I wrote this post 9 days ago and bam, the apartment is officially empty and the dog has gone.
As soon as the dog left yesterday the suitcases came out and packing has commenced in ernest. I now have just 24 hours before I leave Cyprus and a frantic feeling has washed over me. There are black bin bags of rubbish littering the apartment, there is a smell of floor cleaner in the air and my cupboards are as empty as they have ever been.
Looking at our empty bedroom is pretty emotional and not having the dog following me round the apartment is bringing the reality of leaving ever closer. The Cyprus chapter of my life is officially coming to a close and while it has been turbulent, frustrating and at times, stressful, it has also been exciting, amazing and filled with learning experiences.
The lifestyle in Cyprus is completely different to that of London and I think it will be the hardest thing to let go of. Cyprus is slow paced; they take the day one step at a time and coffee breaks a big must. Family gathers together regularly and food is a focal point of any meeting. Swapping the slower pace of life here for the hectic, fast paced life of London is going to take some getting used to. But I am not going to lie, I am ready for the change and equally as excited to get on the tube, use my oyster card and stuff my face with roast dinner.
The weather is obviously one of the positives to living in Cyprus. For about 9 months of the year, you are guaranteed warm temperatures and sunshine almost every day. In the summer, weekends turn into mini staycations with the beach being on doorstep, no matter where you live on the island. Trust me I love the sunshine. But sometimes the heat and humidity hit you like a brick wall and all you want to do is lie down in a dark, air conditioned room. I am looking forward to a little bit of the English climate, although I am sure that will wane after the 2nd day of rain!
Cyprus and food go hand in hand. They love their meat and it features in pretty much every traditional dish you can think of. Unless it's something with fish. Or a fasting meal. Ok so maybe not everything but most things. Kebabs are king on this little island and whether it is souvlaki or gyros, and they have become one of my go to lazy foods, especially since it is grilled meat with salad usually so if you don't count the pitta bread you can almost pretend it's a healthy dinner. Oh and we cannot forget the bakeries. Forget about any bakery you ever went to England. They do not compare. I cant explain it. You have to experience the bakeries of Cyprus first hand. And pick up some sort of traditional spinach and feta pie while you're there and wash it down with a orea cookie cream desert. It is a wonder that I actually lost weight in Cyprus right!?
Driving and Pedestrians
My biggest issue living in Cyprus; the lack of good and reliable transportation for non-drivers and navigating the roads as a pedestrian. Sure there are buses but who knows what timetable they actually run in reality and aside from walking or taxi, your options are limited if you don't drive. Which brings me onto my next issue; walking in Cyprus is a little dangerous to say the least. In many cases there aren't even pavements to walk on, which leaves you walking the street and lets just say Cypriot drivers aren't too concerned with obeying the rules of the road. If you do find a pavement to walk on, it will most probably be littered with parked cars (yes traffic wardens in Cyprus are non-existent) and you will have to watch out for people driving towards you because they want to park as close to the store front as possible. I may sound dramatic but the amount of times I have been walking the dog on the pavement and a car comes driving towards us and wants us to move, well I couldn't count them there have been so many.
I am definitely looking forward to abundance of public transportation London has to offer and the risk free world of pavements actually being for pedestrians!
By the time you read this I will have cancelled the internet and will be without contact to the world wide web for the next 24 hours until I touch down in London. It will be a test to live without whatsapp, email, blogger, facebook and instagram during that time and I am sure it will make me realise how reliant I am on the internet. I will be reconnected to the world tomorrow but will need a few days to adjust to the new surroundings of London.