Day 1: Arrived around 9pm at Larnaca airport. We were greeted with lots of H1N1 warning posters. After collecting my check-in bag, I was welcomed at the exit by D, the bride-to-be, who was using a high-tech phone to video my entrance. Had supper at D’s home, chose some slideshow photos with her and learnt more about her lovely family. Then we went to bed.
Day 2: Woke up mid-morning. D made me a sandwich with Cypriot ham and cheese. Headed off at 11am for a manicure and pedicure with D, and ran errands together. Had lunch at Le Cafe where many people were posing with their beautifully done-up hair, tanned bodies and sunglasses. D headed to the florist’s and photographer’s while I stayed on to shop at Debenham’s. I was annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring my sunglasses to Cyprus, of all sunny, cloudless places in the world to visit. Turned out well in the end as I found 2 lovely pairs of sunglasses and 1 pair for my housemate. All UV400 and between 8.95-9.95 Euros in price – and then a discount was given on top of that! I was terribly pleased with my finds.
Day 3: The wedding!! D only had 2 hours of sleep and was feeling unwell. Fortunately, after a hot shower and fervent prayers to God, she was revived and returned to her usual feisty self! Hallelujah! D and I headed to the hairdresser’s. I got myself into a funky hairdo to go with my traditional Chinese cheong sam. I was a bit doubtful, but everyone seemed to love how I looked, so that’s that!
Had lots of photo-taking and traditional ceremonies performed by family members and friends, at D’s apartment. There was also a lot of food, although I was so occupied observing everything that was going on and taking photos, that I hardly ate!
Cheese dumplings, savoury muffins & cake
In the midst of it all, cars were honking downstairs and we learnt the groom had driven in from Limassol! He and his men circled the apartment twice, waving at us all. The bride was excited to see him. We headed to the church. Greek weddings are different from Western weddings. The groom and everyone else waits outside the church for the bride. She walks to the groom and everyone enters the church together. There is also no kissing!! 🙁
The bride and groom
The ceremony was all Greek to me, i.e. I didn’t understand a word. There was a lot of singing by the priest(s) and the choir at the back. Then we threw flower petals and rice at the newly-wedded couple! I finally met the groom S. I was so happy for both of them and wish them a blessed lifetime together.
I hitched a ride from a couple of Bristol law juniors from Nicosia to Limassol where the wedding reception and dinner took place. Then Bristol law classmate A fetched me from a hotel and took me to his place. I was so happy to see his wife, who was also my law classmate H, and their baby Z! Together we went to the reception, then A, H and Z went home. I met more Bristolians during dinner, and they are now my Facebook friends 😉
Cypriot/Greek wedding dinners start very late and end even later, with lots of dancing! It was a buffet, but each table took turns to take food so it was not a mad rush with a super long queue but quite manageable. The only thing I wasn’t comfortable with was the smoking in the air-conditioned hall. Apparently there are smoking laws but they are not well enforced, and Cypriots will smoke even in front of babies. So I was glad that baby Z was not at the same table. A fetched me home and it took me a while to pry out all the pins stuck in my hair. Finally I showered and slept. It was a long day and I was glad to have survived it!
Day 4: I finally had a long sleep as I drew the curtains so the summer sun didn’t wake me up. Had lunch and tried some local Keo Beer. Keo beer
Late afternoon, H took me to see the ruins at Kourion. This is us in the car!
This is me, feeling well. Actually, it’s an ancient well but I didn’t feel ancient, just well.
Feeling Well
Kourion was great, but more could be done to develop its tourism potential. We had a pamphlet that had a bit of information, but frankly I got more out of the [Wikipedia entry]( At many points we had no idea what ruin we were looking at. Location maps didn’t have a ‘You are here’ sign, so we had no idea where we were, or where to start walking. Also, relics on the map were numbered randomly, not in concentric or any other pattern. H noted that fake pillars used for a play at the amphitheatre were left abandoned on the side, not too far from the real ruins.
Went to town with H to buy dinner at a famous kebab place which is also a Guinness World Record holder for the longest kebab.
Day 5: Left for Cyprus, but made sure I got to see baby Z one last time! I enjoyed my stay in Cyprus and having friends to take me around definitely helped a lot. Goodbye, until we meet again in Singapore!