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Turgid in January

This week has been a rollercoaster of strange ups and downs… 

It turns out that Cyprus is “enjoying” precipitation that is 188% of its normal rainfall at this time of year. Oh goodie—lucky us.

A few things stand out from the week…

For instance, we set out to do some shopping, but had to go and get rapid-flow tests done for COVID before we could enter public establishments. I was tested first, and then it was Robin's turn!

Robin was under the impression that we had to get re-tested every 7 days, but the pharmacist said it was every 48 hours—yikes! That’s 5 euros every time one of us gets tested (and it adds up fast!).

Next we visited Duck Pond Market, which is like an indoor swap meet. There they didn’t even check our vaccination status at the door! So that was money down the drain.

Many of the stalls inside the Market were shut and covered by sheets, and the yarn lady announced she was going out of business. She complained that Brexit has increased the duty on items she imports from the UK to the point where she can’t compete with locals importing from EU countries instead. The whole economic situation seemed rather depressed at this strata from our standpoint.

On the way home we dropped by the Xinaris roadside fruit and vegetable market that we’d heard good things about, and brought home a nice haul of inexpensive, healthy food. It was gratifying to see green fields sprouting behind the stall with fresh produce that was harvested for sale within minutes after being plucked from the ground.  The tomatoes looked especially enticing—they were plump, ripe, and smelled delicious. 

On Friday we tried to storm the Bastille. That means we headed for the hospital, where they claimed to take walk-ins for booster shots. This was our second attempt at this goal. We waited in line for ages, only to be told “no.”  We argued in vain with various officials who moved us from room to room, and eventually gave us an email address to contact. But based on our previous attempts at making contact with Cypriot government departments, we are not optimistic. 

We’re going to try a different tack this week and see whether or not it’s successful. We don’t want to wait a few months to get the booster—partly for health reasons, and partly because it will make crossing the border that much harder once we head for France.

We were feeling down after that rejection, so we decided to catch up on our sightseeing. This time we headed for another UNESCO World Heritage site—an ancient Necropolis nicknamed the “Tombs of the Kings” due to the large, rock-cut chamber tombs found there. It dates primarily from the early Hellenistic and Roman period. In Christian times, some tombs served as refuge for the first Christians while others were inhabited by hermits. One tomb was even converted into a church!

It was an eerie and interesting day to contemplate the site so close to the glistening Mediterranean sea, and wonder about their burial customs, especially in light of COVID. 

A few of you responded and let me know what your word was for the year: I heard about “hope,” “indulge,” “self-care,” and “curiosity.” So many delicious words—it was like rolling up in a warm blanket and cuddling for a while. Thanks for sharing them.

I’m frantically at work on a PowerPoint presentation with lots of funny old medieval images in it. I’ll say more about it down the road.

Until next time, ciao!

warmly, -Dr. Vicky Jo

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