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Tell me your top tips for a Cyprus posting.....

(29 Posts)
VanillaPumpkin Thu 28-Aug-08 09:56:54

We were at Akrotiri 2.5 years ago and I know things have changed massively. We have friends due to go out in Nov and we want to help them out. Sooo what are your top tips.

So far I have:

Take your tumble dryer. When it rains it rains and we had no central heating.

Take your bed.

Take your hoover.

Don't bother taking much else apart from pictures grin.

Stock up on CHEAP summer clothes as the sun ruins everything.

Are the mosquitos still as bad? They did some amazing things while we were there and the mossies were never as bad as our first year.

Keep a UK address (ie parents) for one bank account or one credit card.....

Try and save your LOA to buy a duty free car to bring back grin.

Enjoy the freedom from commercial pressures. Oh how I miss the fact we all had the same crappy furniture etc. And no advertising meant I didn't want anything smile

Do register with Amazon and get your tax back from them.

Do insure your possessions in transit (the container vessel before ours lost half its cargo overboard...lots hadn't bothered with the insurance sad)

Do take an electric blanket if you have one (no central heating issues again)

All plugs and light bulbs are the same (we took and used our eco green ones, although stores did provide light bulbs)

Do expect bigger bills for electricity and contenct insurance, but you pay peanuts for road tax and car insurance and petrol.

Get used to an early start (!)

Get used to the Cypriot service (extremely rude in clothes shops, fab in restaurants esp with children in tow, good in the banks but everything takes longer to do or get done)

Try to train yourself to say hello to your services spouse when they get home from work before asking if there was any post today.

Travel everywhere, ask for resisdents rates or a military discount EVERYWHERE incl shops etc.

The pork is amazing, the chicken is not so good imo, though a roast chicken from the Bakers on the strip is great.

Beware the Cyprus stone.

Do rent/ hire a water cooler but make sure you go with the authorised wonderfully nice man who gives the children sweets on every visit despite your protests.

What have I missed???

What would you definitely take with you and what would you not bother with?

Any tips for the schools would be good too. I only had babies there but they will have two school age and one new starter....

Is there a gymnastics club that you know of? Their two eldest train at a high level here atm.

TIA

MouseMate Thu 28-Aug-08 10:12:53

Expect to spend more cash in the first month than you thought so you can:

Buy a portable Aircon (even if only for kids rooms).

Install an outdoor shower (heaven)

Buy a swimming pool in the winter (prices go up as soon as it gets hot)

Pay more for a decent car (second hand cars are more expensive in Cyprus than UK, even tho' tax free)

Install phone AND Internet AND MyVision (around ?300 start up costs)

In fact, would suggest bringing a good chunk of Euros over with you - The Mil will only let you change up to a months wages thru Admin Office, and you will get stung for charges at the bank (We bought ?6000 and used it all up in a week).

Join Laiki rather than Hellenic - bank charges are cheaper.

There is a Gym Club in Epi - details on HIVE website.

will think of more later!

FourArms Thu 28-Aug-08 10:19:51

You don't pay so much for elec now (at least in AyNik it wasn't) as you pay a flat charge.

Cloth nappies fab as they dry quickly.

Take lots of towels and swimming cossies - they rot in the sun / with use. Poncho towels fab for littlies.

Nappies and baby milk v.expensive in the NAAFI. Take massive supplies of nappies and wipes if you have space.

Lots of sun tan lotion and hats.

Decent kids shoes difficult to get hold of.

Lots and lots of very good storage containers. The ants get into everything.

Wait until you get over there to buy a new computer, then buy it from Dell - Forces discount plus VAT free.

Toiletries in general expensive. Stock up with a years supply of shampoo, showergel, Always etc before you go. Painkillers also expensive, so take lots of those.

Prescriptions (I think? Has changed a few times) are free for spouses over there, so don't worry too much about getting lots of prescription meds before you go.

There is a thriving trade on the camps in second hand kids toys / garden furniture etc, so don't worry too much about taking those, you can pick them up dirt cheap over there.

Sure will think of more soon...

McDreamy Thu 28-Aug-08 10:25:13

NAAFI have started doing hot chickens too.

NAAFI very expensive, Cyp supermarkets better.

Schools are great!

Spouses DO have to pay for prescriptions but it comes out of wages rather than dealing with cash.

Get your friends and family to download MSN/Skype and get broadband if the haven't already then you can make endless video calls to the UK for free.

MouseMate Thu 28-Aug-08 10:57:42

UV Suits for kids are a dream, much better than constantly coating them in pore blocking sun cream (thinking teens and acne)

Medical and Dental bills must be paid in Euros at the Admin Office within 2 months of treatment (that's my department wink) prices are comparable with / slightly less than UK. You can be blacklisted if you dont pay! Genuine Emergency Treatment (eg heart attack) will not be charged.

Join Lemmings (great beach, discounted water sports)

Don't go to beach on a Sunday unless you dont mind crowds!

Buy a cheap 'outdoor' fridge or bring yours with you - Mil provide one, but 2 is better (keep one full of beer / water / juice)

Get ration cards for whole family - even if you dont smoke / drink / use coffee (proof of entitlement to shop in Naafi)

will keep em coming!

McDreamy Thu 28-Aug-08 11:05:25

Are you at Epi Mousemate? We don't pay bills at the Admin Office here, comes out of DH's wages.

McDreamy Thu 28-Aug-08 11:09:24

Invest in beach shoes for the whole family. Weaver fish stings are nasty.

Buy a water filter, the water here is really hard and your appliances will scale up really quickly.

VanillaPumpkin Thu 28-Aug-08 11:52:35

Ooh you have to pay for prescriptions now???
Yyyy about beach shoes. Sand too hot otherwise!
I liked Hellenic bank as they gave us loads of vouchers at the end of the tour for points we didn't even know we had been collecting....

McDreamy Thu 28-Aug-08 11:53:39

Yes BIG sign in the med centre sad but I don't coz I'm pregnant grin

sunnytimer Thu 28-Aug-08 12:36:51

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sunnytimer Thu 28-Aug-08 12:39:07

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priceyp Thu 28-Aug-08 14:22:42

The "get you in packs" are rubbish. Make sure to pack teatowels, bath towels, decent mugs/glasses/beakers and any kitchen essentials like peelers, scissors, potato mashers, sterilisers, wooden spoons, etc.

Bring all personal paperwork in your luggage too, you need 58 forms of id to do anything here.

Also essential are books and dvds for kids for the first few weeks before your stuff arrives.

Buy loads of swimwear in UK, much cheaper and take advantage of all the two for ones on suncream/vitamins/shampoos etc before you arrive. Boots online are very good, but take ages so if you use formula bring plenty with you.

Also weigh up the cost of bringing your own car out (registration/tax/MOT etc) up with buying one here. It's not always cheaper, 4x4 are very popular and over priced, but if you bring yours from UK you might be able to sell it here when you leave and take advantage of the inflation grin

hf128219 Thu 28-Aug-08 16:22:27

Travel as much as you can - cheap flights to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon etc. Be adventurous! Become friends with some locals - you will find places you never would have known about it.

If feeling flush - buy a boat grin

VanillaPumpkin Thu 28-Aug-08 16:35:59

This is great! I had completely forgotten how utterly awful the get you packs are shock. That massive great saucepan and no sharp knife, chopping board or mugs grin.

hifi Thu 28-Aug-08 16:36:28

just got back, not forces just hols. hasn't really rained for 2 years. we were near larnaca and water only on every other day from 3pm onwards.

toiletries very expensive, especially shampoo and conditioner.

asked a Greek neighbour why the Cypriot women were so hostile and she said in the olden days anyone from abroad was classed as "the learned", she said they basically feel inferior.

cheap flip flops were E13! clothes are very over priced and tacky.

VanillaPumpkin Thu 28-Aug-08 16:38:52

Oh yes all polyester.....sheets and tablecoths and everything.
They think this is a selling point as it is quick to dry and easy to iron. I remember the lady selling us Christmas tablecloths saying with pride 'It is 100% polyester' grin.

MouseMate Fri 29-Aug-08 05:43:59

McD, yep I'm in Epi - Maybe it's just different for RAF then? I'll find out.

Get you in pack - now maybe I was just lucky but I had a full set of sharp knives, plus all kitchen implements..... how strange (although didn't need them as I arrived on Sat and my stuff arrived on Mon).

Epi Thrift shop great for kids stuff and clothes (donated when everything becomes too tight due to 'Cyprus Stone' lol)

Il Gustos on the Aki Strip is Italian food to die for!

Flea Market on Sat and Sun 0700 - 1900. Can get some good bargins especially fruit and veg towards the end on the day.

I have found bedding quite expensive so suggest buying cheap from say, Argos before you come out. The sun will ruin whatever you buy.

Unless you keep shutters closed dont hang precious picture on the walls. I am gutted to realise my fave photo of DD has faded considerably in just a 2 months (and is now languising in the gloomiest part of the house sad)

MM

sunnytimer Fri 29-Aug-08 09:14:34

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MouseMate Fri 29-Aug-08 20:07:16

ohhh, we didn't like Sylvanas - maybe it was just a bad meal. Ryans was good, but Il Gustos.....mmmmmmmmmm

VanillaPumpkin Fri 29-Aug-08 21:38:13

Ooh we liked Sylvanas. I think you must have been unlucky.
Il Gustos is def fab and does it still do takeaway too?

sunnytimer Sat 30-Aug-08 07:27:53

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AphroditeInHerNightie Sat 30-Aug-08 08:17:28

Some fab tips here.
Will think of some more if I can, but, in the meantime, here's one:
To avoid additional charges for BFPO deliveries on websites like Boots, or to get stuff from companies that don't deliver to BFPO (small packages with Royal Mail only), there is a way round it!
PM me for info!

hf128219 Sun 31-Aug-08 10:43:55

The www.aff.org.uk is a useful port of call. It is geared for the Army but a source of info for all services. Go to 'worldwide news' and there is lots of pointers for life in Cyprus/moving to Cyprus etc.

VanillaPumpkin Mon 01-Sep-08 16:05:57

Great. Thanks all. I will be able to re-jig this and print it off for them.

McDreamy Wed 03-Sep-08 06:19:49

Thought of another couple

Keep your car insurance docs and driving licence in the car as they can stop you for a docs check.

Remember whenever you buy your car your tax will be due in Dec (12 month renewal) or June (6 month renewal) and you can do it on line.

Read Standing Orders when you arrive, there are a few little differences between here and the UK even on camp. In true military fashion ignorance is unfortunately not an excuse!!

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