Published July 9, 2023
Last year when visiting Nicosia, I decided not to go into the North, I just didn't feel like it. This year though, it was time to add another asterisks country to the list.
Me and my mum ate some ice cream on Ledra Street, before crossing the border.
The capital was its usual piercing hot self. I had a hat now, I bought it from the local store in the tourist village we were staying. I liked my hat.
I walked towards the border in my hat, excited about going north, into a country that isn't a country that is a country.
I slid my passport through to the lady in the Northern Cypriot uniform. A giant mustache sat next to her in the booth. The kind of giant mustache that somehow fits perfectly with a country that is only recognised by one real country.
Despite the clear difference in everything, for some reason, there was no whiplash change in my mind, no 'WOW' ... everything seemed pretty samey, actually. ... or an amusement park take on being Turkish. There was something odd about it but also somehow boring.
Turkish writing, Turkish flags and statues and a lot more kebabs. The border looked the same from this side as it did from the other - ad hoc barricades and barbed wire. The heat was the same and the sun still tried it's best to burn.
I crossed back over and that was that, another asterisks country done.
All in all I spent over an hour, maybe a few hours in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
It's a sad one.
I hope the island can reunite as one multi-cultural Cypriot society. At this point I hope the British get kicked out too.