The Foreign Residents in the TRNC – TFR
30 minutes with the Secretary
by Ralph Kratzer
Uwe was born in 1941 in Kaufbeuren, a beautiful town in Bavaria, near the German Alps.
He went to school first in his native town, later in Munich and graduated from high school in Heidelberg. Back in Munich Uwe started engineering studies which was, in his own words, disastrous because he wanted to become an architect but had to submit to the will of his stepfather. Ultimately, he ended his studies prematurely, went to England and started working in the textile design industry. In 1972 he had to leave England again because he did not get a work permit and went to Hannover to continue working in the same business.
The same year he there met Werner, who became his partner in life, and it was Werner who persuaded Uwe to become self-employed. So, from the money he had earned in the fashion business in previous years, a shop was bought and Uwe started his own business as a book and stationery seller.
He ran his shop successfully for many years, but when the world exposition “EXPO” was planned to take place in Hannover a retail chain made a good offer to take over Uwe´s business and he made the deal.
Uwe and Werner both had been fans of Turkey for a long time and spent a lot of holidays there in different places. 1989 they decided to take a holiday in North Cyprus and stayed first of all on the Famagusta side. Somebody suggested they should make a trip to the Kyrenia side and so they did. Both were impressed and decided to buy a holiday home on the northern coast. In 1991 they found their place in Lapta, started to renovate the old Cypriot building and in the year 1993 they moved in.
In 1998 Uwe´s partner Werner unfortunately died.
Uwe decided to stay in Cyprus and invested a lot of time and money in improvements to the house and garden. With the result that the members of the TFR loved the parties in Uwe´s garden which took place 2 or 3 times every year.
Last year Uwe thought it would be time to make a change in his life again…. he decided to travel around and went first of all to Rome where his sister Vanessa lives, after that to Munich to visit his second sister and then to Thailand….
Asked about his impressions of Thailand he answered that, besides the multiple cultural aspects, the Thai people are very friendly without having only your money in mind and to live there is much cheaper than e.g. in Cyprus or Germany.
In the near future, after leaving North Cyprus again, he plans to have a 3 months stay in Istanbul, the city he has visited so many times before and which is his favourite place, to get the latest and most actual cultural impressions and to be in a place where the action is.
After that he will go to Thailand again and then to America and then….. who knows?
My last question was about his surname Vandieken which is not an original German name. Uwe told me that his family roots had been in Holland and as they had been Calvinists they were expelled by the Spaniards centuries ago, they then went eastwards and settled in Germany.