Hole by Shaw

By Shaw

Memoir of kidnapping

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This was pretty good going. My bosses in Brussels were delighted as was officially the Government of Georgia. 27 Chapter Seven My first accommodation in Tbilisi was at Manana’s Guesthouse, up the hill from Rustaveli Avenue. Manana was a rotund little lady in her early-fifties who bombarded her guests with conversation – she had learned English by listening to the BBC World News on the radio – and food in equally abundant proportions. She was the epitome of Georgian hospitality, a relentless gossip in quasi-comprehensible English, and deservedly quickly became a legend among the ex-pats of Georgia.

In Tbilisi I know of two examples of young women being kidnapped by men who, having forced them to have sex, then invoke a form of droit de seigneur and approach the parents to formalise a kind of marriage. In both instances, the parents conformed. In the sticks, this form of union is not uncommon. Family vendettas and inter-village rivalries are frequent, often resolved by blood-letting. These are seldom reported to the police or in the media; they are not important enough. To my knowledge, there are no official statistics on suicides; they are, however, quite commonplace.

There he would play for hours on a rusty old swing and see-saw, while the elderly proprietors fussed around him and plied him with the Georgian version of coca-cola. From the age of three, we enrolled him in an expensive (for Georgia) American sponsored nursery school where he mingled with the kids of foreign ambassadors and diplomats and became pretty fluent in English, and no doubt taught his class-mates some Russian. In July 2000, Diana and Danny came to Wales for the first time, met my family and friends, and spent ten wonderful days on holiday in France with my daughter, her husband and 50 my grand-children.

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