I returned to England from Cyprus the other day and as I was trying to get my keys for my flat from the building reception, I had a brief conversation with the receptionist. I am going to leave out all the key-related stuff.
– So, where are you from – the receptionist asked?
– I’m a Cypriot, I replied.
– Greek or Turkish?
– Greek-Cypriot, I said.
– The best sort, ha – he said, with an innocent smile on his face. He was trying to make a joke. A joke that would normally boost one’s nationalistic feelings of superiority – even if it was a joke or for a joke.
– That is not true, I replied.
– Oh yeah? And why’s that – he asked, again, cheerfully?
– Because… we are all human beings – I said.
– Oh, OK. That’s nice. [and then we went back to talking about the key-stuff]
And I was like (not out loud), if it was that simple to convince that man that Cypriots – and all other humans beings, for that matter – are the same, why is it so hard to do something like that in Cyprus?
Don’t bother trying to give me an answer; I already know it. I know most of them, anyway.
Zenonas Tziarras 07/10/2012