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!)