Saturday, 13 October 2007

It's all Greek to me...

This posting is both literal and figurative. The official language of Cyprus is Greek – and unlike other countries I’ve visited, there is sometimes precious little English to decipher it. The internet’s wisdom has also translated many of my weblog headings into Greek as well, making surfing a little tricky. And – the Greek word for yes sounds like “nah”, and no sounds like “O.K.”, which has led to some confusing conversations. So literally, Cyprus is Greek to me.
Figuratively, you know you’re in Cyprus when:
- All your prior knowledge of how to cross the street is null and void… driving is on the left, and the rules and signs are not the same. It also complicates matters when you have representatives from several countries trying to cross the street with you, each trying to use their own how-to principles.
- You can eat figs, pomegranates, and olives directly from the trees. Oh - and citrus fruits galore… Jasmine fragrances the air in the early morning and evening, and hibiscus type flowers are everywhere.
- There are kebab stands and independent produce sellers all over the place – and it’s totally ok to sample fruit from the markets and stands without buying anything.
- The government buildings are only open for service 3 hours a day (including banks)… maybe the same in my country, but here no one thinks it’s weird.
- And perhaps particularly in my class, you find yourself as the only native English speaker, and one of the very few that can speak and write in only one language. I admire the non-North American world so much for this, and am hoping to change my own statistic… After Arabic, maybe French… or Spanish?
- Speaking of Arabic, they have some very common words that sound like English words you would get your mouth washed out with soap for saying… we laughed very hard in Arabic class yesterday:)
So that’s a wrap for now. I could go on but am going to header here today. Thanks for keeping up with my life here; I’d love to hear about yours!


Mom said...

Hello Sandra!
Well -- You just never know where you might pop up in the world!
What's it like there?
What is your mission there?
Can you tell me what you are up to?
I can tell you that even English is Greek to me sometimes. I really admire anyone who speaks a second language and more than that is really admirable.
Beautiful sunny day in the Okanagan today. Same tomorrow I think. Colours are amazing in the Fall.
We will follow your blog with much interest
Love AB and UC (Osoyoos)

Mom said...

Sandra - apparently it is using my "Mom" name.
Anyway you will know who it is.
Love Aunt Betty

Julene said...

Hey Sand! So good to hear from you. Enjoy the fragrant and tasteful life there! Wow, pomegranates!

Peter & Mel said...

Hey hot stuff, Thanks for the food descriptions! Although the sound of savory kebabs, and fresh citrus fruits off the trees is making my stomach growl.....ok, so maybe it does that on a regular basis anyhow. Check your inbox for some pics coming your way soon of the rapidly expanding belly. Miss you heaps, Love and prayers....Mel