Intercultural Shocks in Cyprus

My favourite, and already traditional post in which I always share my observation of the things that I somewhat find different from what I’m used to in my country . Here are the ones I noticed in Cyprus.

Welcome to the Great Britain number 2

I know this shouldn’t be such an cultural shock for me once I realize that the whole island of Cyprus had been a British colony for very long time (until 1960), but really I didn’t really think much about it before, but even now in 21st century you really feel the British influence, immediately after you’ve landed on the island.

In Cyprus (also the Turkish part) they ride on the ride side so it gets a while to get used to taking the roundabout on the left, and checking the correct side when crossing the road as a pedestrian. Well, better check both sides (twice) anyway.

But except for British driving rules, they also use British sockets, but no worries if you forget to buy a European adaptor, they are well prepared here due the high number of tourists, you can get them basically in any shop.

But what is perhaps most surprising for me, even it also makes sense in relation to the former British territory, is that all signs, titles, products, or anything else are not only written in Greek, but also in English. Plus, basically everyone here has a pretty good level of English so you don’t have a problem with communication here.

Last but not least, and at this point I’m not sure how much this has to do with the British occupancy, but there are many, really many British tourists all around the island.

Three countries

Even though that not everyone may be aware of that, it’s generally known that Cyprus is divided into two countries. The bigger part (  “southern”) of the island is officially the republic of Cyprus, inhabited by the Cypriots, speaking Greek. The other part – “northern” – is, since 1964, under the occupation of Turkey and inhabited by the Turks. North Cyprus, called by the Turks the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus  is an autonomous country managed by Turkey itself, but officially not recognized by any other institution. For UN the whole island is considered Cyprus.

Not many people know, though, that on this island we can find a bit of another country too. It’s really strange but in Cyprus there are a few territories that still belong to the UK.

Everybody speaks English

At least in the Greek side. 

Temperatures below 25°C are too cold for locals to swim

As mentioned before, I’ve come to Cyprus to escape the Czech cold, ugly winter. Well, in February there is a winter in Cyprus too indeed, but it’s definitely much much nicer and warmer. During those three February weeks I had around 17°C, but I also caught around 20 for a few days. Still not enough for the locals 🙂 I’ve heard that they only dare to swim in the summer months, even though the weather as well as the sea is pretty warm in autumn/spring. But for the Cypriots it’s just too cold anyway. 

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