Two-weeks in Cyprus provides a lot of different opportunities. Unfortunately, one of those opportunities was not updating this blog consistently (that also didn’t change when I got to Sydney…). However, I did get to check out some beautiful coastline near Agia Napa and the Turkish occupied city of Kyrenia. I will say that while in the Turkish occupied territories I avoided spending money as much as possible because it is, after all, an illegally occupied territory. That does not, however, make it devoid of natural beauty.
There are a lot of different stories I could share from my time in Cyprus, but in order not to completely bore you, I’ll stick to two specific ones here.
The first is of the Dutch Queen’s birthday party, which may sound a bit out of place seeing as I was in Cyprus and not Holland, but to make it all connect, my aunt Yianna whom I was staying with works for KLM, the Royal Dutch Airways. Because of its obvious association with the Dutch Queen, KLM was setting up a table with a drawing for a free round trip flight to Amsterdam at the Queens birthday. The party was set up around a large pool at a beautiful country club just outside the capitol city of Nicosia and it seemed anyone associated with the Netherlands in Cyprus was at the party. There were a lot of tall people and orange. Also the Dutch ambassador to Cyprus was there and gave a rather icy speech with none other than THE President of Cyprus by his side. After the speech the President came around and shook hands including mine! At first I was a bit worried because shaking the hand of a President in the communist party could prevent me from getting back in my own country but I soon thereafter burned all documentation of the event and verbally denounced communism to McCarthy’s ghost.
The party had lots of Dutch finger foods, games and drinks. Everyone was dressed up and there were even two young Cypriot girls dressed up in traditional Dutch dresses (take note of these two) to create the perfect Dutch atmosphere. Yes, I know, to really make it perfect they needed a couple stoners and hookers, but my tour guide in Amsterdam said they were trying to break those stereotypes so I guess the party was better off without them…
Anyway, Yianna stayed busy helping everyone (and I mean everyone) at the party fill out the little forms for the free ticket drawing and at the end of the party we were expecting to have the ambassador pick the winner, but he disappeared. Instead of waiting longer and trying to track him down, it was decided to have the two girls in Dutch dresses help out with one picking the name and the other announcing it to the crowd. Everything went as planned until girl in Dutch dress number 2 went to announce the name and stopped half way through and turned to Yianna and said (in Greek) with a shocked face, “this is my name”. HAH! Apparently girl in Dutch dress number one had picked girl in Dutch dress number 2’s name out of the probably hundreds of names in the bowl. Yianna looked at the name, finished announcing it to the crowd and we all looked around a bit stunned.
Once everything was settled, the Dutch ambassador came over to shake hands on his way out and asked who ended up winning. Yianna told him and just to completely prove his contempt for the tiny island he quipped, “a true Cypriot drawing then”. Ahhh, pessimism, it’s always refreshing in an ambassador.
Another of my favorite nights in Cyprus came the next day when Yianna and I were invited to the grand opening of a club called Lush. One of Yianna’s friends’ son was part owner and we were told it was right on the beach in Larnaca so we figured it’d have to be a good time. I’d say we were correct. It felt like it was straight out of Miami. It had a very Modern white feel to it and when we arrived we were ushered down a runway to the entrance where a photographer waited to take pictures of guests in front of the Lush wallpaper background.
When we got in, there were drinks and platters of food all over the place. As the night grew older, the club filled up and the music got louder. The back of the club was right on the beach and in the about 40 yards between the club and actual sand, they had set up some tiki torches and couches for those who wanted some fresh air. A couple hours into the night a violinist started rocking out on her violin. Now, I’ve never really seen a violinist at a nightclub before, but it was pretty good. A spotlight would show up wherever she started playing. She played some Beatles and Phantom of the Opera, all with a heavy beat going on in the background.
The crowd at the opening was pretty diverse including politicians (campaigning for the upcoming elections), your typical younger nightclub crowd, older singles interested in the new thing, and to my surprise (and delight) a gaggle of, what I’m guessing were, Greek Playboy bunnies. I don’t know if their appearance was sanctioned by Hef himself or maybe there’s a Playboy consulate somewhere in Cyprus, but either way it was a nice touch to a pretty classy and seemingly successful club opening.
It will be interesting to see how Lush does. It’s the only real nightclub venue on that particular beach. The rest of the establishments in the area are pretty mellow restaurants and since the location is relatively near the airport the low flying planes could be a plus or a minus depending on your personal feelings of watching planes land or inhaling jet fuel fumes while partying. If Lush works, I could see a lot of the smaller restaurants turning into nightclubs and the whole beach becoming somewhat of a party place. However, if Lush turns out to be too far away from everything or has other problems, it’ll be an expensive failure. Whichever way it goes, I’ll be more than happy to go back with some friends in the near future!
(P.S. I’m back in the States now. Just left LA for Boulder where I’ll be for the next couple weeks. Almost Done!)