Posts tagged ‘land disputes’

October 17, 2012

the excitement of holidaying in a small mountain village

August 2011, Morgex. All hell broke loose in the village today. While setting up the barbecue for lunch, L, made the mistake of greeting his former friend, Ennio, as he was walking by, and Ennio told him he didn’t accept greetings from people who ‘played dirty’. Ennio stood there for about half an hour shouting accusations, while L. cooked the meat for lunch, brandishing a massive fork, and M. and his brother tried to “reason” with him, which mostly involved picking holes in his logic, not difficult.

G, was furious at the public display they were making, which she claimed (rightly) could be heard all over the valley. She started threatening to leave and not come back, and they’d be hearing from her lawyer (Ennio, AND her husband and sons). At one point she went out to try to intervene, at the same time as our neighbour, Santo, appeared on the scene. G, told him to mind his own business and to “go back where he came from.” Hmm.

God, this is better than a soap opera – especially for taking my mind off my business woes.

October 17, 2012

Rapunzel totally makes sense now

August 2011, Morgex.  M, L and N spent all afternoon measuring the dirt track that runs next to their property, and putting planks of wood the around the boundaries of their territory. They would never admit to this, but they were doing it in a really ostentatious way to deliberately piss off their neighbours. Later on, I witnessed our next door neighbour, Santo, deliberately knock one of the planks off the road while driving up to his parking spot.

Then, while L. was having a shower,  Massimo, Santo’s son-in-law, came out and asked G, if he could speak to L,, and ‘reminded’ her that the lawyer – whose? – had forbidden any more work on the road.

The boys have been having a testosterone-fuelled brag-fest this evening. L  is gloating to his sons how he’d seen his ex-friend, Ennio, driving his mother in his Vespa van up to their hut, his eyes “popping out with rage.” “I was pissing myself laughing,” L says.

They keep referring to the neighbours as “terroni”, a disparaging way of referring to Southern Italians. I have noticed that while Southerners sometimes refer to themselves as ‘terroni’, nobody ever calls Southerners ‘terroni’ to their faces. It’s not a word you ever hear on TV either – I think this word almost as taboo as ‘n****r’, but no Northerner will admit it.

All this arguing about, literally, a few square centimetres of land, has made me realize that the plot of Rapunzel, where the neighbour, who happens to be a witch, demands the couple’s first born child as a punishment for stealing lettuce from her garden,  is not so far-fetched after all.