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Just returned from Cyprus again. It really needs to be mentioned on here and could be a great option for some.
Could stretch to Greece in general which is another place really worth looking around.
A quick overview:
Cyprus seems rather Middle-Eastern/Arabic in its landscape, weather (sandstorms, very violent thunderstorms, arid landscape, no grass, etc.) but with a more European culture. Half of Cyprus, the 'North side', is of course Turkish after the Turks invaded in the 1970s. The southern side is Greek.
I didn't visit the North side so this focuses on the South.
Currency is Euro, language is Greek. It's almost a bilingual island, being a past British colony, with English being provided for most things alongside Greek, and lots of natives speaking English. However, if you ever live here, you will have to learn Greek. Driving is as Britain, including traffic signs, etc.
Food: Typical Greek. Pitta bread, the wonderful halloumi cheese, etc. I found fresh vegetables absurdly hard to find, at a guess people grow their own, perhaps. Fresh fruit is beautiful, you can often order them in these wonderful smoothies, the best I've ever found. Bakeries are open all the time, pretty much the only shops open on Sundays, and even then 'til 10 at night. They sell lots of different breads, but also cereals, drinks, crisps, snacks, and often amazing ice cream. There are few true supermarkets. Beware, food is very expensive.
Getting about: You need a car, and they are expensive as they are all imported. Forget public transport. Trains don't exist and buses aren't reliable or frequent. I didn't notice many people walking around the streets either, most get around by car (same in America though?). The island is fairly small however, you can drive from side to side in about two hours or so. Beware traffic laws- they don't really exist but if you catch a policeman in a bad mood he will make one up. Fines can be anything depending on the mood of the person booking you. Wear your seatbelt, make sure you don't park on any yellow lines, don't give the police excuse to come after you.
Women: It's not a feminised country at all, the women are very traditional, most stay at home with children and their families, very old-fashioned Mediterranean. As for looks they look very Middle-Eastern to me. If you like the look of Middle-Eastern women but Islam gets in your way you'll probably love Greek girls.
Racial issues: I've heard blacks and asians might not get on too well here.
Weather: Warm all year round, rainy season around February, gets to almost unbearably hot in August, then cools again. As mentioned earlier they have some violent storms during which every new immigrant thinks they will die. You'll get used to it.
Jobs: Seems pretty good. Lots of people appear to be moving here to get jobs, especially from UK.
Family: Children go to nursery until they are about six, then they get into really tough schooling, homework, etc. Schools starts at 7:30 am ish and finish around one in the afternoon. People seem to wake up early, 5 or 6am, and go to sleep fairly early. Families seem close and large. Children are very well-supported with family time being easy, child-friendly places everywhere, parks, etc. It's undeniably great for kids, and then you have the free resorts, beautiful beaches, swimming pools in every garden, etc. Middle-aged and older men often like hanging around together in cafes drinking extremely strong black coffee, playing dominoes, etc., the Greek equivalent of a British pub. People in general are very friendly.
Entertainment: Random street parties and barbecues, but mostly your entertainment will come from the tourist industry. If you like to party you'll have a great time as there are loads of happy tourists in karaoke bars, clubs, etc. Most tourists are British, Russian/Eastern European, German, Scandinavian, and the kind that likes to 'have a good time' i.e. get drunk and happy, rather than elegant/classy types. I'm not a party animal but I had some amazing nights out that I will forever remember. People are friendly, happy, inclusive and outgoing. If you detest this kind of thing you might have a hard time finding something to interest you, but if you like it you can have a great night any time you feel like going out.
General quality of life appears to be pretty good. Every single immigrant I spoke to loves it and would never go back, citing the easy way of life and weather as major pulls, the unpredictable police and law system as one of the most annoying things. It's easy to travel to other countries in Europe, Asia and Africa from Cyprus. It's a good place if you want a very relaxed pace of life and a 'constant holiday' feel.
henry kissinger ruined it by backstabbing the greeks and not stopping the turks. btw some people theorize that cyprus is the highest point of what used to be Atlantis. which would explain why kissinger was interested in it... the more likely reason being cypress is the island portion of "greater israel", and if it's disputed territory it would be much easier for the zionists to eventually steal it (example: kosovo) rather than if it were all greek. only adding weight to this theory is henry kissinger being the true prime minister of israel and all..
also if a: 6, b: 12, c: 18, d: 24 and so on, until z: 156, if you add them up then KISSINGER = 666. thus proving he's the anti-christ.
but yes the place sounds awesome and i'd like to visit! hopefully before nixon's favorite "jew-boy" f***s it up like he f***ed up cambodia!
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