**This is another scheduled post. At the time it goes live, I will be settling into Abu Dhabi life. This was written two weeks ago.**
As I was writing the last entry, I thought of some things that seemed unique to North Cyprus from other places I had lived. The first that comes to mind was the first issue that arose: money. They use three different currencies. Turkish lira is used in shops and restaurants because it is the Turkish Republic, after all. Our rent was paid in British pound, possibly because our landlord was British Cypriot or possibly as an homage to the former rule. (Most property prices are in pound.) And I was paid my salary in Euro, because I’m American and close enough. Not everyone was paid in Euro though; people with Turkish passports were paid in Turkish lira. (They were also paid quite a bit less, according to the gossip on the streets…)
Another thing that I’ll never forget is how much military presence there was in N. Cyprus. America hides all of its army stuff from the types of places I lived. (Rich suburbs and touristy cities.) And while the UAE shows some uniforms occasionally and I know where one base is, it isn’t like N. Cyprus. In N. Cyprus I lived next to an army base. On my five-minute drive to school, one route passed another army base. I saw camo trucks filled with camo men roughly once a week. Any trip to anywhere would involve passing still more army bases. Military was everywhere.
But most of all I will remember this land for its lack of organization or progress. There were so many things that were illogically arranged (like the visa process, or the bank system, or their hospitals.) And yet nobody seemed to care to fix anything. Everyone complained about it all, quite loudly, but people who had been here for years just kept on going within the broken systems… and probably if I returned in ten years everyone would still be plodding on in their nonsense systems. Perhaps I will return for a visit in ten years to see what has changed. But for now, I am so relieved to be done with that haphazard mess of a territory.