Hello All! Welcome back! I can’t believe it, but it’s already May! Anyways, as most of you can tell by this week title, I will be talking about my final reflections of Cyprus. With it being my final thoughts, it will also be final post. This post will cover a range of things that I have noticed and reflected on during my time.
As noted during my first few weeks, there were some initial hurdles that I had to overcome. Throughout my whole life in the US, I had the luxury of having a full functioning dryer and fully pressurized toilet. Once I was in Cyprus, I had to get used to new things and or lack of things. Instead of a dryer, my roommates and I have use a drying rack. During are first time using the drying rack, we didn’t truly understand the washers over here (e.g. they were in Greek) and we didn’t know the capacity of the drying rack. With this mind, we unconsciously washed our cloths on the same day which caused our drying rack to break. That’s one story I will never forget! The lack of these products made me realized that not everyone has as developed infrastructure then compared to most modern Western countries.
Similarity during the first few weeks, I was getting accustomed to the Cypriot culture. From what I knew my preparation class and from my background research, I knew for a fact that Cypriots and Europeans were laid back in comparison to Americans. Given this, I was completely baffled of how laid back they are. For example, this can be seen with students and even professors coming 5-10 mins late to class, normal people being accommodating and kind, and normal people taking their time to socially connected. When reflecting during this, it was one of only few instance in my life where I felt stress free.
Throughout my time, I was amazed of diverse the food culture was in Cyprus. Depending where you are in the US, you can possibly have a diverse food palette (e.g. New York City or San Francisco) or a homogeneous one of typical fast food places, hamburgers, pizzas, and others (e.g. rural PA). Within Cyprus, there are plenty of small business that serves ethnically diverse foods and beverages. Some of these food items can be seen in my older food blog post. Since then, there has been other food and beverage items that I enjoyed. Some of the food dishes that I had were the Sultan dish, shawarma, Katafi with cream, feta cheese wrapped in filo, and Cheburek. For beverages, I had a freddo cappuccino, cafe mocha, Lebanese coffee, Cypriot coffee, and Commandria. If you want to know each one item description, you read it in images down below.
On a side note, since coming back home, I was dying from freddo cappuccino, so I made one. It was pretty good and it taste like the real deal. The only exception was that it had a lot of milk in it.
In conjunction with food, another thing that I noticed was that Cypriots tend to eat in smaller portions. I saw this when I was ordering and eating a small burger for €6. Similarly, in the grocery store the biggest milk container you can get is 1.5 litres. For us Americans, that is only a half of gallon! In a light of this, every week or some I have to get a new container of milk. Food is a necessity where I learned that quantity is not the answer, but rather the quality and the experience that you get from it.
Another thing that I loved was how rich and diverse Cypriot history and religion. When compared to the bigger picture of human life, the US doesn’t as much historical sties and doesn’t have a strong religious institution. In Cyprus, basically every block or so, you will find some type of history. This history can range from modern history like the Green Line to ancient history like the walls of the Old City. Same is true, for religious sites and followers. Everywhere you go, there is some type of religious symbolism and or reference. History is an aspect to reflect on. In the future, I want to explore more and understand more cultures
Overall, my time in Cyprus was an experience that I will never forget! I learned so much ranging from economic standards, cultural standards, and historical standards. If I ever have a chance to go abroad again, I will take it a heart beat! To my future studying/living abroad folks, you might say that you have plenty of time in the world, but if given opportunity you should take it! The world doesn’t come to you; you have to come to it. As one common saying goes “Carpe Diem!” (seize the day). Before I get emotional, I’m just going to end it here.
I will be back Cyprus!
Until next time, enjoy your life and stay safe!