Belonging.

On waking some hours earlier we explored the village with delight. An old rustic working stone village complete with braying donkeys, clucking chickens, crowing cockerels, barking dogs, silky goats, and because it was Sunday a tannoyed recitation from the church along with pealing of bells. As we turned down one narrow cobbled street we came across a collection of people sitting on old village wooden chairs in the middle of it. The smell of fresh Cypriot coffee was overwhelming. “Katze” they said springing up and patting chairs, before we knew it we were also sitting in the middle of the street drinking coffee, water, juice for the children and eating small biscuits and pieces of fruit which appeared alongside the drinks. Very little English was spoken or understood, but their welcome needed no translation.

If the weather and the scenery had not already made our minds up this simple gesture of welcome and acceptance  sealed our fate. We were going to come and make our second home in Cyprus. Now however a dilemma faced us! if we were going to invest our time and money in Cyprus how did we know that this was the place we wanted to spend it in?

In my own true investigative style there was nothing for it but to look at the rest of Cyprus before we made our choice. Consequently we became proper tourists and spent the next few days visiting other villages, towns and cities. The more we looked the more we liked what we were seeing and the warm and friendly people we were meeting. However, one thing became clear right from the noisy introduction to Dhoros; Nowhere else quite had the magic and romance of our first village. So without further ado we set about finding available property in Dhoros.

This was more difficult than it appeared to be; firstly there was the case of Cypriot identity and belonging that closely linked villagers with their villages even if they now lived in Australia or America. Secondly there were two set ways of looking for and buying property in the villages. The local way and the foreigners way. The latter being the most expensive.

At the time we knew none of this but we were blessed from the beginning in not only finding our village but in also meeting the right people at the right time who were able to guide us through this labyrinth of belonging to a village, because, don’t get me wrong, even when we actually decided we wanted to buy and live in the village; the village had to first of all accept us….tbc

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