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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cocomo Village on Hunga Island

 

Sometime around the year 980, Erik the Red, being a wanted man in his native Norway, brought hundreds of people to an uninhabitable land and, in what may well have been the first real-estate scam, named it 'Greenland' to attract settlers.

As he wisely realised, 'men will desire much the more to go there if the land has a good name.' He died in 1002 and his followers had no wood to build new ships to return to Norway and slowly starved to death.

 

Hunga Island's forbidding cliff face

 

Sometime in 2009, Robert the Realtor began attracting foreigners to a Potemkin village on the remote and volcanic island of Hunga which he imaginatively named 'Cocomo Village' by publishing paradisical tales like 'What Life is Like In Cocomo Village'. Unlike Erik the Red, Robert the Realtor is still very much alive because, also unlike Erik, Robert never led by example but instead lives the life of Riley in Savusavu.

Thanks to modern airtravel, Robert's close to a hundred followers no longer have to build their own ships to return to their native lands. The less-than-a-handful who tried to settle at 'Cocomo Village' beat a hasty retreat and now try to sell their "investment" in competition with Robert the Realtor who still tries to attract more to his 'green land', this time with 'two-for-the-price-of-one' offers. Business must be slow!


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