Before this season began, I knew very little about Cyprus. I had absolutely no idea what to expect and to be honest, my expectations weren’t particularly high. Now I’m here, I love it but there have been quite a few things that have suprised me…
THE AMOUNT OF STRAY CATS
Literally everywhere. There could easily be more cats than humans (slight exaggeration but you get the point). You won’t go five minutes without seeing a cat. They wander around hotels without a care in the world, sunbathe on steps and honestly walk side by side down the road together. Apparently, a lot of cats were brought to the island to get rid of snakes which was a huge waste of time. The island has been over run with them ever since.
THE COST OF GROCERIES
Seriously, food shopping here is expensive!! Even a handful of items will add up to a hefty bill. Even the supposedly cheaper shops like Lidl have no price difference. It is honestly cheaper to order in and eat out than buy groceries and cook for yourself. I guess it’s reasonable when you consider the fact that most of the goods are imported but still, the cost is not good for your health when it’s cheaper to reach for the Domino’s menu.
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
It has amazed me since being here how well Cypriots can speak English. I have yet to encounter a person who doesn’t speak the language. Whichever European country you go to, you will find a lot of people speak English but also a lot of people don’t and a lot of people struggle. Pretty much everyone here is totally fluent and it amazes me. They take language learning seriously here and it makes the UK look so bad that the majority of the population will never speak a second language. In Spain, I had to learn some basic Spanish just to get by on a daily basis but here, although it is polite to, you honestly don’t need to utter a work of Greek all day. It’s rude not to but it’s so easy just to speak English.
THE BAT SHIT CRAZY DRIVERS
Last year I was told by several people that if you can drive in Tenerife, you can drive anywhere because the drivers are crazy. Let me tell you, driving there was a doddle compared to here, the drivers are mental. No one stops for red lights, no one indicates, everyone cuts you off, truck drivers are dickheads and the amount of accidents I have seen since I have been here is unbelievable.
HOW MANY PLACES DELIVER
You name it, they deliver. McDonalds, KFC, Subway, everywhere. Everywhere that does deliver back in the UK and also everywhere that doesn’t but should. Fast food and takeaways are so easy and accessible without even having to pop to a drive thru.
I just assume they’re not a common thing because they’re not in England and we got a big surprise one day when we saw a snake chasing a rat along the side of the road.
THE FRIENDLY CYPRIOTS
I compare everything to Spain because it is what I know well. Both Spaniards and Canarians can be difficult to get along with if you don’t know them and they also have a bad temper. Cypriot people are the nicest I have ever encountered. Everyone is so happy, friendly and they cannot do enough for you.
Everyone smokes. Everyone. There is always someone near you puffing away, always some asking if you’re going for a fag break and always someone offering you a cigarette. It is unusual that we are the ones that don’t smoke.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
Religion and traditions are strong here in Cyprus. Everyone is very religious and attends church, Easter is bigger than Christmas and everyone partakes in traditions which they believe in. Traditions vary from symbolic traditions that represent the past or meaninful traditions with the hopes that it will bring them a good fortune or good life. For example, it is strongly believed that if a family member is dying, if you are good to others before they pass, they will have a good after life.
ENGLISH PLUG SOCKETS
Throw away your European adaptors if you’re heading here, they are not needed. I stocked up on adaptors before arriving and got to my hotel to find UK plug sockets. We have had to actually buy UK adapters to plug in European chargers that we have for our phones and tablets. A lot of people are surprised by this, it’s a frequent comment we receive.
MY LOVE FOR THE ISLAND
I had no idea before I arrived how deeply I would fall in love with Cyprus. I honestly went into this season without any expectations and assumed we would probably quit halfway through the season and move back to Tenerife but I love it. I love the island, I love the culture, I love the food, I love almost everything about it and I had absolutely no idea that I would.
MY VISION OF THE FUTURE
I always thought we would make our life in Tenerife. I never dreamed anywhere would compare or replace the Canary island in my heart but I can honestly see our life here in Cyprus. I feel more at home here than I ever have felt anywhere and I know we would be happy here. It’s crazy to think that a little over two months ago, I had no idea about Cyprus and now I can see a possible future here.
This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.