Just last night I landed in Pafos, Cyprus, and I’ve spent my first day exploring & preparing for my extended stay here.
I’ve met locals, tried some local cuisine, and even went to the beach! Here’s what I think so far…
I’m Now Bulgarian
First I must mention just how “Bulgarian” I’ve become. I’ve adopted so many traditions of Bulgaria’s culture that it’s a culture shock coming here!
I spent 7 months in Bulgaria without leaving once. I did not realize how much I’ve changed.
“Ne” means no in Bulgarian, but yes in Greek. I’ve accidentally said “Ne” when I meant “no,” and the Greek-speaking person thought I meant yes.
I’ve also almost accidentally spoke Bulgarian so many times. English is my first language, but throwing in Bulgarian words and using simple Bulgarian phrases became common day-to-day practice for me.
In many places I would speak only Bulgarian! Adjusting into a new culture is quite comical not just because of the culture shock, but also the realization of how “Bulgarian” I’ve become.
English Is EVERYWHERE
Pafos is primarily English. It’s supposed to be Greek-speaking but everyone introduces themselves in English.
Menus in Bulgaria are Bulgarian and English. Some places here are Greek & English, but many are simply English.
I’ve also had a chance to visit the mall, and I was shocked at how…. American it was.
I saw Taco Bell, Subway, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s, and Burger King all right next to each other. There were some local shops and European chains as well, to my relief.
There’s No Police
I’ve only seen one mall security officer. I’ve been to the beach, through the airport, and around downtown, but I have not seen one single police officer.
This is extremely strange to me, but not a surprise.
Cyprus doesn’t feel like a lawless land. Instead it feels so safe that there seems to be no need for police!
Everyone Is Insanely Friendly
Last night I was eating traditional Cyprus food. I met some locals there, and they were all so friendly & nice!
Everyone smiles, sometimes people just say “hi” to you, and everyone is quite accommodating. People are simply open!
This is a huge contrast from Bulgaria, where it’s most acceptable to be reserved, shy, slightly aggressive, and not smile so often until you get to know someone more.
I’m enjoying this contrast from Bulgaria. I miss every part of Bulgaria, but lots of people could really lighten up!
The mall is huge, restaurants are huge, ahhhh it’s like the USA once again.
Unlike Bulgaria, Hungary, Belgium, and the UK, Cyprus is spacey just like the USA. There is plentiful room in the mall, tables are farther apart from each other, and it doesn’t feel “crowded.”
Where I am, there is no one on the streets. I step outside and it’s literally me.
This is a huge contrast from Sofia Bulgaria, where I had to be careful opening my door so that I don’t slam into someone.
In some ways it’s nice, in other ways I enjoy the liveliness Sofia Bulgaria had.
Paphos is lively in the center though! I live about a 5 minute walk from the “downtown,” and it’s really weird because there is no one where I live but as soon as I hit the beach the area becomes vibrant.
This is an enjoyable contrast. On one hand I get the exciting busy life, and on the other hand I get a bit of relaxation & peace.
So far Pafos, Cyprus is quite fun. People are nice, food is delicious, and I’m excited to try some new things out.
I’m excited also to find a good surf spot. The sea where I’m currently at is a bit more calm.
The sea water was amazing too! It was a perfect degree of cold; not too cold, but not awkwardly warm. The sea was refreshing.
There is also jet-skis available, something like 30 Euros for 3 miles. I’m super excited to use jet-ski rides as motivation for working hard.
I found a motorcycle rental shop as well. I wasn’t considering renting a motorcycle here, but now I’ll highly consider it.
Traffic appears slow, safe, it’s spaced out (even downtown), and again there are no cops anywhere. You drive on the left side which is interesting as well.
EDIT: PEOPLE ARE DEFINITELY WAY NICE HERE! I dropped my water bottle writing this and the girl working the coffee shop ran over to pick it up for me. This degree of service is unheard of in Bulgaria, and many other places in Europe. I feel like I have the pros of Europe AND USA!!!!!!
Challenges in Cyprus
One of my biggest challenges is waiting for my girlfriend to come here. It’s over 30 days until she comes here, unless we can get her here earlier (YES PLEASE).
I already miss her so much. She had become part of my daily life, so much so that all this fun feels kind of empty without her to spend it with.
At the very least, I would like a familiar face. I made some amazing friends in Bulgaria, and everything would be better with friends.
Instead I’ll be working hard to create a new social circle here unless friends can come visit me (wanna stay on my couch for free???).
My girlfriend is so important to me, and our relationship is both our top priority. I never knew I’d be so romantic until we met, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me!
The other challenge is money. One pro about Bulgaria is that it’s cheaper than Cyprus. All prices just doubled for me.
I can’t live the same lifestyle in Bulgaria here because then I’ll eat through money at double the rate. I already made some amends to save some $, and I’ll be thinking of other things too.
My plan in Bulgaria was to grow the business significantly anyways, so I’m going to hit that even harder here.
Another huge challenge is that I haven’t found anywhere I can upload my videos yet. I make videos in order to get new clients, as well as weekly videos for one of my clients.
I also am vlogging so my girlfriend can be engaged in my life. I may release public VLOGs too.
My home internet appears to be throttled. Everything loads super fast, but uploads/downloads are ridiculously slow. If I can’t find a good coffee shop, or things don’t upload over-night, then I’m going to call up the owner to find a solution.
Good upload/download internet is worth paying for!
I’ve already tried the mall, plus a few different coffee shops for their internet. So far nothing is working.
I’m currently uploading a 10 minute video I made for my girlfriend, and throughout the entirety of writing this post, it has uploaded just 9% (yay ;/).
Let’s just hope that everything can upload over-night. I bought a new game, Mortal Kombat XL, and it took like 12 hours to download. My upload speeds appear to be even slower than my download speeds….
I may consider getting portable WiFi, or something like that. Or I’ll pay my host to upgrade my WiFi plan because I need to make videos for new clients.
The biggest challenge here is going to be making friends. This isn’t a huge city like Budapest or Sofia. The population does not exceed 100,000!
I’m going to have to push new limits in order to make friends and avoid loneliness.
Cyprus, A New Adventure
This is a crazy adventure and it still doesn’t feel real. It feels like a 3-day vacation, and that I’ll be going back to Bulgaria soon.
Unfortunately I’m banned for 90 days. I’m going to do my best to make the best of a crazy situation, and try have some fun in the process.