As we drove to church this morning, it struck me how familiar all the buildings looked. The streets are navigable, the shops, not so foreign. This is home. But this time last year, it was all brand new. I was manning the apartment search from a hotel room while Mr. F tried to drive on the other side of the road and still find his office.
It's hard to believe that it's been a year and that it's only been a year since we arrived in Cyprus. There are days where I still feel like the new kid on the block, trying so hard to figure out how this culture works. Then there are days where I drive the sneaky backroad way to the coffee shop and feel like a native as I park the car on the sidewalk.
Our move this year was so different than last year. For one, we had our stuff! Last October, we had four suitcases stuffed to capacity and were awaiting a crate full of our belongings to arrive via the slow boat to China. More importantly, this year we had so much more of a clue as to what we were doing. We knew, more or less, how to switch over utilities, how to find our new home, and had a Cypriot bank account capable of handling all sorts of tricky transactions.
This year, we also had friends to help us. Last October, we both were overwhelmed by the foreignness of Cyprus and feared loneliness. It took us awhile, but a wonderful network of friends now surrounds and supports us, making all the difference in the world.
I know I can be a bit of a Debbie Downer about the complex nuances of life as an expat sometimes, but I really am so grateful for this experience. I can't imagine being anywhere else right now...what used to look so foreign is now home.