We have handled lockdown in the true spirit of North Cyprus
When you move away from friends, family and loved ones there is comfort knowing you can just pop back on a flight to the UK and give them all a hug. But during the lockdown, both hugs and conversations have become virtual for everyone! It is often the little things about home that we miss and crave; family has been that for me. Surprisingly, I have not felt trapped throughout the restriction. Oddly, I actually feel closer to many family members and friends, especially with all the social media platforms now available; there is no excuse to not be in touch with them. Even my 80 year old Nana joined WhatsApp to talk to all the family. Let’s just say I am pleased she did not find the new Tik Tok app.
We are already in June and we should be gearing up for visitors from far and wide. We should be getting excited at meeting them from the taxi with a hug, followed by a large ‘It’s five o clock somewhere’ drink in the sunshine. However, lets not forget the moaning after week one because they do not do the washing up or that you “have never gone out to eat and drink so much.” It seems now that these small simple things we take for granted are not likely to happen this year, as many family members and swallows are having their flights and holidays cancelled. With the prospect of a 14 day quarantine when they arrive back into the UK sadly many people will be seeking to postpone or wait til next year.
The main for worry for lots of people, and myself, is, what happens if another lockdown happens? Many expats and holidays makers this March had to be flown out on organised repatriation flights at their own cost. This is something that could put people off travelling anywhere in the world. Citizens have started to arrive back to the island and are in their designated quarantine hotels for the next 14 days. I am looking forward to hearing some of the horror stories they have to tell. We have all heard about the honeymooners stuck in the Maldives paying for a hotel that was far out of their every day budget. Being stuck in the Maldives is something I have often dreamt about, but would not like to be forced to do!
Crossing the border could also cause some issues that we are not yet aware of. I know we all miss our trips to the Mall, Lidl and Ikea ,but has anyone actually missed their daily trips to the South? Yes the sanity of being in Europe is what many people miss and the hustle and bustle of Ledra Street is a nice feeling for a day but the North is not the same quiet, backward place I moved to eight years ago. It has changed, grown and expanded and has propelled itself into the 21st century far quicker than anyone expected.
I remember being asked to bring over Branston Pickle and Marmite because Ileli had run out. I do remember thinking, “Crickey they must love cheese and pickle sandwiches if they can run out of that!” What little did I know! There is no need for the quick dash to Tescos before you get on the flight anymore. You can practically get anything in the supermarkets and shops now...well except for large bottles of Schweppes Tonic at the moment. It would appear the residents of North Cyprus have been partial to a gin and tonic during quarantine!
I think it is fair to say we have handled this lockdown with the true spirit of North Cyprus, chilled out and with very little stress. Amazingly, the shops did not run out of toilet roll, pasta or flour. We did not witness the scenes we saw in America and the UK with people fighting over the last packet of toilet rolls! Our embargoed part of the island coped well with the strain of everyone stocking up and everyone should be proud of themselves. Perhaps other countries should be taking a more chilled out approach and enjoying more gin and tonics in the sunshine!