Living in Cyprus is wonderful, frustrating, annoying, interesting, gratifying and fulfilling. That is if you are an Expat and don’t mind the peculiar driving and parking habits, hotter than hell summer days and nights, moaning expats, lack of good governance, warm sea, cool mountains, fabulous food (not everywhere, but generally fab), passion for christenings, weddings, funerals and festivals, warm community spirit, cheap local produce and expensive imported produce.
Cyprus is a mix of a fading past and a fabulous place to live. People generally stick by the rules, unless they don’t like that particular rule.
It is broken by its loss of land to Turkey, but optimistic about getting it back one day. It has taken financial austerity on the chin, knowing that we were not entirely innocent in getting into this mess in the first place.
We love Greek, but are wary of Greeks, we are wary of Turks but we want to live with them again. We have the noisiest neighbours all around us that anyone has, but we are tolerant and would not want to live anywhere else. Our history has mostly been a pain and never forgotten, but our nature is good and our faith is strong.
Our banks are bust, but so are yours. Our economy is way too small even for our small island, and the Troika is making it smaller. We have some great businesses if you can find us. Our education system is below par, but the par is very low. We expect our young men to do military service, they do and are all the better for doing it.
Friendliness was invented here, I am learning it every day. My wife and I retired here in 2005, we burnt our British Bridges and enjoy every day. We do not speak Greek very well, but have no problems in communicating.
Cyprus has great beauty with craggy bits around most corners. The traditional coffee shops haven’t changed in generations, the newer branded ones are jumping with the youth and expensive coffee.
The People are our greatest asset, we could attract many more tourists if we stopped copying other sunshine holiday “resorts” and placed our youngsters at all ports of entry to welcome our tourists with a hearty welcome and a fond farewell, it would help our unacceptably high youth unemployment rate to decline, permanently – but getting that clock to turn is pretty hard to do.
And so we carry on, at the wrong end of the Med, a sunshine island where the sun shines all day for over 300 days per year.
So come to Cyprus – avoid January and February where the temperatures drop to near UK spring levels. Otherwise Spring lasts 3 months (March, April and May) and Autumn lasts 3 months (October, November and December), when the sun is warm and the climate fabulous – and you can expect a hot welcome in the Cyprus sun during June, July, August and September for those who like it well done.
But do come and visit our sunshine island, try and mix with the locals, we will be looking for you.