A few years ago I had the opportunity to interview for a job in Cyprus. The company had agreed to fly me out for the weekend and since I had never been, of course I said yes! I imagined beautiful white sandy beaches surrounded by clear blue waters. But what was I thinking? I wasn’t going there on holiday! I had to keep my head in the game.
The flight to Cyprus was 5 hours from London. Having traveled to Japan on many occasions, 5 hours really isn’t a very long flight. However, I felt extremely restless and when we landed I was rather shocked by what I saw. This might seem silly but I felt like I was entering a war zone. Everything was covered in dust and there was barbed wired on many of the buildings.
But never mind my initial impression–I told myself that I was probably just tired and nervous about the interviews that would take place the next day. I decided to venture out to town and somehow ended up at a Chinese restaurant and had my first ever Cypriot Chinese meal. I knew we’d be having Cypriot food the next evening so I wanted to try something different. It was surprisingly good, even comforting.
The next day, after several interviews and uncomfortable role plays, while stuck in a stuffy office building, I was excited to try an authentic Cypriot meal. I love Mediterranean food, but to my disappointment the dishes were unimpressive and even the olives weren’t up to par. Perhaps I wouldn’t be moving to Cyprus after all…
Before heading back to London I ended up having one last meal in Cyprus. It was probably the best meal I had while I was there. Don’t laugh, but I had a damn good ham and cucumber sarnie for only £2.50 (Cypriot pounds). On my way back to the airport I saw signs that read ‘F*CK THE UN’. Erm…okay. I later found out that as I was leaving Cyprus, refugees were fleeing to the country from Lebanon.
I’ve always wanted to travel to places that would open my eyes to something completely different. I like to be blown away and to be honest, I was. And reading back on this post it might seem like I didn’t enjoy myself at all during my first visit to Cyprus. I’ll be honest, I didn’t. But to not feel comfortable and feel completely out of my realm was actually a good and humbling experience.
I doubt I’ll be going back to Cyprus anytime soon but I do wish I had more time to explore Nicosia, the beaches, and take more photos! Sadly, I only have a few shots which I’ll share anyway because it looks like Monkey had a good time!