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lindamarlen’s Travel Diary

Monday, 13 Oct 2008

Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

MapI have finally started a journal!!!! It's been over one month since I got here, and I haven't gotten myself to sit down and write a few words about my days....so, be prepared for the first and very long journal entry. I have to warn you, since it IS a journal...I'm writing as things come to mind. So if it seems like something is bothering me, it probably is. If something is really funny, I am probably laughing while I am typing.

The first week is a blur...it was full of "welcome to Cyprus, don't do this or that, rules and expectations," and we heard plenty of crazy study abroad stories! As if I wasn't already nervous about being 8,000 miles away from home! yikes. The stories were very entertaining though, I actually thought to myself that they might even be made up just to scare students (but you never know).

Check this story.....there were these two girls in Paris that left their hotel because they were hungry for some sandwiches. These two guys roll up to the side next to them and start small talk, and the girls go with it! They start asking the girls where they're going, the girls say, "we're going to get sandwiches," and the guys say, "that's where we're going too! would you like a lift?" and the girls say YES! So they start driving....and driving...when the girls realize that they're no longer driving towards any kind of sandwich place, they start to panic. They are suddenly in a forest or deserted park of some sort. Their natural instinct is to get out of the car and run, while the actual car is still running. The guys see them get out and they get out and chase after them. And then they run into a car that, coincidentally, happens to be a police car. The men are arrested and the girls get a good scare. But they survived.

There are a total of about 60 students in our program overall, and all of them from the states. Surprisingly, my roommate Yuridiana and I are the only ones from California and we are both from Mexican decent. Everyone is very down to earth and fun. My study abroad program is divided into 4 groups and my group is called Semester in the Mediterranean. It's the smallest and the COOLEST! :) That means that we travel everywhere together and that we got to choose our own courses.

I will write a different journal entry soon about my travel experience to Italy and Greece. I think it would definitely be too much to include it in this journal. But just to say a few words...I had an experience like no other.

After we came back from traveling we immediately started school. I love all of my classes...with the exception of my Constitutional Law class. I dont hate it, but I sure dont love it. Sometimes I wonder where these professors come from....we have two textbooks 825 and 789 pages long: that have the same title with almost the same chapters with the same content. Dont ask me why we do and why we had to spend 50 euros on each, because I am too afraid to ask the professor myself. And for the first time in...geez...I dont know when...I am actually hesitant to raise my hand to state my opinion or ask a question. That's enough about sad things.

HAPPY THINGS! I turned 22 last weekend! I was a little homesick last week, but I also think it was because it has already been one month...and it's that time of the "study abroad cycle" when you it starts to hit you that you're actually far far away from home. Happy things continued: I dont drive, which means I dont have to pay for gas :) I dont work, which means more time for studying....and sleep, which I never seem to get back home. And the grocery store is around the corner! I have the most amazing roommates. I have made some really great friends here. I really do like this program (Global Learning Semesters). They had all of our traveling mapped out for us and included tours and visits to the major sites and attractions. They provide us with a cell phone! And the staff is amazing!

Fun facts about Cyprus (life):

-Cyprus is the only country still divided today. (it's an interesting history, you should look it up during your free time...THIS IS A MAJOR REASON WHY CYPRIOTS HATE AMERICANS)
-We are ten hours ahead, so when you're sleeping, Im most likely awake, and vice versa
-All, if not most, taxis are Mercedes or Audi's
-Cost of living is too high
-Cyprus is still behind technologically
-Cyprus is currently going through a drought, which means we get water imported from Lebanon on certain days. Which meeeeeans, we have to be extra careful with out water. We ran out of water one time...while I was in the shower with shampoo in my hair! And last week, I washed my clothes in the tub because it costs 4 euros for one load of laundry and another 4 euros to dry...and it takes one hour and a half to do each.
-Cypriot girls dont like Cypriot guys, and Cypriot guys dont like Cypriot girls.
-And last, but not least....Americans are not the favored group in this country...the Brits are.


Im glad I am made the decision to leave my California bubble and come to a place that would teach me a thing or two about life...Good night and I promise tomorrow's entry will be much more interesting!!!

:)