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/

Orientation Week

Hello all! I can’t believe it has been a week into my study abroad! Anyways, here is a rundown of what I did during this past week.

First Impression:

Here was my first sight of Cyprus. I knew from reading many sources that Cyprus is a very warm Mediterranean country. However, it didn’t occur to me until I saw it. There is no need to wear any sweater during the middle of January! Once I got on the ground, I meet some other fellow study abroad students. I knew some of the students from SU, but there was a sizable amount of students that I didn’t know. This predicament for me was like first year again all over. At UNIC, I got accustomed to my new housing and my soon to be friends.

Orientation Week:

Usually for any school, orientation week is coincides with the first week of classes. However, UNIC is different, in a sense by giving a whole gap week for orientation. With orientation week, as study abroad students, they help us to get know; the area; the language; the food; and other related things.

Nicosia:

This past Saturday and Sunday, we traveled throughout Nicosia. Nicosia, for those who don’t know, is the capital of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus. In addition, UNIC is located within Nicosia. On Saturday, we went into the old portion of Nicosia or also known as the old city. Yes, there is a old part and new part. No, not one area is more hype than the other. Both are hype. You can clearly know where the old city begins and where the new part begins by knowing where you are in relation to the wall. The old city is completely surrounded by Venetian walls in a sun shape fashion as shown below.

On Sunday, we immerse ourselves more into the old city. We first went into the Cyprus Museum. In the Cyprus Museum, there was alot to see and I mean ALOT! We are talking about things dating back as far as 10,000 BCE! Here are some things that I saw!

Afterwards, we walked through the old city with an accompanying tour guide and saw some additional historical sites. It’s amazing to see so much history within a concentrated area! Based on my view, the US cannot match Cypriot sites. Within the old city, we saw two impressive churches and some mosques.

These two churches, built around the early 19th century, were one of only a few that had bell towers. Previous churches didn’t have dedicated bell towers given that their previous Ottoman rulers didn’t allow it for religious purpose. I never knew there was so much drama with bell towers! Also, here are some pictures of some quaint alleyways and houses.

Besides the early history of Cyprus, there are other current issues that are currently happening now. One of these issues is the whole dispute between the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Republic of Cyprus. However, this specific issue itself enough for another time. Nevertheless, here were some pictures from the border or also known as the Green line.

Larnaca:

Next day, we went to Larnaca. Larnaca is a beautiful coastal town located south of Nicosia. At Larnaca, we walk along the beach and saw some amazing religious sites. One of these sites, The Medieval Castle of Larnaka, is literally located on the beach!

Here is the Castle in relation to the beach.

The other site, Church of Saint Lazarus, offers an amazing assortment of religious symbols, art, and references. As a matter of fact, this church holds the tomb of Saint Lazarus! Here are some pictures of it down below!

All in all, this is my first week in Cyprus, come back next time!

Going Going Gone

I’m staring at the ceiling.

The clock, it won’t stop ticking.

I feel like I’ve been sleeping for too long now

Going Going Gone by Maddie Poppe

The time has come! This is the week that I will be saying goodbye to close ones, but at the same time, I will be saying hello to a new culture.

I would have never thought that I will be studying abroad. Yet, here I’m bursting with joy and anxiety about my upcoming adventures in Cyprus! For those who might be considering studying abroad or just like to read a good old blog, I will try my best to document my time! For this week, given that it’s the first week, I will be talking about packing information and potential worries.

For some, packing is like second nature, while others come with anxiety. Packing is a simple, complicated idea with one basic principle of putting away clothes and having many variables (e.g. different types of clothes) to deal with. Based on my experience, I will be giving some of the pointers that I learned over the years. Also, I will tell you some things that I learned over that past few months.

For starter, when I travel, I pack very conservatively. What I mean is that I will pack at least 2 weeks worth of clothes for this study abroad. However, you may be asking why so little? The short answer is that I’m a very simple person. The long answer is that I want to have enough space for any additional items that I will need to bring (e.g. electronics, shoes, etc.) and maybe any items that I want to bring back.

An additional tip that I can think of is packing strategically. Strategically in a sense of rolling up any jeans or squeezing as many clothes as possible to conserve space.

The last tip that I can think of is to make yourself feel comfortable while in transit. Personally, when I travel I don’t care about how I look, I just want to feel comfortable by wearing loose-fitting clothes and playing my music to the loudest. Side note, I might occasionally add some song/ modern reference here and there.

As much considered myself experienced in traveling there were some things that I didn’t know and will have probably been stressing out while traveling. The first big thing for me were travel documents. For most travelers, when traveling abroad for prolonged periods, you will need a travel visa. Luckily for me, my program takes care of my visa and any additional travel documents. If I didn’t attend this program, I would have taken time out of my schedule to get a travel visa at my closest host country embassy, which could be as far as few minutes to a few hours. Just food for through, if you’re considering going abroad.

My belongings and my travel documents for Cyprus

One surprising thing that I learned were power outlets. Cyprus doesn’t use your traditional power outlet. In the US, we used the type A and B power outlets. In Europe, most of them used the type C and F power outlet. What power outlet do you think Cyprus uses?

Image result for type c power plug
Type C

Type C? Nope.

Image result for type f power plug
Type F

Type F? Nope.

As a matter of fact, Cyprus uses the type G power outlet. The only countries that use the type G power outlet are former British colonies or Britain.

Image result for type g power plug
Type G

In conjunction with power outlets, some additional things that I learned were from previous students studying abroad experience. I would like to personally thank Hannah, Priscilla, and Cheyenne for giving me an insightful view of Cyprus! Prior to hearing their stories, I basically didn’t know anything about Cyprus. Now I feel more confident in going to Cyprus!

Overall, I do feel excited about going to Cyprus! Yet, there still will be some lingering anxiety that I will have to face. Some of my main anxieties are making new friends, embracing a new culture, getting accustomed to Cypriot clothes standards, and cooking. The whole purpose of going abroad is to immerse yourself into another culture. What’s the purpose of going abroad without taking a chance to embrace another culture? As a result, I will try to do my very best to immerse myself it, even if it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.

Anyways, this is the end of my first entry, I hope you will follow my blog and come back next time on my TANGible adventures in Cyprus! Also, to my family and friends Gung Hay Fat Choy!