September 18 (4)

My other grandma’s house is in a sad state after six years. Sadly neither my mum nor I have any powers to do anything about it, really, because it technically belongs to my grandpa and my grandma’s absentee sister… and the village mentality (betrayal and suspicion at every corner and everyone is trying to find a reason to acquire their neighbour’s land) is very strong there. Both my grandpa and grandma’s sister would need to sign off on anything that’s done there and one is too old and too bitter about this village (and too stubborn to sign over the rights to anyone else) and we haven’t heard from the other in years.

Oh, and the next door neighbours use the land to house their goats, geese and bees. They might as well, I guess.

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September 18 (1)

Sometimes I forget that Halytch can be closer to a village than a town. 5000 people, some new houses. Many newer houses actually. Yet, maybe because I am more used to it and it’s closer to everything, I still prefer my grandma’s old house – no running water, no indoor toilet – to the “new” family house that my dad helped his dad build.

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September 17 (2)

We visited family at the cemetery on my dad’s side. I can’t remember ever going there, certainly not the “old” cemetery, which is actually just right next to the “new” one. The old tombstones are a great reminder that this part of the country was part of Poland until 1939 (and part of other empires before that). I guess this is my great-great-granddad’s tomb by name but actually houses a few more family members, I guess they chose not to update the gravestone for the others.

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September 16 (2)

I hadn’t been back in almost a decade, 8 years maybe. It’s strange how some things just cannot be forgotten – the neighbourhood I grew up in is ingrained in my memory forever, the parks, the kindergarten I went to (and the one I didn’t), the school I attended for less than a year (and that other school across the house).

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