Posted by: nikusjka | September 18, 2013

A tale about Cyprus

Cyprus. When I came here I instantly realized it’s not a usual place.
Cyprus developed really fast. 50 years ago it was s calm island with no forex companies, offshore providers, tall buildings or proper roads ( well the roads are still not there;)) ). People were leading Mediterranean island life style in its full meaning. Small bakeries were prospering, local grocery man was always around ( if you happened not to have your own vegetables grown), donkeys still were in use and rare tourists enjoyed authentic tavern experience.
50 years is not much. It’s not much for a county to change its pace. It’s not much for people to adapt to new lifestyle. It’s like throwing a little kid in the river and watching him learning how to swim. He might survive that time but he might be traumatized by this water experience forever.
Today I got a chance to listen to a 60 year old Cypriot man – mr. Harris. He runs a little bakery shop with his wife in my area of Limasol. He grew up in that Cyprus. That Cyprus 50 years ago. He tells how he used to deliver sweets to his regular customer, sit, chat with them. He tells how easy and fulfilling it was to watch people enjoying his creations. He tells how the new generation doesn’t value family and rather go to Starbucks for coffee and drop by a chain bakery shop for sweets. Even Cypriots are loosing this authentic habit, what to say about foreigners who might never see the real Cyprus. His eyes are little sad and he grabs my hand in a gesture of hope. He knows Cyprus is changed forever. Cyprus, that he knew, is not same and for mr.Harris these changes were too fast. He didn’t manage to adapt. He will have to sell his shop – a business that he ran all his life with pride and passion.

People say that Cyprus was invaded by Turks. To me the biggest invasion of this island was by money. It did some good things to the place I must admit, but, as always, money took the soul away. Spoiled by Russians, used to easy banknotes, feeling like kings and studying in UK. That’s the new generation of Cypriots. Rare person realizes how traumatizing those last 50 years were for a Cypriot soul.

I really hope that Cyprus, this Mediterranean kid, will find his way. The right way. But for now people like Mr. Harris will continue to put locks on their shops.

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