My father remarried in 1957 and took his bride to live with him in Kirkuk, Iraq, where he worked on the oil pipeline. I would visit them on my school holidays and I remember one incident which amused us.

My stepmother was lining the kitchen drawers with newspaper, largely because you couldn’t get anything else, and while she was busily occupied our houseboy Abdul, came over to see what she was doing.

“What is that in the paper, MemSahib” he said, pointing to the pictures of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones’s wedding.

My mother explained “The sister of our Queen Elizabeth is getting married”.

Abdul looked awed and said “How much did this man pay for her”.

“Nothing”, said my mother “men don’t pay for their wives in England”. I think she realized her mistake at this point.

Abdul looked shocked and stepping back and looking down his nose at my mother said “Didn’t Sahib pay for you?” Mum shook her head regretfully.

“I do not work for a cheap woman” declared Abdul, and putting down his dishcloth he marched out of our home never to be seen again.

2 Responses

  1. Hi. I was brought to your blog via a question you posted on the google groups help forum.

    Very nice job of customising you did. Looks great.

    Also, nice post. Very interesting.

    And one more… even though I’m currently living near Denver, CO, USA, I was born ‘n raised in Pr.George, which I suspect is not all that far from you… howdy neighbour! LOL

    Yours in Christ,


  2. Nice story. It’s always interesting to see what is commonplace in other cultures.

    I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for my wife. If I’d have had to pay what she’s actually worth it would have taken me several lifetimes.


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