That’s happened to me in Wales. It’s true, it is the MOST WELSH THING EVER.
So, here’s the story:
Me and my folks were heading to Cardiff for the day from Clevedon (near Bristol) and we decided to head to Rhymney (rum-nee) near Merthyr Tydifl (mur-thur-tid-vil) which is where my grandfather grew up. My grandfather had died just over a year previously, so we were already a little emotional. We found Rhymney (a miracle as it really is a tiny wee town) and we managed to find the street where my grandfather lived. My mum hadn’t been there since the 60s, so we kind of stood there looking around aimlessly for a while, before some people came out of their house and sort of looked suspiciously at us.
My mum asked them if they knew which of the houses used to belong to Owen Beddoe (my grandfather’s father) and they said they didn’t know, but that Old Les would know. In a bizarre moment of serendipity, Old Les appeared soon after this, and we asked him if he remembered. He did, as it turns out.
It was Old Les’ house. My grandfather grew up in Old Les’ house. (I KNOW RIGHT? How is this actually a real thing? I swear on Bill Bailey’s life.)
So Old Les invited us in and made us some tea. We met his family and he showed us around, while my mum struggled not to burst into tears. His wife was on the phone (with someone across the street) and she said (imagine a Welsh accent now) “You’ll never believe it, but there’re some people here from New Zealand who are related to Owen Beddoe! All the way from New Zealand.”
Anyway, we had some tea, looked around, thanked them profusely and then headed back to our car. When we came out of the house, there were people standing in the street and twitching their curtains. The whole street knew.
This elderly lady ran over to our car and said “are you Owen Beddoe’s relatives from New Zealand?” We told her that my mum was his son Glyn’s daughter, and that I was his granddaughter. She told us that she had known my grandfather when he was 14 and still remembered him playing in the rugby team. We burst into tears, hugged her and then spent the next half an hour sobbing as we drove through the beautiful countryside on the way to Cardiff.
TL;DR I love Wales. And it is exactly how it is portrayed in Gavin and Stacey.