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The Curiosities of Communal Residence

Updated on May 27, 2014


As I begin my fifth year of writing on these pages, I find myself in Turkey where we spend these days most of our summers save for the really hot weeks in July and August when the heat here in Alanya becomes too much for those of us from the northern climes of Europe, though many with restricted holiday times head here then for "High Season" and overcrowd beaches and bars till relief comes in September.

Years ago, my father began to keep a pig or two and being a sensible type {a Police Detective in fact] he sourced information from those more experienced in animal husbandry. As a boy around 9 or 10, I was keen to get involved in this new world and remember well an old gnarled farmhand coming to view our potential sty and the orchard area available for the sows my father wished to farm to produce piglets for sale at 6 weeks of age..

Much sage advice was given, most of which I have long forgotten but one piece has stuck with me through 6 decades and more. This related to the size of the sty and the outside space available and basically boiled down to the fact that we could keep a maximum of 3 sows at any one time together prior to "farrowing time". That was when the piglets were born and when each sow, now mother, and brood ,had to have individual housing if war was not to break out.

Beyond even that, the farm sage warned that even prior to birth of litters, no more than 3 sows should be kept. given the sty size available. We were told that 3 together there would live in harmony but over that number would result in chaos, fighting and finally pig eating pig ! Not even George Orwell used that factor in Animal Farm.

Years on, that piece of information ,gleaned as a small boy stays with me as a rule of thumb to human behaviour in terms of living in a Complex of apartments with excellent facilities provided for the use of all and sundry there.

The High Season ,when most of the 161 apartments are lived in underlines the old farmhands sage advice. Thankfully, so far no murders have obtained but it is easy to see how, if the crowding together of humans was to be sustained over a longer period, that problems leading up to the ultimate could well develop.

The Thin Divide

As I write, I am aware that I am pushing my "writers licence" to the extreme in the above. In reality, the community here lives and breathes together in a way, we humans would consider "civilised".

We are ,in fact, members of a mini United Nations with English, Turks, Scandanavians, Belgian, Dutch etc all gathered together as the personal choice of each determined to purchase here, that being the sole criteria for ownership and also giving the right to rent out the property not only to friends and family but also on a commercial basis with little or no screening of the renters involved.

Thus, opportunities for conflict abound and it says much for the human condition that generally, whilst opinions differ markedly,that peaceful coexistence has been established and life goes on calmly, even if under the surface tensions are held in check. It is this thin divide that effectively divides us humans from the animal kingdom where "might is right" and the strong, not the weak always inheirit the earth.

Humans for centuries have accepted that artificial measures need to be established to maintain conditions allowing peaceful coexistence. Aristotle, the learned Greek of ancient times marked out the need for "Order in the State" and we have general acceptance worldwide that some form of "Government" is necessary to preserve the common good. The problem is of course, that what one man sees as a proper form of government is totally unacceptable to another, whether they be neighbours, states, unions or countries and also that their remit grows to extend beyond that for which they were originally established.

In the microcosmic world of a residential complex, manifestaions of the world are mirrored and exemplify, the good, the bad and the ugly, of human living with human in proximity and in what we have come to know as "COMMUNAL LIVING".

Keeping the Peace and "Quiet Enjoyment".

At most communal complexes, the establishing of a Management Board or Owners Union is generally accepted as the most democratic form of maintaining both fabric and living behaviour within the complex.

Annually, owners select and vote on other owners to represent them and secure that which they hold dear. As in countries, there is never total agreement in what is required, though generally most appreciate the need to establish and maintain acceptable standards of maintenance and general behaviour to maintain not only the value of their investment, but also the "Quiet Enjoyment" of their apartment and the complex facilities.

To do this in some form of harmony it is necessary for there to be an acceptance that some Rules and Regulations be established and followed. However that is easier said than done of course. As a former teacher, I know that the first rule of teaching is to avoid laying down rules that cannot be enforced or are not attempted to be enforced for whatever reason. Sometimes that simple principle is overlooked by those setting out rules for communal living, believing that those receiving the rules will automatically follow and obey them to the letter. This is a fundamental error which is often the root of many problems.

To maintain fabric and living rules within the problem requires human action on a daily basis, in other words staff appointed to ensure things run as anticipated. This is not as easy as it looks at first sight. Everything is possible given time and money but as the latter comes from payments made by owners there is a clear conflict between what owners want and what they are prepared to pay to make those wishes full reality.

The Nitty Gritty of Communal Living..

The actuality of life means always a precarious balance is struck between all parties. Staff for example tread a tightrope of seeking to get all to comply with regulations and thus inevitably come into times og conflict with those who are part of their paymasters.

For some the definition of "quiet enjoyment differs markedly from that identified by others and differences of opinion become manifested in a variety of ways which disrupt the harmony all actually seek to reside within. In reality most owners of apartments in complexes such as the one here to which I refer are actually ill equiped for communal living since most ,in their home countries live in detached or at least semi-detached properties and have done so since infancy.

The Complex which we hold our apartment in and have done since 2006 manages to go with the flow mainly by sensible management having been established since the early years but also largely by the wiiling agreement of those owning properties to accept restrictions on what could be considered as their rights in their own homes in their home countries. Thus, the nitty gritty of communal living is shown to simply require both give and take to make habitation generally acceptable.

At this stage I terminate this hub as I have no idea as to whether the matters raised are of general interest. Should readership figures show such an interest, I have much more to communicate from experience on this subject but leave it to the outside world to decide if, like the use of copper coins to alleviate arthritis pain, there is a chord to be struck.

THAT HUB BY THE WAY IS NOW CLOSE TO HAVING 10,000 readers which only goes to show that when you find a subject interesting yourself enough to write about, you have no idea what others may think about it at all. I will be interested, knowing how many of us now spend some or all of our time in communal living to see how many read this and maybe add to it with their own comments ,all of which will be welcomed for sure.


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