No, it didn’t quite work out like that, it never does.
However Arcadian the setting, we humans will wreck it and fill it with the same petty miseries you find the world over. My biggest problem living up in the mountains for 8 years was probably Mr Mc Fukka. I was trying to help out a friend with her divorce since her husband (Dell Boy of the Alps) was trying to swindle her. Dell Boy had shagged Thai tarts for years and god knows what or who else. His wife even had an uncomfortable suspicion that he may have had it off with Gay Helmut, a terminally depressed local doctor.
Anyway Mc Fukka banged on my door one night and started shouting at me. I was to stop causing trouble and on no account was I to encourage the wife to continue her hunt for her husband’s “black money”. This beautiful spot is in a land notorius for black money, black everything. World capital of money laundering and skulduggery. Everyone is on the take and those who don’t do “black” are deemed deviant.
Anyway, Mc Fukka had had property dealings with Dell Boy and our Dell, when he sold a property, would take a big slug under the table to avoid the local tax collectors. Mc Fukka had bought from Dell and it was generally reckoned Mc Fukka had probably pushed the customary slab of used notes at Dell Boy under the table. Therefore he didn’t want anybody helping Dell Boy’s wife tracking the illicit slush.
I never really spoke to Mc Fukka after that and the local lawyers hired by Mrs Dell did a lousy job. Probably deliberately. Its a male dominated society which only recently and reluctantly gave women the vote.
Mrs Dell was a right laugh and my source of all the local gossip. We were having dinner one night in a cafe up in town and she looked at me darkly as the owner approached to take our order: “Did you know his wife hung herself upstairs?”. Well I didn’t actually and suffice to say it rather spoilt my appetite. I never went there again.
And so it went on. The local plumber and his wife were sex maniacs. Apparently one only had to go into the plumbing shop looking for a bath plug and Mrs Plumber would have her hands all over you. I managed to rush out undamaged after buying a non slip bath mat following a knee operation at the local hospital. Mr Plumber would similarly offer all sorts of plumbing and non plumbing services to all and sundry in the village.
Other than Mrs Dell, my greatest buddy was a dear old American who had taught maths for many years to undeserving children in Stuttgart and retired up to the mountains. His wife had recently died and he and I would walk all summer and ski all winter. God knows how many miles we covered or how many restaurants we ate at.
I’m back there now, visiting the dear old chap (he is 83) and Mrs Dell. My schoolteacher chum is one of those all too rare people who is just “good”. No other way to describe him. Never says a horrid word about anyone. But he is probably in a very small minority in this particular town. Or indeed any town.
Ten years on since I lived here and the locals haven’t changed one iota. A farmer friend’s lovely wife has left him and the mountains now their children have grown up. Farmer boy has apparently spent much of his adult life knobbing anything and everything he can get his hands on. Seems to be the thing to do up in the mountains. Many of them order take-away’s from Thailand and ditch their wives for a new model. Dell Boy did this before ditching his wife. He lavishes money on Ting Tong Thai Bride after swindling his wife, and has built Miss Tong three houses in Thailand apparently, where he now spends much of his life. Mrs Dell says Ting Tong was originally a prostitute, but she would say that I suppose.
Actually there is a very nice ex-prostitute at the cash till at the local supermarket. She says being the catalog bride of a local rogue is better than selling her body back home. Good luck to her I say. But doubtless behind it lies yet another broken marriage.
So you see you can’t escape human nature even in the remotest spots. We humans will shag and swindle (and worse) wherever we go. It will doubtless always be thus.