Just a quick update to say that I've arrived safe and sound in Cyprus and am enjoying myself quite well, though I find the vast cost increase over the third world a forboding omen of days to come. Speaking of which, boy the US dollar is falling in the world market. Can't we do something about that? One Cyprus Pound is almost two US dollars. Ack! Using the Internet actually takes two pounds an hour, which adds up to be a lot of money (though thankfully it's mighty quick -- you get what you pay for).
Cyprus is a beautiful island of which I have seen very little. I spent the first several days in Lemasol, the port town at which I arrived from Egypt. It's a nice town with plenty of old, twisting roads filled with pubs and cafes. Most of my time, however, has been spent -- you guessed it -- drinking tea and using my laptop. For the time being, my interest in the outside world has been usurped by some neat 3d graphics programming I've been able to do. That, and it's much cheaper to do nothing.
In the next couple days I am thinking of renting a car to explore the island proper, as all I can find in the cities are super-tourist havens that have lost their appeal to me. Don't get me wrong, I like nice dining and well-preserved cultural landmarks. I'm just getting to the "been there, done that" phase of travel, and the freedom of my own vehicle should help me out of this rut. That, and it'll be an adventure of its own driving on the left side of the road, with a manual transmission on the *right side*. The last time I drove a stick (note, nobody in the world uses the term "stick" but Americans) was valet parking for Chaplin's comedy club in Detroit in '94. After grinding the gears of BMWs in front of customers one too many times, they started just giving me the automatics. I just hope I survive the experience. If all else fails, I'm told hitchhiking is pretty easy and safe around here. But, not having any outdoor sleeping gear (even though it's very warm, even hot at nights), I'm a bit leary.
Ok, I'm just rambling now, so I'll head off. I hope all's well in the rest of the world!