In Cyprus, the main form of transportation is by car. I have yet to see anyone riding a bike and according to our program coordinator, Cypriots only walk when they need to get somewhere that is a short distance away. As the bus system is rough, I have been left to taking a cab most places. Despite the 9 euros to get to Old Town, the experience has had it's benefits.
As pathetic as this may sound, I have had some of my most helpful conversations with cab drivers. They teach me Greek (which I never remember) while telling me the hot spots of Cyprus. With one cab driver, Levkos, my roommate, Kristi and I have been welcomed into his personal life.
Last Sunday, Levkos brought Kristi and I to a Cypriot church. Arriving at church, we were greeted and asked if we needed anything. The people were sincere in making us feel comfortable. I received more kisses on the cheek than I have throughout my trip. It was not a surprise when we found out the service was in Greek. Thankfully they had a translator but it was through headphones. I felt like I belonged at an arcade with these receptive beasts sitting on my head. They were bigger than many of the Cypriots hair, which is hard to accomplish! Most of the service was worship. It seemed like this church came out of a movie of a baptist church. It was over the top, even in comparison to a young church that I go to in Colorado. Occasionally, a song would be in English and the Cypriots would rarely be following the words but they were always singing! When they got to the message, I do not think the speaker could keep up because he was always talking and their was a continuous "amen" that was nonsensical from the translator. Nonetheless, I think we got the gist of it!
Cab rides are no longer just ways of transportation but introductions to Greek culture. It makes me feel better to think of that 9 euros as an advancement towards my education! Does this mean I can stop going to classes?