Friday, 7 July 2017

The "Cyprus Syndrome"

I have come to the conclusion that there is definitely a "Cyprus Syndrome" which affects Britons living here. It all comes down to the small communities in which we live, and it may be something to do with the fact we live on the outskirts of a small village - rather than living in the centre of Limassol.

In the UK we had, and still have, friends with whom we keep in touch and who come out occasionally to visit. They all had one thing in common. They were of a similar age (although some are younger), and had similar interests to us, and - by and large - were professionally employed. British people, by and large (and there's a generalisation for you), tend to feel comfortable when they live alongside people like them. Human beings have evolved into tribal creatures and that's the way they like it. It explains a great deal about the problems immigration throws up in the UK.

But in Cyprus, with a much smaller population, quite often British people congregate and "make friends" with other Britons. Are these "friends" true friends? I am not so sure. When we first arrived we held a party at our new home, and there were a few Greek Cypriots (who all sat together and talked to each other) and some people who had offered advice or help before we came out here to live. One couple became proper friends, until his untimely death in a car crash, another couple became "friends" and we haven't heard from them for months and months and months. Other guests turned out not to be "our cup of tea", and so any relationship withered.

I believe some expats collect "friends" almost like a safety blanket. Others want to be "best friends forever" within a few hours of meeting. But when I compare them to our friends in the UK it took years and years before the friendships developed. And so the "Cyprus Syndrome" ... I wonder whether all expat communities have the same or similar syndromes? Only time will tell.

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