation with you let alone smile.
The holiday season brings with it an immediate change of tone. Different voices, often tense and more aggressive in an otherwise gentle place. But the shops need all the custom they can get at this time of course ... they keep smiling ... who wouldn't with so many sales on offer.