A Goulash of Culture

A giant pot of British, Canadian and Cypriot culture.

Heatwave fun!

So it’s been yet another heat wave, Paphos saw 40’C (with the humidity) just this past Sunday and we’re in for it for the rest of the week. This means it is a fun week for us who don’t drive. I would typically read my way through a bad heatwave, in fact I’ve just started The Wolves of Calla by Stephen King. However I have been hit with a bad weekend which has limited my ability to brave through the worse  that Cyprus can offer by means of a tooth infection.

As I mentioned before, I had a specialist appointment last week and after a few days I was to start a round of medication for something. This weekend clearly had other plans and instead of allowing me to do as the doctor ordered…I got a truly livid tooth infection. So after getting incredibly lucky and my dentist opening up her surgery for me (as well as my landlady driving me there) I had the first half of an emergency root canal done. The tooth was entirely infected, there was no saving the root structure of it in any way and had to be cleaned. Naturally this means I’m on antibiotics until Friday when I see her again.

One would hope this is the end of it but oh no! I wish! I now also have a slight sinus infection that has me suffering from headaches, an off and in again fever and a cough. Luckily I am already on the medication for treating it so that saves me yet another bloody doctor’s appointment. It’s made it quite hard to bare the summer’s heat though since I am largely unable to keep cool. I’ve had to have three days with the AC on all day and night…it won’t be cheap but with an internal heat wave and an external one it is better to pay the higher electricity bill than to end up in the ER.

I’ve been trying to mentally picture my birthday, which was hot but I was on a boat tuna fishing off the coast of Paphos. It was a very relaxing and lovely afternoon out. A lot better than what I’m having to go through now at least!

The tuna my very good husband caught on my birthday 🙂

I’m going to have to summon up my resources to survive till this end of the week, where I have two appointments at midday. Luckily I may only have to walk to one and I am unsure of how I’m getting to the other. Ah Cypriot summer!


Evangelismos Hospital

The visit on Monday was more or less what I expected, got referred a cream I’ve already done and was told that the next step was a mega-long run of antibiotics which would cause another issue all together. I am a walking advertisement for infection since moving here and so I was referred on to Evangelismos Hospital in Paphos.

The doctor there was very kind, smart and understood exactly what I was communicating. He did the usual poke and prodding, grabbing a few samples and then got down to writing the prescriptions. Holy moly! What a list he had laid out, in the end it came to €75 and that is pretty cheap when compared to Canadian prices for those same medications. Had I been there I would easily be paying triple that amount but add the price to what I paid for the exam, doctors fee and lab work that’s a total of €220 for a 15 minute prod & poke session. Thankfully I have coverage and I’ll get the money back by about 90% but holy hell.. It’s still a big price for someone not quite used to the private system just yet.

It will jump again as I go back next week, after the doctors have their holiday break, for a follow up appointment where I pick up the final prescription. So add at least €40 in Doctor’s fees on to that.

Dear body, stop costing me so much!


Downside to only now finding a doctor is that I have to start over with the whole medical history thing and for some reason I have a long one. I am a walking target for infections despite having a totally healthy, normal and active immune system. I also seemingly have reactions to medications meant for those who have reactions to other things. These days I generally accept I’ll have a reaction anyways. However late last week I had one to a totally normal medication and it had me spooked, my body’s habits can be rather predictable so that reaction was out of the blue.

Since I have a brand new doctor I get to give him my medical history all over again and hope he doesn’t do what ever doctor does when you start over. It takes two weeks to get tests done, get results back and pick up medications/go out and get them. I’ve had to do it once already but that doctor left Cyprus in June, she did refer all the files to this new doctor at least. So hopefully he’ll see I’ve done the first general tests and decide that it isn’t required to do them again.

The only test I want done is a blood test and that’s about it (and needles aren’t exactly my favourite thing either) to suss a specific thing out asap. It’ll save a lot of hassle and time but in my experience even with the file, they want to go through the motions anyways.  Here is hoping he doesn’t want to run the tests, cost me 90 euros only to find out what we already know from the last time.

Time flies when you’re not paying attention!

Away goes the husband, back to the life of an oil field engineer. Last hitch was filled with politics of a sad sort and annoyingly…I can’t vent about it here. It’s safe to say some people need to be purged from the gene pool ASAP. Hopefully this time will me less moronic in the level of stupidity displayed.

The countdown is on for our LONG awaited honeymoon! Just under forty days to go and we shall be enjoying a short haul flight to a near by country of Italy. The first night is a bit of a wash out, however I still managed to book us a nice cheap four star hotel in the very heart of Bologna. Cheap and four star aren’t often bedfellows but I am ruthless at hunting hotels down. If it were a sport, surely I would be Queen. It’s a waste I know for just one night but it is still the official start to a very along waited trip.

This time last year I was waiting on baited breath to hear from Cypriot Immigration about my Visa. Which, by all accounts, was just a formality waiting to be handled after people came back from holiday. Instead the woman took a random disliking of me and my case. Making my life for the end of the summer…a total and complete hell. Losing nearly ten pounds (just under 5kg) in a week from being so stressed.

Now I can replace this time of year with a far more happier countdown and reclaim things a tiny bit. Cyprus is far to beautiful to be linked with such negative memories. Though this past month has been a hard one with yet another friend leaving the island. This time the friend is still close enough to visit!

Here’s to a new countdown!


It’s started! The Cypriot heatwave that is. It’s when the heat gets a mighty boost from humidity and the sought after wind is no where to find. Last year it struck around the same time so I was expecting it. However this year I’m without a means of transportation, thanks to my husband who is off finishing a dive a thon fun fest with some students (from the UK). So I’m sweating it out like a champ, no actual complaints from me.  The way our summers go…this is just a taste tester of the main event. No sense complaining when it has only just kicked off, wait till it goes super nova during the end of the month.

Apart of me is still hoping for a minor break in the sheer level of  heat for my dental appointment (wonky back tooth, suspect it might be a wisdom coming in) and for my tuna dive. Have to wait and see for that as no one can truly predict the level of humidity until you wake up on the day. So I’ll just sit and be hopeful!

I am alive…I swear!

My husband is a part of the diving group helping a large number of Eton students get their Open Water certs. We’ve just about finished the first half of the guys, with great success apparently. I haven’t been to any the dive outings because it’s on the base. So I’ve been staying at my in-laws this past week and with the break between the two dive groups, I got to come home for a few days. Now I’m going back to Pissouri for roughly two days, a much shorter period of time.

I love my in-laws and their house is stunning but there really is nothing like sleeping in my own big ass bed. Seriously. It’s big and comfy and mine. Needless to say it was hard parting from it’s loveliness today but at least it is a shorter separation this time and I can live with that.

Plus around here the bugs don’t bite the hell out of me! I love my apartment. 

Missing person



Police in Stroumbi are trying to find Mrs Nancy Johnson. Mrs Johnson was last seen on Tuesday evening in Tsada village in Paphos. If you see this person or have any information, please contact Stroumbi Police Station on (00357) 26814060.


It seems whenever you want to do several loads of laundry, the sun in Cyprus is suddenly a little gun shy. Since almost no one around here uses a dryer…we just air dry everything. I’ve actually managed to get impressive time out of my jeans thanks to that as they never fared to well in Canada. The only downside occurs when you’ve run out of time and must get those loads finished and it’s cloudy. Seeing as the end of June is in sight, I didn’t believe the risk was all that high. I mean we don’t exactly SEE many clouds in the summer apart from the all to typical cute fluff ball types. Even those ones disappear by July at the latest! With this cloud cover we are also suffering from a bit of added humidity as well.

Naturally my timing placed my massive cleaning day right in the middle of it all! With my husband returning from the field tomorrow afternoon, there is not a lot of time left. Linens, pillows, clothing, rugs, floors, showers, counters yadda yadda yadda. The list is long when it comes to cleaning and I need to get the vast majority of it done today so that tomorrow I can get the dishes done and get the goods to make a Gin & Tonic. It’s something of a habit to welcome him home with one premade up with a couple nibbles for snacking on.

Since it has been a very taxing week for us, keeping that sort of a habit up would go a long way to resetting things in time for the weekend. With the added benefit of not having to do squat cleaning wise until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest. Something you learn to enjoy when your husband has been away for several weeks. It’s a coping mechanism I learnt very quickly, even before I ever married the man. I’ve heard army wives do something similar for freeing up much needed time with a spouse.

I would just be so happy if either the wind stepped up another notch or the humidity stepped down one for us all. Sweating buckets while mopping my apartment is not so nice and with the cloud cover my solar panel just won’t get home enough to shower. Speaking of which, my floors look dry…time to go scrub down the hell out of my bathrooms!

Greek pro-bailout party proposes coalition after election win – The Globe and Mail



Greek pro-bailout party proposes coalition after election win


Athens — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Jun. 16 2012, 10:40 PM EDT

Last updated Sunday, Jun. 17 2012, 4:12 PM EDT



The pro-bailout New Democracy party came in first Sunday in Greece’s national election, and its leader has proposed forming a pro-euro coalition government.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras says “the Greek people today voted for Greece to remain on its European path and in the eurozone.”

He says voters chose “policies that will bring jobs, growth, justice and security.”

His party beat the anti-bailout Syriza party, which wanted to cancel Greece’s international bailouts. Syriza chief Alexis Tsipras has conceded the election.

The Greek election gave the centre-right, pro-bailout parties a narrow lead but exposed deep divisions among the voters, who appeared torn between fear of austerity and fear of exodus from the euro zone.

The strong showing by Syriza, which substantially boosted its popularity since the inconclusive May 7 vote, is bound to make the coalition talks messy, potentially leading to an unstable government just as crucial decisions have to be made about Greece’s clapped-out economy and how to save it.

Syriza’s popularity also reflected the broad discontentment among young voters, most of whom supported the party. Youth unemployment is at 50 per cent in Greece and few have any prospects of finding jobs as the Greek economy continues to sink.

“I fear that unless Syriza is in government, the young people will take to the streets in protest because they would have nothing to lose,” said a diplomat who did now want to be identified.

The party with the most votes will automatically receive a 50-seat “top-up” in the 300-seat parliament, but, like the May 7th vote, that may not be enough to secure a majority.

The final outcome will determine Greece’s relationship with the euro zone, the 17 European Union countries that share the euro. New Democracy, which took the most votes (19 per cent) in the May election, has vowed to keep the austerity-for-bailout program intact. However, the party has also vowed to renegotiate the program, for fear that leaving it intact will guarantee another five years of deep recession as the spending cuts and tax hikes destroy growth.

Syriza’s original plan to kill the austerity program would almost certainly guarantee that the EU and the International Monetary Fund would withhold bailout funds, making the country insolvent. But Alexis Tsipras, the party’s young charismatic leader, has recently moderated his demands and says he does not want the country to return to the discredited drachma.

While foreign leaders and media portray the vote as a referendum on Greece’s use of the euro, many Greeks see it simply as a chance to elect a government that will be more fiscally responsible than the last one, and to improve the economy after five years of recession.

In the May election, 70 per cent of the vote went against New Democracy and the socialist Pasok party, the two parties that held power in Greece for decades and whom many blame for Greece’s financial ruin. Greece has been bailed out twice since 2009 by the EU and the IMF, at a cost of almost €300-billion ($388-billion Canadian), and went through one debt-crunching exercise, which shaved €100-billion off the value of the sovereign bonds held by private investors. Still, Greece’s economy has remained in free fall.

In spite of the differences on paper among the leading parties – more than 20 parties are on the Sunday ballot – almost all want Greece to stay in the euro and renegotiate the bailout package. “All Greek parties will ask for similar things,” said Greek communications strategist Stratos Safioleas. “They want some sort of renegotiation with the European Union. Even Syriza is starting to moderate its rhetoric. I think they won’t do anything reckless.”

While many voters do not think that New Democracy deserves to be rewarded with an election victory, many are also wary of Mr. Tsipras, whose Syriza came out of nowhere in the May election to capture almost 17 per cent of the vote. The radical left nailed less than 5 per cent of the vote in the previous election in 2009.

Mr. Tsipras’s critics say doesn’t have the experience to stand up to Greece’s paymasters in Brussels and Berlin, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to preach her austerity-for-everyone message as the best way to put Europe on a sustainable financial and economic footing. They also note that Syriza itself is coalition of left-leaning parties and keeping them in line will be difficult if Syriza wins.

Some also fear the Syriza would make good on its original vow to kill the bailout program, which would probably force Greece to leave the euro and reprint the drachma, a currency that would plummet in value against the euro the moment it was reintroduced. “Greece has to stay in the euro or otherwise we would be a shipwreck,” said Ian Vorres, the Greek-Canadian creator of the Vorres Museum, a modern art museum in suburban Athens.

The Democratic Left party, which received 7 per cent of the votes in May, is emerging as a key coalition party if either New Democracy or Syriza get a chance to form a government. New Democracy is led by Fortis Kouvelis, who would be seen as a moderating force in a Syriza-led government. He has said he would not outright cancel the bailout program.

A pet peeve of pet peeves.

Warning: I don’t exactly hold back on the topic of Cancer Memes…

As many people who follow this blog are also active on the social networking site known as Facebook…I’d like to mention the Ignorance Meme. This meme may take several variations but the key is to be all so cute by leaving out the opposite sex and spreading ignorance to ‘raise awareness’. I have to say that few things make me livid in life, I may stress but almost nothing makes me foam at the mouth. However this level of stupidity certainly does.

First off you can never truly raise awareness for a cause by ignoring any member of the human race or by ‘leaving them out’ to raise interest. It’s stupid and you’re an adult who is acting like a five year old. I know something that you doooooon’t type of stuff and with me it had never floated in any sense. When this meme appears I post the link for which ever cancer society would benefit most and change my banner to Support Cancer research.

I started doing this when the Breast Cancer ignorance meme went around because women conveniently forgot that MEN also have risk of getting that life changing disease. Also if men were doing something about testicular cancer and left out women, you know for a fact that women would be complaining on being left out or calling it sexiest.  The other year it was about matching your birthday to a number and the second half to a fruit which made the appearance that you were pregnant. Also ignoring the fact that there are millions of women out there (like myself) considered to be infertile. It hurt a lot of them and roused my own fears that what affected my mother, may affect me. You see she was considered infertile for seven years until one sperm finally got to that one egg and together made me. It was a bloody fantastic miracle I was conceived. It’s something I may have to face so that twist of the meme really got me angry.  It was spreading ignorance once again.

Now I have no clue what the twist is at the moment, nor do I want to care!  Whoever made it was likely some 16 year old girl unable to comprehend the scope of cancer let alone that raising awareness by ignorance is not actually raising anything.  If you wish to raise awareness, truly want to raise it, donate time (maybe do a fun run or have a pink party) or money to a charity of your choosing that supports that cause.

For my bridal shower all the gifts and prizes were from the Canadian Breast Cancer Society, I donate monthly to fun runs and research events and if I had a car I would quite happily donate time to. Why? Because I put my money where my mouth is. Because my grandmother survived 15 years with twin cancers and damage from having an iron lung. Because cancer fucking sucks. Because supporting a noble cause is better then spending 5 seconds on a facebook status.





I’ve donated $50 this month, what have you done?

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