|Soooo, I decided that Cyprus is like a big chunk of northern greece that somebody cut out and deposited in the eastern Med - which makes sense. It's really green and... northern greece looking and I saw a real shepard today with a flock of sheep!...Anyway, I arrived yesterday night and, I am really serious, had I-am-out-of-egypt culture shock. Do you know how wierd it is to walk by a group of guys and not hear comments being made at your expense??? Do you know how weird it is to have toilet paper it bathrooms???? Do you know how weird it is not be interrupted by the call to prayer all day long??? And just to say the final "ah-ha, I am out of Egypt" I ate bacon this morning.
The weather is nice, but not sunny, and thus not really warm enough to swim... so besides fighting with the heads of nyu's Mid East Studies Deptarment this morning through email and changing my israel plans 72 times, I wandered around Larnaka, a city located in eastern Cyprus, and wandered right into the Church of St Lazarus, a church that was founded by Lazarus himself - post being raised from the dead of course ;) So that was cool, and there was a SMALL Byzantine outside the church I visited.
And now I am in Lefkosia, the capital of Cyprus and it is a really nice city - divided into the new part and the old part. The old being walled, similar to the old city of jerusalem. Tomorrow, I am going to visit the old section AND cross the UN Green Line into the Turkish side of Cyprus for a couple of hours. So that should be cool. The Turkish side is called Nicosia. This makes (as i quote the Lonely Planet) Lefkosia/Nicosia the only divided city left in Europe.
The one thing I can say about Cyprus for sure is how much great shopping there is!!! If only I had more room in my pack!!!! Compared to the choices in Cairo, I am going nuts with the desire to spend a day getting a new wardrobe. The whole city is like one big Soho.
Lastly, I am headed to Israel a day early in order to visit family. I am excited. I am ready to get there. I just will hurry through the Tel Aviv bus station....
That's all for now. Talk to everyone soon :)