A sense of belonging….
I’m a Geordie but please don’t hold that against me. I might flatten my vowels, drink pints (not really) and wear white stilletos on a Friday night (erhm, actually I used to….) but that shouldn’t change your opinion of me!
Last week, I went back to UK for a few days to visit my Dad and Mum n Jim: Dad is just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne in a small town called Hebburn. I was born in Hebburn in my nannas “big” bed and lived in the town till I was 16. Dad has lived in his home for over 40 years, so I went back North fully expecting to exchange, “hellos” and “how are you” with many people of old.
Not a smile; not a cheery wave nor an acknowledgement. I was very sad.
Back to work in Peyia, how things are different. Tony and I have lived here 7 years. I drive the same route to work every day and spend the journey waving to many, many locals whose lives revolve around the village of Peyia. Its lovely. Cheery smiles, casual waves or just the Cypriot “jut” of the chin to acknowledge you being there. I know the names of the people in the bank of Cyprus; that they’;ve just had exams and are scared of whether or not they’ve passed. I know the shopkeepers, water authority man and the beautiful though very scary Maria, who officiates at all of the weddings.
In brief, the people who live here, whose families have been here generations, know and recognise us as “new locals” and treat us like part of their village family. Tony and I now belong here and its a comforting feeling. I want to live somewhere where I at least feel as if I’m a thread in a tapestry, not just a mark that shouldn’t be there or worse, something unforeseen and just passing through.
Village life isn’t for everyone but its definitely for me: We’re the new breed of flat voweled peyiatossians and very proud to be so. Every life matters and the people here make you feel like yours matters to them – especially if you buy their wine!!