Nicosia, Cyprus Report of what it's like to live there - 06/15/11

Personal Experiences from Nicosia, Cyprus

Nicosia, Cyprus 06/15/11

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Yes

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

3 years

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3. How long have you lived here?

August 2010

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, military, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

government

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Single-family home with some exceptions. The 10-miles commute takes about 30 minutes.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Good availability of groceries, but prices are high.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Syrup, diapers, wet-wipes, spices, mac and cheese.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

McDonald's, Burger King, TGI Fridays, Bennigans, and some very since local place to eat. Not bad prices -- a little more than in the US.

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5. What kinds of organic, vegetarian and allergy-friendly foods are available, such as organic produce, gluten-free products, meat substitutes for vegetarians, etc?

Lot of organic products.

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6. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitoes

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Use only if necessary.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yes, Catholic

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

10-15 channels; 20 euros a month

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You need to know enough to communicate with domestic help.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Very inpatient people and very little space to get around, even with a stroller.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

No trains, some buses, and taxis are not affordable.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Small car or little SUV. My Hyundai Minivan is too big for everywhere I want to go.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, about 20 euros a month

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Get one here.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

The airline would not accept my daughter's 4-H show rabbit.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Good

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Not many

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

casual

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Lots of break-ins for the Cypriots. Make sure you use your alarms system.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Okay, good for personal doctors; the hospital is fair.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Moderate with lots of mold. Very tough if you have a child with asthma that's triggered by mold spores.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Summer is hot -- perfect for the beach. Winter temps are mild, with the low during the day in the forties..

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

American International School is in a nice setting. Small classes: 13 in 2nd grade. It is hard to get to and parking is awful.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Futball

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

small

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2. Morale among expats:

okay

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

busy

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Best for families.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

yes

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

some

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

pottery

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Beautiful beaches only 45 minutes away.

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11. Can you save money?

No

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

yes

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

big cars

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3. But don't forget your:

grill and sunscreen

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4. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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6. Do you have any other comments?

Learn some Greek language.

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