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January 6, 2013

Hello from Cyprus!

“A lovely island in the Mediterranean Sea, it’s above Egypt, below Turkey,” as I’ve perfected my description over the last four months.

image from Wikipedia

“What’s it like there,” they ask. It’s warm, so very warm. There’s approximately a month in the summer when the temperature is above 100°F, and it never ever snows, except in the mountains once a year.

 

“It must be beautiful,” they guess. Yes, it is, I agree. My city is called Kyrenia, and it’s squished between a mountain range and the sea. You stand in the street with our house on your right and you’d be looking at the city, built up all the way down to the harbor. You turn your back on that, and you’d be looking at the mountains, with a gorgeous castle nested in between two peaks.

 

“You probably go to the beach a lot,” they observe from my permanent tan. It’s only 15 minutes from my house, and you could technically tan 9 months a year. Even now, in the winter, the sun is scorching hot. However, 55°F means we take our coats with us everywhere, talking about how it’s getting colder.

 

one of my favorite cypriot dishes, mmm.

“Tell us about the food, what’s Cypriot food like?” Now that’s a question I can’t answer. It’s all food I grew up with, the food that makes up the body that has the fingers to type this. I can’t put my finger on what makes a dish Cypriot, but despite the overwhelming similarities, I can tell the difference between Cypriot dishes and Armenian or Indian ones.

 

I’ve only ever lived in Cyprus, for 18 years. There are parts of it that I don’t like, but I love it despite its faults. That’s family. That’s home. And then I moved to Clark – halfway across the world, to a foreign country I had only visited twice, to a city I’d never set a foot in. Now, starting my second semester, I feel great calling Clark my second home.

 

I’m planning on writing about how it feels to be an international First Year at Clark every once in a while over the next few months. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me! You can reach me at pbarlas@clarku.edu or through Facebook. Happy new year, everyone. :)

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