Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category



June 25, 2011

Those iPads are turning up everywhere these days.

Apparently the photo was taken at either a wedding or a christening, hence the onsite photographer.

Courtesy of


Village Life: Weed Clearing

June 28, 2010

Have weeds to clear?  Don’t want to use a strimmer?  No problem!

Weed clearing

Well, it was fast and fairly efficient.  Noisy and dusty too but it got the job done.


Wanted, yet rejected

February 10, 2010

Today’s tale is one of two halves.

Early this year we received an unsolicited email via the blog.  Comments are very much welcome but if someone wishes to get in touch with us privately there is a facility via the About Us page.  From time to time people drop us an email via that, often old friends or colleagues who want to get back in contact.

This email though wasn’t someone we knew, instead it was from a research assistant from a TV production company.

In the UK there’s a series called A Place in the Sun where the resourceful and determined presenter puts all her efforts into finding a new home overseas for that week’s guests.  Over the course of 30 minutes the re-locators and the presenter (UK TV trivia note: for 11 years she was the cloak-wearing centerpiece for the adverts for the financial company Scottish Widows) search for and investigate potential homes.

Anyway, the UK has A Place in the Sun; the US has similar programmes.  And it was a researcher working on behalf of such a programme who contacted us.  She’d read the blog, she said, and thought it was lovely.

We sounded just the sort of people who’d be perfect for the programme they were planning for Cyprus.  How would we like to be in front of 100 million households searching for our ideal home?

How would we like that?  Ummm, not a lot really.  Not really our sort of thing.  Even the mention of 100 million households is enough to cause mild panic.  Actually, Ian just fell about laughing at the idea.  We have rats in the pomegranate tree and often go to bed in the rain.  It’s hardly glossy American TV fodder is it?  Afterall, us Brits are known to be eccentric but there are limits.

Besides that, we already have our house so we’re hardly candidates for a programme about house-hunting in Cyprus.  So we emailed a polite reply saying that we were sorry but it didn’t seem appropriate as we’d already found our house.

Back pinged the reply (have they never heard of weekends in TV-land?) from the researcher.

It really didn’t matter that we’d already found a house.  They could just fake the whole thing work around that.  They’d find a couple of suitable properties, they’d film us at those and then at the place we’ve bought and renovated and no one would be any the wiser.

Sadly that wasn’t enough to tempt us so we parted ways.  No doubt she is scouring the internet looking for suitable volunteers.

Meanwhile, in the other half of our tale, we offered up the contents of the blog to a travel-based website.  They aggregate from a number of sources providing a one-stop resource to travelers.  Want to know the best restaurant in Ramalla or where to get a pedicure in Provence?  Their site will tell you.   As part of that they include relevant blog information to provide further colour and content.  Their section on Cyprus contains 1 (that’s ONE) blog, with 2 (just TWO) entries, the most recent of which is from the middle of last year.

Thinking that AradippouTales would make a nice addition to their Cyprus information we went through the process to get the blog added.  This morning we had an email back telling us that we’d not been approved for inclusion.  Actually the email subject was;

Your blog Aradippou Tales has been rejected

Hardly the best way to start the day.  Apparently we are ‘certainly charming but not travel-related enough‘.

Feeling this was a little unfair we winged back a quick, polite email asking them to reconsider.  We referenced the lack of other material, the fact that information on how to get here was easy to find but that information on life here wasn’t, that the blog is used as research material by potential expats and by people visiting on cruises, that we provide colour and context to add to the available dry factual information.

Compelling arguments, no?

Well, it matters not, the email bounced back as undeliverable.  There appears to be no chance to query the decision; the email address that happily sends out the ‘sorry, you’ve been rejected’ emails does not accept incoming mail.  And a quick mooch around the site makes it clear that no other email addresses are available.  Presumably the judge’s decisions is final.

So, a mixed bag here in AradippouTales land.  On one hand we’re good enough for 100 million households, on the other we’re charming but, well, no thanks.

Still, the sun came out for a while today.  Regular readers of the blog know that is a rarity in February; regular readers of Lonely Planet won’t ;-)


Honesty, and the Law #2

January 29, 2010

Long time readers may remember the case of the government official and his answer regarding the use of hosepipes during the water shortages. A while ago we were reminded of that during, oddly, a discussion about speeding, drink driving limits and police checks.

At the time the police were having one of their periodic increases in the number of car spot checks they carry out. In Aradippou, where we were based at the time, the main local police station was halfway between the house and the nearest access point to the motorway. The police took to setting up a mobile speed traps nearby, catching motorists who exceed the speed limit as they head towards the motorway. Friends commented that they had also seen more checks in other locations too.

In the midst of this a friend reported a tale regarding another mutual friend. The mutual friend, a woman, was on her way home after a late dinner at someone else’s house, when she was stopped by the police as part of these random checks.

She was asked if she had been drinking, to which she replied that she’d had two glasses of wine with dinner. That amount of alcohol, over the course of several hours and consumed with food, should have left her well within legal blood alcohol levels.

She was somewhat surprised when the policeman asked her what type of wine she had been drinking. Really, what bearing could that have on her fitness to drive? Confused, but honest, she gave details of the wine that had been consumed: a locally produced red. The policeman nodded and then questioned her on the food that had been eaten. Now totally baffled at the line of questioning she recounted the evening’s menu. Again the policeman nodded, frowned a little and then proclaimed;

Ahh, that is ok. But really you should have been drinking this wine rather than that wine. It would have complemented the food much better.

With that he wished her a safe drive home and sent her on her way. Such is life in Cyprus!


A shipment for who?

December 3, 2009

A shipment for who?

A few days ago the phone chirped with a new text message.  (Yes, that’s an old phone.  A really old phone.  We like old phones … or rather we prefer to spend our money on things other than new phones which, in Cyprus, are not cheap).

It was from a Larnaca courier company announcing that they had a delivery for us and would we mind awfully popping in to collect it.  Ignore, for a moment, the concept of a courier company asking the customer to collect rather than them having to delivery.  It’s a Cyprus thing.

What had us baffled was the name used.  Surely the item to be delivered was clearly named (having since collected it we now know that to be the case) so how exactly did they manage to mangle the name quite so much?

This is MRSA Mindy Boyj signing off for the day!


Naming Conventions

November 17, 2009

sub-titled: “You know where I mean, so what does it matter what we call it?”

Place names here continue to both baffle, amuse and occasionally confuse. It isn’t unusual for a town or village to have more than one name, or variation of the spelling. Putting aside the Greek/Turkish Cyprus Problem for a moment there have been occasions where bureaucrats or politicians have decided that a place should be renamed.

So, a tourist may be happily driving along looking for signs to Paphos and instead finds signs for Pafos. In that case, and in the case of Larnaca/Larnaka, the spelling difference is so minor it may not be noticed.

When Limassol turns into Lemesos it’s a little less clear … by the time we have Nicosia becoming Lefkosia you can forgive our poor tourist for being confused. Since most tourists don’t cross the border to the occupied Turkish area in the north they are unlikely to discover that Famagusta is now Ammochostos to the Greek Cypriots whilst being Gazimaguza to Turkish Cypriots.

Probably just as well really, or they’d be heading for a lie down in a darkened room with a large brandy sour to recover.

The re-naming of those five towns was a bureaucratic decision made some time ago which was meant to return the towns to Cypriot-sounding names rather than those inflicted upon them by the pesky British during their conservatorship of the island. That the no-longer-used names pre-date British control is a small niggle best not mentioned to those who made the decision.

Putting aside that bureaucracy for a moment the re-naming is a useful reminder that here in Cyprus naming conventions can be a little bit of a movable feast.  But, with true Cypriot pragmatism as long as both parties in a conversation know what, or where, is being referred to then what exactly is the problem?

Road signs are usually dual language with the place name first in Greek, in upper case, and then in English, in lower case. Many non Greek-speaking folks find the signs useful in helping to firm up their knowledge of the Greek alphabet – at least the slightly friendlier upper case rather than the rather terrifying lower case.

But, helpfulness aside, the signage often throws up some oddities which only go to reinforce this laid back Cypriot attitude that ‘as long as we both understand …

For example, take this motorway sign. The signage indicates that the way to Lefkosia is off to the left. The first line, the yellow uppercase, is the Greek, the second line, in white proper case in the English.

Where are you going ... Nicosia or Lefkosia?

Where are you going ... Nicosia or Lefkosia?

The Greek is fine, it says “Lefkosia”, the new name for Nicosia. But the English says Nicosia, a name that was abandoned years ago. The sign is clearly newer than that yet has a mix of old and new.

The sign directly after it has Lefkosia in both languages.  Have some sympathy for our poor confused tourist, particularly as they realise that sign #1 told them that the mysterious Nicosia/Lefkosia was 28km away only for sign #2, just a kilometer on, to say the distance is now 43km.

Lefkosia 43km?!

Lefkosia 43km?!

Is this a political snipe? Sloppy workmanship? Or does the average Cypriot really not care too much?

Between Larnaca and Limassol there is a small-ish village called Anglisides … or maybe it’s called Agkleisides. It really depends who you ask or which maps you refer to.

The roadsign makers have a slightly different take on the matter. The following two signs appear sequentially on the motorway. The third is in the village itself.  To the signmakers the solution to the problem is clear. Three (or maybe four) variants on the name, three signs. “Hey, lets use one spelling on each, then everyone is happy!”








There’s logic there Jim, but not as we know it :-)


Pay and Display …

April 17, 2008

… in an olive grove? Sometimes things here make no sense ;-)

Just to be clear, the nearest village is about 5 miles away!



Overheard today

February 11, 2008

Two acquaintances were overheard today bemoaning technology and how it doesn’t do “What It Should”.

Bemoaner1 was telling Bemoaner2 that she could no longer open documents sent to her by a third party. There was some muttering, but little clarity, about .docx files being the problem.

Technical note: Anyone who has moved to Office2007 now creates .docx files by default when they save a Word document. Those files can not be opened by anyone using a earlier version of Office/Word. There’s a very simple solution, save the documents as a regular .doc file rather than the .docx file, but not everyone knows that.

Anyhooo, Bemoaner2 sympathised but went on to explain that they understood what had caused the problem. “It’s because she now has Windows7, and we don’t!”

Windows7 anyone?!?

The old joke about a WordPerfect customer support call comes to mind. For those who don’t remember pre-Windows days WordPerfect was (still is?) what Word is today and being pre-Windows users had to use Dos from time to time.


Alleged dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee with a caller:

Customer Support: “Ridge Hall computer assistant; may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.”

CS: “What sort of trouble?”

C: “Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.”

CS: “Went away?”

C: “They disappeared.”

CS: “Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?”

C: “Nothing.”

CS: “Nothing?”

C: “It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.”

CS: “Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?”

C: “How do I tell?”

CS: “Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?”

C: “What’s a sea-prompt?”

CS: “Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?”

C: “There isn’t any cursor, I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.”

CS: “Does your monitor have a power indicator?”

C: “What’s a monitor?”

CS: “It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on?”

C: “I don’t know.”

CS: “Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?”

C: “Yes, I think so.”

CS: “Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.”

C: “…….Yes, it is.”

CS: “When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?”

C: “No.”

CS: “Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.”

C: “…….Okay, here it is.”

CS: “Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.”

“I can’t reach.”

CS: “Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?”

C: “No.”

CS: “Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?”

C: “Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s dark.”

CS: “Dark?”

C: “Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.”

CS: “Well, turn on the office light then.”

C: “I can’t.”

CS: “No? Why not?”

C: “Because there’s a power outage.”

CS: “A power… A power outage? Ah, Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?”

C: “Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.”

CS: “Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.”

C: “Really? Is it that bad?”

CS: “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”

C: “Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?”

CS: “Tell them you’re too stupid to own a computer.”


Profound (but weird) logic

October 30, 2007

A friend recently had trouble with her internet router. It went, very quickly, from working fine to being non-operational. Having tried the standard re-booting and had no joy she called Cyta, the local phone company. They ran through some diagnostics on the phone and then agreed it was a sickly router and offered to send an engineer out.

Said engineer arrived promptly, listened to the explanation of the problem, ran some more diagnostics and pronounced the router dead and needed to be replaced.

While the swap was taking place she commented to the engineer …

“It was working fine. Then the lights flickered and went out”

His response?

“Yes. Just like with people. Why would it be any different for a router?”


The ‘white van’ equivalent

October 16, 2007

In England builders are notorious for driving (often badly) in white transit vans. Here in Cyprus they seem to see no need to have anything more than a regular car. Of course that gives much less storage space … but as long as they load carefully that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

One of next door’s builders gives a perfect example ;-)


Who knew that a regular car held so much? How he ever finds anything is quite another question!