Saturday, September 29, 2007

A walk to the down town (late post)

It was the last weekend at the Cyprus and I decided to go the local Down Town to take some photos. I thought I was going there alone until my colleage agreed that he wanted to have his lunch there. We started our journey around noon because I wanted to try out the local traditional food called Meze for lunch. The weather was hot and dry that day and taking a half hour walk to there was a burning experience.

Without further delay, the first place we went when we reached there was the local souvenir shop and restaurant. It is a beautiful scene as the sun is bright and hot but the shops and restaurant are located inside the alley. Thus, you can feel the cool breeze when walking on the street. There are souvenir shops from calender, t-shirt, postcard to jewelry.

It's something like the Chinese style restaurant where they served a lot of dishes. I have a high expectation on this meal as it cost me 8 pound for it (that's equal RM64 in Malaysia). Maybe the price is mean to be more expensive as that place is famous for tourism. Since I have came all the way just to try it, I'm not gonna spend another hour just to look for cheaper price on the same meal (not to mention the hot weather). Finally, we settled on a restaurant due to its environment, which its roof was covered by umbrellas.

So, the meal started with salad and bread, with 2 sauces and a plate of olive. Next, came a side dish with more bread, a piece of meat and a mushroom. The finale was a plate with 5 different meats, potato and rice. Somehow, this is meal for me is a bit of let down. For the same value of meal in Malaysia, I can get so much more than this or even better. So, the final verdict for Meze: it's a good meal but try it for only once in your life time (rules applies for that restaurant only, there might be exception for others).

After the expensive lunch, we walked around the area with the map given by the restaurant owner. He was very kind to show us a map with interesting places marked on it. Initially, we wanted to go for the big and beautiful church, which I've forgotten the name. Carefully examine that church location on the map shows that church is far beyond human walking distant and thus, we settled for the smaller one. :P We didn't go inside the church as it was closed. We only took couple of pictures on the church and then went home around 4 PM. Yup, it's back to the burning experience again.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Going home

Today is a special day because today I'm going home. After spending 40 days in Cyprus, finally the time has come. Yesterday, my colleague asked me whether I'm happy that this day has finally come? I replied without any thinking. "Sure it does" and she replied that she almost unable to focus her work just because of thinking coming back home.

If you asked me whether I missed Cyprus? I wish the people here are friendlier. I wish that they have more food variety. I wish the goods and services here are cheaper. I wish the transportation here are easily accessible. I wish there are more places of interest here (exclude the churches, mosque). Nope, I don't miss it at all.

Maybe I was too pampered by the Malaysia's culture, food, places of interest and lifestyle. Maybe I don't own a car here at Cyprus which it could allow me to see and travel more. Maybe I was living at the city center where I should live in the out skirt where the services and goods are cheaper; people may be friendlier.

Blame it on me. The child who demand too much. The child who wanted too much respect. The child who wanted cheap but high quality goods and services. The child that is so active that he wanted to go everywhere and see everything.

In the end, all this doesn't matter anymore because the child is coming home today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A trip to the beach - 1st Sep 2007

2 weeks before the trip, me and 3 other guys have a plan to go to the beach. I have checked with the local colleague regarding the attraction here and I got an answer was: the beach. All he said was, "If you want to go somewhere this weekend, you have to go to the beach". I have checked with my boss and he also said the same thing. So, a week before the actual day, my colleague managed to book a car at a price of 15 Cyprus pound per day. This is really a bargain as now in Cyprus because it's summer holiday and really hard to rent a car at this price (The other car rental company offers 20 pound per day and at least rent for 3 days). The owner required us to rent it at least for 2 days and we planned to use the extra day to go somewhere else.

My colleague got the car on Friday evening and they already drove the car around the city at night. I haven't saw the car yet as I went back to home after work because I was kinda tried and lazy to go out. The next morning, we began our journey on 9:15 am and we were going to pick up the rest of guys. On my first look on the car, I was astonished because for a 15 pound car rental, I would guess it's a very out of fashion or old car. But this car is really worth more than its rental value from its looks. It's a small car but comfortable enough for 4 people to travel. There are some flaws on the car on my ride as I noticed the there are wind noise if the air-cond is set to high and door is plastic trimmed. Aside from all this, it's a good car and it drives really smooth.

So, first destination was to the Ayia Napa where it is a town most people talked about its beautiful beaches. As recommended by one of the colleague in the office, we went to the Makronisos Beach at around 11:30 PM. I like it for the first view as there are a lot of beach chair along side the beach. But one of our colleague said that the crowd is rather over aged. :P After a 5 minutes stay on the beach for taking photo; not even touching the sea water, we went back to the road and headed to another beach called the Nissi Beach. Here, the crowd has more youngster and the beach stretch much wider. Of course, the "view" is definitely better than the first beach we just visited. The rest of the guy went for a swim except me, who is staying on the beach to watch over the stuffs. Not going into the water proves I have more time taking photos and enjoy the "view" on the beach. :P

After 4 hours of fun at the beach, it's time to moves (Personally, I think 2 hours is more than enough on the beach. After a swim, get some lunch then head to other places but we end up leaving the beach at 4 pm). We have a tour to the Cape Gkreko then headed to the nearby town Paralimni and Protaras. In the end, we took our dinner at Protaras, where all shops are closed in Paralimni, and enjoyed a live match between Liverpool and Derby.

On our way back home, we were wonder whether to stop by Aiya Napa check out the night life there. But the night was too young and all four in the car haven't took their shower yet. So, we decided to go back and go for a drink instead. As for me, I chose to get an early sleep.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

One more week in Cyprus

I just got the news today from my boss where my leave application is rejected. All I get was a email stated that I need to extend another week in Cyprus. This is not good except there are more allowance to earn for another week stay. :P

So, I'm going to miss my family and the food in Malaysia for another week. Hopefully there is miracle happened or I'll just look to the bright side. Anyone wants to go to the beach again? :P

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cyprus trip (for work)

KLIA - 13th Aug 2007
I've never been to Cyprus before and I never heard of it. (Just like the people in Cyprus. You tell them you're from Malaysia, they are not sure. But if you tell them you're from Singapore, all say yes. Even the weather forecast in the news does not show Malaysia. :P No wonder.) So, this is a first trip for me to Cyprus. Anyway, my flight is on midnight and I reached the KLIA airport around 10:15 PM by taxi. After checking on the schedule board and found my way to the checking in counter, my colleague still haven't arrived yet. There was a long cue waiting at the check in counter and passengers with huge luggage bag. (There must be a lot of middle east travelers in Malaysia.) When my colleague has arrived, the cue behind me was longer than before and luckily for him, we was able to check in together.

Dubai - Transit
After finished watching couple of movies in a long hour flight, we finally reached Dubai. Flight transit is not a good experience if the transit is going to take more than 5 hours. There was a lot of people sleeping on the waiting for their flight and I was tempted to join them. Until I saw the condition of the carpet floor, I've changed my mind. The funny thing was, I have saw people sleeping on the floor with full body covered. Just like a mummy from Egypt. :D After a while sitting on the floor waiting due to all the seats are fully taken, we finally manage to squeeze in the crowd for 2 seats. There was wifi service available for internet connection but somehow my laptop does not work with it.

Taking a small nap on the "not so comfortable for sleeping" seat wasn't easy and we finally got up to get our free breakfast. Yes, it's free food provided by the airline company for passenger who transit for more than 4 hours. But you can rather skip it as the meal doesn't serve well. It was just only couple of small sandwiches, a banana cake and a coffee. Beside, breakfast will be served again while in the flight, which is better. One more thing regarding the toilet in transit there; it's always full and some are not working or maybe I was having bad luck. It was a long cue in there and by the time it was my turn, the toilet was clogged. Again, the toilet in the flight is far better. In conclusion, transit in Dubai was ok but I think they can improve more especially their services.

Cyprus - Nicosia
Another 2 more hours of flight from Dubai to Cyprus. It was noon by the time we reached there and there no sign of our pick up driver. After 30 minutes waiting, we finally found the driver and I forgive him after he was driving a Benz E class to pick us up. We got our apartment key from him and it took another hour drive from the airport to the apartment. Along the way to the our apartment in the city, we can notice there are lots of sand, rocks and no tall buildings, as no building taller than 10 stories high. Later, I found out that there are earthquake in Cyprus. My colleague even felt it in one of the night while I was sleeping.

The apartment door is a bit tricky here. After 5 minutes of twist, turn and push, we gave up. We asked for help from our neighbour and came out a housewife holding her kid in one arm. She managed to help us to open the door just in seconds. (Gee...). The first step on the apartment's floor with bare feet wasn't that comfortable. It was dusty and slightly sticky if your feet is sweaty. I was so annoyed by it and finally, I gave the whole floor a clean up and I got a bucket of mud water in the end. I came to a conclusion that previous tenant or the weekly cleaner does not like to mop the floor. After checking the apartment around, it was fully equipped. Stove (no gas but it was replaced later), washing machine, fridge, iron board, microwave and vacuum machine. Everything looked like it was well prepared for the tenant to live more than a month.

A quick tour to the office to get a our security key card, a visit to our senior and boss and finally, back to our apartment. In the evening, we went to the city Mcdonald (Most of the shop were closed as they are in summer holiday.) to get some burger because it was very cheap. 1.20 Cyprus pound for 2 chicken burgers. What a bargain if you do not convert it back to Malaysia ringgit. We went to the nearby supermarket to get some bottled water because the tap water here has slightly strange taste. We also took some water from our office for the first 2 weeks and later, I found that the tap water wasn't taste much different and we start drinking from tap water (of course, it was boiled.) from then on.

So, this is just the beginning of the trip. More to come. Stay tuned.