This is my personal experience as I commemorate my first anniversary settling in Cyprus which is relatively easy. Moving on can be summarized as bittersweet. Life is about hellos and goodbyes. We are always transient in a certain time and space. Nevertheless, moving forward is always exciting!
Leaving Doha / Maasalama Doha
Airline Staff: “Ma’am your carry on has exceeded the allowable luggage limit. Can you please take off some of the items, at least 2kg….”
One of the rare moments that I need to reopen the luggage and unload some stuff out before checking in. Good thing my bestie was with me. I can’t even remember which things I left to her and did I put some at my personal bag? Whew that was April 2019…
After an almost 10-year stint in the Middle East and then moving to Mediterranean EU – Cyprus.
Rewinding a few months before moving was my 3-month notice resignation, de-cluttering and giving away stuffs, spending time with friends that became a family to me and visiting the places which have been a part of those years.
There is a feeling of wanting to fast forward the days to departure and in between hit the pause button. Nostalgia hits!
But don’t worry my mind was made up. You think I’m gonna turn back?!
So after a spring and a winter trip to Cyprus, I’m back! Mid April 2019!
Trust me it was still cold and it had been raining for so many weeks prior to my arrival. Dams were full and yes, I saw and touched some snow left in Troodos Mountains.
Geia Sou Cyprus
How am I settling in Cyprus? Well, just pretty well!
- I can’t complain about the climate! A summer lover as I am, but I am falling in love with Autumn!
- From where I stay in Nicosia, a trip to the beach or to the mountains is roughly 40 minutes away! It’s something that we do out of the blue. We just load our dogs in the car and we hit the road! Stop by at Zorbas for some snacks or take away meals!
- This country is a pet lover. Period.
- Cyprus is relatively safe. I go around downtown by myself. A Sunday routine is attending Mass at Holy Cross Catholic Church and walk around Ledra. They say not to talk to strangers, sometimes I do. But I’m ok.
- Driving right-hand side. Oh yes I learned! What’s the trick? Always remember that the line in the middle of the road, is where your steering wheel is. Makes sense?!
- My Greek Language. Oh I’m doing fine. Anyway, English is well understood and spoken too. I learned new Greek vocabs, I can read and write a little, though comprehension is still elementary level. I am working in process (WIP). I’ll let you know next year about my progress.
- Shopping. Oh I can get most what I need and want. Well grocery shopping is a trial and error of the cleaning agents that I prefer. Or maybe in some food boxes, the instructions can be German, Greek, Russian, err I need an interpreter. We have Ikea, malls, and shops – H&M, Pull &Bear, Bershka, American Eagle, Plaza Italia, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, and a lot more. Also, Holland and Barrett is my new skincare shop.
- Ethnic Shopping. In the downtown area, you can find Asian, Sri Lankan and Indian Stores. There is Lidl a German megamarket, which has good offers and where I buy my homey clothes, socks and even plants –orchids, roses and a lot more. And don’t forget Russian stores too. But the Asian stores don’t have Yakult.
- As you know, Cyprus is an Island of Love. A wedding destination because of its beauty and the ease of wedding licenses. Hell yeah! It is true! Trust me.
- Immigration Procedures are pretty fast. Make sure you have the required documents. I did several extensions for my visit, and on the second time, we did it like a PRO!
- Food. Souvla, Sheftalia, Fasolaki, Kolokasi, Spanakopita, Macaronia de Forno. And I can cook most of them. Check out my article on Cypriot cuisine! International cuisines are also available here. As for the sushi, still no one has top yet Sushi Yen – La Cigale Hotel, Doha- Qatar.
There’s even more, but this just sums up that I am doing well. As I leaped from one country to the other, I did not even notice it was easy to re-settle.
Cyprus in Covid19
Lockdown implemented on 15th March, then drastic measures followed setting curfews. Work from home. Social distancing in supermarkets. Senior Citizens allowed only from 7 AM to 10 AM. Cases gradually controlled. Several batches of PPE dispatched from China. Mass testing now undergoing. Path of the virus from the airports to hospitals, supermarkets and pharmacies, some essential workers, and those from repatriated passengers but they go straight to quarantine. Drones monitoring the cities. The majority of the people followed the policies. The Government is handling the pandemic satisfactorily. Expected to ease quarantine by the 4th of May. Yet we can never be complacent.
Tourism is badly hit and so does the rest of the economic sectors. Along with the rest of the world, there will be ways of standing up again after this.
Further Reading: Cyprus in Corona, Post Lockdown
My Thoughts on Pandemic
Definitely a serious and deadly virus. I am frustrated why some people just act so easy about this. Going out and not wearing masks and gloves. Some had parties during lockdowns. Elbow to elbow at markets and so on.
I am frustrated with the limited access of PPEs for the frontliners in some nations. Heartbreaking too those are out of jobs and companies are at stake in the next few days or months. Some families cannot sustain daily needs, and all other problems arising in different communities around the world.
My personal take on this as an individual in order to fight this pandemic: HYGIENE, DISCIPLINE and SOLIDARITY.
And more importantly prayers helps a lot.
Things might not return to the usual normal. Who knows miracles do happen. By the way, the “new normal can be exciting perhaps”!
P.S. With a group of friends, we started an initiative to raise funds for PPEs for front liners in Southern Philippines. There is a shortage of supplies and these essential workers are at risk every day. We are in constant call for donations. Check it out on facebook page – Bulig Panalipod Covid 19. Thank you.
Hello Readers, I love to hear your stories about settling to a new country or perhaps your plans and thoughts on this. Thank you!