Ya like jazz?

Hello again! Based on this title, you may or may not know the reference. Anyways, this week, I will be talking about social events in or around campus. For an average college student like myself, you maybe asking what can I do in Nicosia. Depending on your personality and mindset, it depends. If you are an active person, then there is actually a lot of things to do in Nicosia. However, if you’re not, then there is still a possibly for you to be that person!

Based on my time here, most of the events that I went were out of the blue and not plan. Each week comes with uncertainty, but at the same time excitement. For example, this past week for me was pack with many events. These events will be shown below.

First off, let me describe my program. My program, also known as Global Semester (GLS), is composed of roughly 70 or so American students who are studying abroad in Cyprus. In addition, there is another program, called Erasmus, which is basically the same thing as GLS , but they are mostly European students. With these two programs, I have made many connections and attended many events. One of these was a sponsored social night between Erasmus and GLS students. This social night was basically mixer for students to know each other. Another were Erasmus karaoke nights and Erasmus Wednesday. For karaoke nights, I don’t personally sing, but I find it amusing to see people singing on the top on their lungs and or being mildly tipsy. For Wednesday, it’s mostly for those who are interested in going to a dance club.

Besides the two programs, they’re some additional things that I do to keep myself active.

Whenever, I have a gap in my schedule, which is usually Tuesday and Thursday, I usually go by bus to see the old town. In old town, there are many clothing shops, restaurants, nic nak shops, and many more. The one thing that I like about old town is that it still retains the old town atmosphere (antiquated buildings, cobblestone streets, and walls), while at the same time being the main commerce hub of Nicosia/ Cyprus.

Some archways that I saw in Nicosia

Some other things that I do with my close friends will be describe down below

One event that I’m particularly fond of and I really enjoy is jazz night. Jazz night usually happens every Wednesday at this little neat jazz club. At this jazz club, mostly college students and other emerging instrumentalist play sessions of live smooth jazz. There have been times where I have been completely loss in the music. Also, before I forget, one my friends from here, named Carter, plays the cello. I wished I can be talented! Here are some pictures from Jazz night!

Sax player
The layout of the jazz club

Another event that I went to was a futbol game. No, not American football, but a regular futbol game. The one where you kick a ball with your foot. Also, known as soccer for Americans. Anyhow, I went with my roommate, Jay, and his friends. I didn’t how futbol works, but I definitely asked alot of questions during the match. The match was between Chelsea vs. Manchester United. During the game, I watched with amazement with the actual game and the committed fans in the bar either yelling or booing. In the States, I have never seen anything like this when it came to futbol. In the end, there was a lot of disappointing fans, including my Chelsea roommate.

Watching a futbol game at a bar

Last thing that I attended were a series of school talk around the issues of LGBTQI rights in Cyprus and the whole refugee situation. I found these two talks very enlightening and informative. The question section that accompanied it was also interesting to hear different views.

One of the seminar that I went

Anyhow, this is the end of this blog post. Come back next week!

Everybody’s falling in love

Everybody’s falling in love

(Lo-ove, lo-ove)

Stop what you’re doing now ’cause everybody’s falling in love

Everybody’s falling in love– *repeat repeat

As you can tell with this week song choice and today’s day, February 14th, I will be talking about love. No, I will not be talking about loving someone else, but something else. More specifically, I will be talking about loving the amazing food over here. Yes, I know you guys were dying to know what I was eating over here, so here I go. Over the past few weeks, I have complied a plethora of food pictures. Some of the food options that will be shown below will be primarily either Cypriot or Greek. Yet, there will be some additional options that are neither Cypriot nor Greek.

Going back to orientation week, we went to many places around Cyprus. As a result, we went to many places to eat. On two occasion, me and a couple of others went into a meze. No, it’s not corn or a fancy version of the word maze. Meze as cited by Wikipedia is “a selection of small dishes served as appetizers in parts of the Middle East, the Balkans, Greece, and North Africa.” When I first heard about it, I thought it was something similar to Dim Sum. For those who don’t know, dim sum is something similar to a meze where you order as you go. Remember order as you go. A meze is not that at all. It’s a continuous stream of food for about an hour or so. In the old town we had roughly 8 small dishes. In the Troodos Mountains we had roughly 13 small dishes. Depending on the area, meze can varied, but either way they’re amazing. In a meze, there was usually some appetizers, some salads, some meat dish, and some desert dish.

Below are some pictures from a typical meze:

Some pita and salad
Some souvlaki pull pork
Some minty sheftalias (Cypriot pork sausage)
A traditional Cypriot coconut desert with a sprinkle of cinnamon
Another traditional Cypriot dish: Moussaka. Moussaka is a eggplant beef lasagna
Here is a picture of the sheer size of a meze

Besides the mezes, there are other food items that I taste. For most of you guys in the States, the first thing most people think of in regards to Greek food are gyros. First off, gyros are not pronounced guy-ro or jeer-ro, but are actually pronounced as your-ro. If you don’t say it properly, you will definitely get weird looks here. Anyways, gyros are not that common here. However, a close substitute that is more common here are souvlaki wraps. You may be asking what’s difference between gyros and souvlaki? Based on my research and from hearing from locals, they tell me that gyros are considered a main dish with thinly slice lamb or beef meat surrounded by vegetables/fries and pitta bread. Souvlaki is the basically the same as a gyro with it being considered more fast food with different types of meats (chicken, beef, and lamb) and with it being usually cut in a cube fashion. Another thing that is similar to a gyro/souvlaki is a round. A round is basically a pitta bread base covered with chicken or beef and surrounded by vegetables and fries. Also, to add more confusion there is doner, which is very similar to a gyro, but it’s only lamb or chicken. Below are some picture of a souvlaki wrap, a round, and a doner.

Souvlaki wrap
Chicken round
A couple of us having doner. I still don’t know why they gave us buttermilk

Although I have not experienced much with Arabian food, I did experience this one food item. This food item is called lahmunjoun. Lahmunjoun, also called Armenian/ Turkish pizza, is a round thin piece of dough cover with minced meat and some vegetables and herbs. When I first saw it, I thought I made a big mistake, but after tasting it I actually enjoyed it. As some wise people said to me, it doesn’t hurt to try. If you’re planning to go abroad make sure to have a open mind because you will never know what you might miss out. Anyways, here is a picture of lahmunjoun.

Lahmunjoun

Until next time, have an amazing Valentine’s Day and a amazing weekend! Also, if there is something you guys want me to talk about, please leave a comment!

My road! My home!

My road! My home!

Everything I know

Overcoats- The Fool

Hello again! Thank you for coming back!

So far, in this blog, I have been mostly talking about packing and sightseeing. This week, I’m going to be talking about my home, my immediate setting, and my education. From now til the end of my study abroad, I will be staying in Maro with three other boys. Maro apartments are very spacious and it comes with a full kitchen, a balcony, and other normal necessities. However, there are some things that I have learned that are part of everyday life. One thing is that they don’t use dryers here; as a result, I use a drying rack here. Another thing is that they don’t naturally have hot water for showers. In order to get hot water, you will have to turn on a water heater before hand. Last thing that I have noticed is that their toilets over here are not pressurized. Therefore, when you use the toilet, you cannot discard anything down the toilet. Besides Maro, there are other housing options for SU or American students. These housing options include Dinos, Anthi, Gabriel, Rafis, and SIX. Most of these housing option are pretty much the same. The exception is SIX with it being classified as premium housing.

Apart from my home setting, there are also some local areas that I often attend. The most popular spot for me is the local supermarket also known as ΣΚΛΑΒΕΝΙΤΗΣ in Greek. When I’m here, I get my basic stuff ranging from breakfast items (e.g. oats, cereal, eggs, and milk) to dinner items (rice, vegetables, and others). After spending roughly two weeks here, I observe some notable things. First, most grocery items here are cheaper than the States with the minor exception for imported goods. The other thing that I observe is that they lack normal everyday objects for us Americans. For example, I was asking one of the employees if they have maple syrup. She took me to the breakfast area and led me to the maple syrup, but the only problem was that there was only one brand of it and it was really expensive.

STORY TIME

Before coming to Cyprus, I knew for a fact that everywhere besides the US uses the metric system. Yet, it didn’t click when I was in the supermarket. When I was getting some ham from the butcher, I initially asked for a pound for it. Suprise suprise, they didn’t understand me. Realizing my mistake, I laugh it off and ask for 2 kilos of ham. I think some of you guys might realize the problem here. I was under the impression that a kilo was half of a pound. It was the exact opposite. OOPS. Luckily for me, the butcher gave me a weird look again and just gave the “right amount” of ham. For those who are wondering, a 0.25 kilos worth of ham is enough for a week.

Other than the supermarket, there is a local bakery call Zorbas, which makes the best pastries around the area!

Aside from my home situation, I started my first week of classes. The classes that I’m taking will fulfill my political science, economics, and environmental studies requirement. Overall, my classes have been very relaxed with less coursework and students coming in like 10 mins late to class. Apparently, there is a thing call island time where people come in around said time. It’s almost never the case where people come on time or are there early.

Sidenote: If you plan on watching an American show (e.g. The Bachelor), make sure you get a VPN or something equivalent. The reason being is that said show is not available in your possible host country. Yet, there is a silver lining with your host country offering shows that are not available in the US. For example, in the States, Netflix doesn’t offer Rick and Morty. Luckily, for me, Cyprus shows all of the seasons of Rick and Morty. YAY!

Before I leave, please make sure to follow my travel blog on Instagram! Anyways, til next time, have an amazing day!

https://www.instagram.com/tangible_adventures/