Saturday, 9 November 2013

A peaceful village? Don't you believe it!

Now into our fifth year in this village, I'm learning more about it's people and their families and history every day.  It isn't like your typical English country village...all thatched cottages and roses around the door.

It isn't so long ago that polygamy was still practised in this village.  Sevke, who is in her late 60s once told me that her father had two wives, and so did many other men in the village.  That seems to have died out...although I don't know for certain. 

I've talked a fair bit about experiences with various people here.  I've touched on my dislike of village weddings because alcohol and guns don't mix well.   And that's one of the first problems really.  Alcohol.  This village is well known for being full of heavy drinkers.  It's against their religion of course, but then the mosque is usually almost empty, except when someone dies.  And I'm afraid a lot of the men die from alcohol related illnesses.  As I've said several times before, there are a fair number of elderly widows who have lost their husbands to the results of alcohol abuse.

Not only death from alcohol though.  I have also learned from Mr A in recent days that there have been murders here in the past.  Maybe there still are, but Mr A doesn't tell me much about these things unless I push him, and in a way I don't really want to know.

It would seem that a female neighbour (I won't mention her name, I'll leave it up to you to guess as it is someone I talk about from time to time) has committed two murders.  She allegedly killed her first husband over a dispute about some land she owned.  She was convicted and served 12 years in prison.  A few years later, after her release, she allegedly killed her cousin's husband...again in a dispute over land.  (Notice I keep saying "allegedly".   I found it a little hard to take in, but Mr assures me he has this story on good authority).   Again, she served time in prison.  On her release she married again.  A few years later her husband died...apparently from natural causes...but who knows?

A couple of years ago this woman sold a run-down house on a piece of land, quite near us, to another cousin's daughter.  They were originally from the village but moved away, so wanted to buy something in the village to use for holidays and to catch up with family and friends.  They have done some renovation, and also built a gazebo type thing at the bottom of their garden.  

Another thing I discovered is that the majority of houses in this village do not have a tapu (deeds) but the "owners" still sell them on for a very low price, and this is what happened when the woman sold the house to her cousin's daughter.  (Our house does have a tapu by the way.  Father-in-law has his head screwed on right and wouldn't have bought it if everything wasn't legally in order). 

The last time the cousin's daughter and husband were here, there was a big row going on between them and the woman, who has now decided she wants the house back.  She is also complaining that they have built their gazebo on land which is still hers and not part of their garden.  The house is close enough to our house for us to hear that the row became very heated and there was a lot of shouting and cursing on both sides.

I think the cousin and her husband are tempting fate.  If I were them I'd give the house back and run for the hills, or they might end up dead in their bed!

(And just to be on the safe side, I will in future bite my tongue if I am ever tempted to argue with the woman.  Although Mr A tells me I have nothing to fear as she likes me, and she is quite old and frail these days so he says I am quite safe!)

16 comments:

  1. OMG!!!!! This Village sure has a lively bunch of characters. If I were you I would jot some notes for a novel.....you can maybe make some money. it sure would sound very interesting for readers.
    Your frail neighbour..... well I still wouldn't trust her. She sounds like she has a 'killing' streak in her.
    About polygamy...it's real popular here with the Somali residents. They aren't legally married on paper but have up to 4 women living in one apartment and lots of babies with one man. They manage quite well as the Government gives them a big handout, so why not??? :-(
    Stay safe.....love this post.

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    1. It certainly has all the ingredients for a novel Erica. And I used to think it was boring here!

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  2. I spy with my little eye, someone beginning with.....
    Apart from the polygamy not unlike rural France.

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    1. Ah Helen..someone beginning with ..... I couldn't possibly comment!

      Oh I think rural France and the stories you tell are much more exciting.; However, I have also heard that there are a number of prostitutes in the village...so maybe they are now the substitute for polygamy!

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    2. There was certainly prostitution in the villages....

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    3. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I just find it difficult to recognise who they might be...although I now know of one...a little story to follow about an incident outside the teahouse a few days ago.

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  3. I think it sounds anything but boring, Ayak! I know from other posts that it's not a peaceful place but obviously, it's hiding still quite a bit of its true nature....
    Mind you, it wouldn't surprise me if the village mutterings were about the strange couple up the hill...who are GOOD, who look after STRAY DOGS, who are KIND and HELPFUL....heavens, what is the village coming to?? Take care...Axxx

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    1. Oh I'm sure there are lots of mutterings about this strange couple Annie, if the looks we get are anything to go by!

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  4. Villages have a surprising hidden life. My neighbours are all very nice, but there's a terrible legend about the village from the 19th century. A beggar came through, and the villagers stoned him to death!

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    1. Yes there are always stories aren't there Pueblo Girl? I can't imagine why it's taken me nearly 5 years to discover these things. I think Mr A knows much more so I need to push him...at least it gives me something other than the dogs to write about!

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  5. A village is likee a large family or maybe it's "a family is much like a small village". It it were not for the tangy stories buried in my husband's huge family and in mine, we would be very boring. The boring ones never leave legends behind for the rest of the family to enjoy. I have a few brothers and one sister that are eccentric enough to supply the coming generations with stories and on my husband's side of the family he has plenty of characters to write about. Who will be remembered and talked about 100 yrs from now? Only those "characters" in the family that we look at with dismay for their current actions. I need to get quirky quickly so I am remembered!

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    1. I didn't think of it like that Charlotte, but you're absolutely right, and I've a few in my family too from way back that are still discussed with relish.

      I think you will be remembered for your strength and courage Charlotte, because you have that in bucketloads. Hope you are continuing to improve. Much love xxx

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  6. I will be looking over my shoulder next time I visit.

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    1. The dogs will protect us BtoB xx

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  7. Nothing surprises me about village life nowadays, Ayak. We once had a murder in our small Welsh village and when we arrived in France this summer it was to hear the news that there had been not one but two murders in the tiny village across the valley! Treat your neighbour with courtesy and you should be OK. :-)

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  8. Maybe it's the boredom of village life that makes people angry enough to commit murder Perpetua. As far as the neighbour is concerned, I'm keeping a wide berth!

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