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NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!--Chapter 11: Life in Cyprus!       DO 2766       31/3/91
--Storytime with Grandpa!

       1. (Techi: This is March 31st, 1991, Easter Sunday, & this is our Travel Story with Grandpa! Thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! Amen, Lord Jesus, thank You for this time. We really pray that You'd please anoint Grandpa & help him to remember anything he needs to remember as he tells us this story. Please do bless it, in Jesus' name! Thank You Lord!)
       2. Amen! Praise the Lord! Our story is still following the lives of Mama & me as we toured Europe & the Mideast, & we now find ourselves in Cyprus. In our last story we had already landed & gone to Mr. Jean's hotel, where we had a cute little room with a cute little balcony where we used to sit outside each morning a bit, in this cute little Greek part of Famagusta which is known as Varosha, where we got our mail.
       3. We went down to the post office & even rented a post box, because we didn't know how long we were going to stay there. We didn't know that we were only going to stay three months. And that was so unusual for a tourist to rent a post box, that the Postmaster himself called us into his office & wanted to know why we wanted to rent a box! (Techi: What did people usually do?) Well, most tourists would usually get their mail at Poste Restante, which in the U.S. was called General Delivery. They'd just hold your letters for you at the post office, & you go to a window, give them your name & they look through that part of the alphabet & you get your mail. It was rather unusual, therefore, for a tourist to ask for a box. But anyhow, he gave it to us, & I think it was only $1.50 a month, or $4.50 for three months.
       4. We'd usually stay in our room & I would dictate all day. That was the time we were writing the Letters about being saved by grace & not by the Law, not by works.--In other words, as opposed to the Jews who thought they were saved by just being Jews! After living with them in Israel, we sure found out that the Jews weren't saved! And we found that the native Haifans--the Arabs & Palestinians--were really Christians & were much nicer than the Jews. Anyhow, that's where it was revealed to us that the Jews & Israel were not where it was at! (See ML# 45, "Flesh or Spirit?"; ML#46, "The Promised Land?"; & ML#66, "Breakdown!")
       5. So we were thankful & relieved to be in Cyprus, which, as I told you before, was a split country, divided between the Greeks & the Turks. The Turks had about one-fifth of it & the Greeks had the other four-fifths.--The Turks mostly in the North & the East, & the Greeks in the South & the West.
       6. Do you want to see Cyprus on the map? (David: Yes!) Here you are, I've got a good map here. The shape of Cyprus is like a horseshoe crab going that way, with its tail up this way! Here's Famagusta in the East, where we were, & Nicosia, which is the capital, & Kyrenia is just above Nicosia, where we went & found that lady I dreamed about. (Techi: Where you found the lady?) Yes, & that is all highly explained in detail in the Letter, "Mountain Island Villa Found!" (ML#63), more than I have time to repeat right now. The lady's name was Shulemith Goldstein. (Techi: Was that the little harbour you saw?) Yes, I had a vision of it, I dreamed about it while we were still in Israel. (See "Mountain Island Villa Dream," ML#21.)
       7. So we stayed in Famagusta--the Greek part of it at least, Varosha--& I would usually dictate Letters all day, & then we would either eat dinner at the hotel, or we would go out & walk around & find some place to eat dinner.

       Mustafa--Our Turkish Police Friend!

       8. One of the most interesting places we went to eat dinner was in Famagusta City itself. We had been there & walked around through the moat, which is a beautiful garden now, like a park all the way around the bottom of the moat. Do you know what a moat is? (Kids: Yes!) It's a deep, wide trench, usually filled with water, surrounding an ancient city or castle. They dug a big ditch & put water in it to keep the enemy out. Well, they didn't have water in this moat any more. They drained the water out & made a beautiful park out of it all around the city with trees & flowers. We even met a little family down there once collecting mint for their tea!
       9. That's where we met a very interesting person, an officer in the Police named Mustafa. The first time we saw him we didn't know he was an officer, because he was in his civilian clothes. It was his day off & he was with his little boy & carrying his little lame daughter. He could speak very fluent English, & we had to find people, of course, who spoke English in order to talk to them, because we didn't know any Turkish or Greek.--At least I couldn't speak Greek. I'd studied Greek in the past, but it was classical Greek, the kind of Greek the New Testament was written in. So I could recognise some of the words & I could pronounce them because I knew how to pronounce Greek.
       10. We got a little dictionary & that's one way we got by in some places. But a lot of people in Cyprus did speak English because the British had been there so long. It had been a British possession for years & years, from the late 1800's until after WW2, & then it was given its independence. From then on the Greeks really controlled it, because they were in the majority. And of course the poor Turks could never win a vote of any kind because they were only one-fifth of the whole island population.
       11. But anyway, we met this Turkish officer who spoke English, & he was very sweet. He was a little sad because his daughter was ill with some common Mediterranean affliction, some kind of weakness. He liked us very much & he took us to his home to meet his wife. He said, "I would love for my children to be able to read English, but it's very difficult to find English books here for children." And just before we left we found a whole stack of Ladybird books in the back of a little bookstore! You know those little books that have Bible stories & all kinds of different subjects?--The perfect thing for his children!
       12. We bought the whole stack because they were very reasonable, something like 25 cents apiece, about $5 worth. Just before we left Cyprus we took them over to his house, but nobody was home. They were wrapped up, so we just left them there with a little note on top, "Dear Mustafa, these are for you & your children. God bless you!"--And I'm sure he appreciated that. (Techi: There's a picture of him in the Book of Remembrance.) Yes, the one of him with Mama in front of the city wall.

       Dinner at the Plaza in Famagusta!

       13. We usually ate a late breakfast & a fairly early dinner about five or six o'clock; then we'd have a snack in our room at night before bed. By this time, because the British had been there so long, both the Greeks & the Turks were used to having tea at five o'clock with a little snack.
       14. One afternoon we had a very pleasant experience when we decided we were going to take a trip into the very city of Famagusta itself. I think you had to pay an entrance fee & they had to check you out to make sure you weren't a Greek carrying a gun ready to shoot some Turks! (Techi: I thought you were already in Famagusta walking around the gardens.) No, that was outside in the moat. That's where we met this officer, outside the city; in fact, at the top of the moat before we climbed down in.
       15. So now we're going into the city through the big gate, across the drawbridge. It still had a drawbridge, & the Turks would pull it up at night to make sure the Greeks didn't get in. I mean, they were still at war with each other! The Turks hardly dared go where the Greeks were! Although some of them worked in Varosha in the daytime, they didn't dare go in there at night or they were apt to get killed. The Turks were the poor & the labourers for the Greeks. I don't think the Turks let any of them into the city of Famagusta itself at all, because the Turks were afraid they'd kill somebody.
       16. Anyhow, we walked into the city & we found the city square--the open plaza that's at the center of most cities--& there was a nice little caf that served tea & coffee & sweet rolls & whatever you wanted, but best of all they had skewered meat, shishkebab! That's little bits of nice tender meat on a skewer with little bits of tomato & vegetables in between the bits of meat. And it was very inexpensive. I ordered one of those & I think Mama got a felafel, plus coffee, etc.
       17. It was very interesting to sit out there in the plaza, & there were men sitting at tables all over. It was like a sidewalk caf, only the tables reached way out into the square. And guess what?--Mama was the only woman there! (David: Wow!) (Techi: Amazing!) Because the traditional Greeks & Turks didn't allow their women out of the house except to go grocery shopping. The only time you'd see the women was during the shopping hours on the street going to or from home. These small-town, conservative Greek men were very very watchful of their women.
       18. We went to a local cinema one time, & of about 800 people in the cinema, Mama was the only woman! Well, maybe there were a few other women, but she was the only one around me anywhere! We really attracted a lot of attention, because it was an all-native theatre & there were no tourists there of any kind except us!
       19. So that was the most amazing thing, how anywhere in public, teahouses, cinemas, no matter where--except just on the street going to & fro to grocery stores--there were no women!--Just Mama & what very few tourists there were there at that time of year. We were there in January, February & March, Wintertime, & although it was usually a very pleasant climate, very sunny & fairly warm, they said that they were having an unusually cold spell, the coldest weather in many many years. But thanks to our little heater & hot plate, we managed to keep warm!
       20. I remember one time when a tour group led by this cross, picky old lady came down from England for their two weeks in Cyprus at Mr. Jean's hotel, & immediately they all complained of the cold. Well, it was a little cold, but we had our little heater & hot plate & that was all we needed for our room.
       21. And these ladies, oh my, how they complained about the cold! Finally poor Mr. Jean had to go out & buy electric heaters for every single one of his rooms. (Techi: With his money or with their money?) Oh, his money, of course! The guests expected the hotel to furnish the heat, & that really was quite an expense for him, poor fellow. And oh, they still complained so much. They used the heaters, but the next morning they said, "Oh, it's still cold! It takes 24 hours to heat a room up to a proper temperature. You should have had these heaters going before we ever got here!" They made a big stink about it. They complained about the food, the rooms, just about everything! I never saw such a picky bunch of tourists, it was really pitiful!
       22. {\ul So we were at the sidewalk café in Famagusta}--there was no sidewalk, just a big paved plaza, which was pretty good considering a lot of the backward places were nothing but dirt roads & mud & whatnot. But we really enjoyed our little dinner out there & Mama was quite an object of attention, being the only woman, & she was young & pretty. All the men were sitting there eyeing Mama. We made a mistake & decided we didn't particularly want to sit with all these men, so we decided to sit out on the edge of the crowd facing the plaza. Well, we were then all the more of a spectacle because they were all behind us ogling us & we were sitting out like on stage! (To "ogle" means to look or stare at someone in a flirtatious way.)
       23. Anyhow, the food was really good. (Techi: Weren't there any other tourist women around?) Not many at that time of year. See, it was mid-Winter, & most of the tourists go there in the Summer. (Techi: But weren't they used to seeing tourist women?) Well, yes, maybe during the tourist season, but Mama was kind of a rarity during the Winter.

       Mr. Jean's Special Event!

       24. We walked back to our hotel for the night & found that dear Mr. Jean--I always want to call him "Brother John" because he was really a very dear friend by the time we left--had arranged a special event for us. He had a special "delicacy" in this little bowl all cooked up & ready for us, a little bowl for Mama & I, & each of the other guests who were willing to come.
       25. He had a musician there too, to play us the Greek island music on the bouzouki, a popular instrument in Greece. It's like a mandolin really. The body part is oval, & then it has a round bottom & a very long neck. This fellow that he invited was a friend of his, & he could play & sing the native songs very well. It was very good entertainment.
       26. First of all let me tell you about this "specialty" that he served us. He said, "Come on! Try it!" So we tried it & it was delicious, really good. And he just grinned from ear to ear! We said, "What is it?" It was all black & cut up in tiny bits & seasoned & well-cooked, & it was really delicious. We kept asking him, "What is it?"--And he kept grinning from ear to ear because he knew he'd played a big joke on us! Because it turned out to be--guess what? It was all cut up in little tiny pieces, pieces only about as big as my thumbnail, so you couldn't possibly tell what it was. But guess what?
       27. It's a Mediterranean delicacy, they love it, & they serve it almost everywhere. (Techi: Was it worms or something?) Well, I don't know what their name for it was, but it was octopus, ha!--Little octopuses. They even offer dried whole octopuses in the markets, the whole octopus with his tentacles hanging up on strings & wires. So when we heard that, we looked at our bowl & thought, ugh! But he had pulled a fast one on us! (Techi: Is octopus unclean?) Yes, it has no fins & no scales either! (Techi: It doesn't sound too bad though. At least it tasted good.) Well they're scavengers in the sea & the Lord doesn't approve of you eating scavengers.
       28. So that was his first trick! But then he made up for it by offering us each a little jigger of sherry, a very nice, what you call "fortified" wine. They put a little alcohol in it to make it stronger, because normal wine stops fermenting at around 14%. You can ferment almost any kind of fruit or grain to make wine, & the little germs in it that make it ferment keep on working & working away until they build up to around 14% alcohol, & then the alcohol is even too strong for them, & they die.
       29. So with the fortified wines like sherry that Mr. Jean served us, they add enough alcohol to your natural wine to bring the alcohol content up to 20% or more. So it's quite a bit stronger than wine, but it's not as strong as whisky. And it tastes much better too, & you can stand to drink it. It's a little bit strong, but he'd just give us a little jigger, or what they call a "shot," a tiny tiny glassful. Mama wasn't used to drinking anything at all, so she just took one, & I think I only took one. I think he offered us more, but we decided not to drink it. Anyhow, at least it helped to wash down the octopus!
       30. And then we had the music & he even encouraged Mama & me to dance. There were a few of the other guests there too, very few. They were all still mad at him about the cold rooms. It was kind of unusual to get guests in the Winter time, but these people had just come for a one or two-week vacation or something like that. Along the shore there it was cold, & the sea was ice cold! The only person we ever saw in swimming was a typically big buxom blonde Scandinavian! (Techi: They swim in the ice anyhow.) Yes!
       31. Here Mama & I were walking along all bundled up with our coats & hats & scarves & gloves & it was cold to us!--Almost as cold as it had been in Haifa. We were walking by the beach, & here we saw this girl run out into the water in her bathing suit! She stayed out there a few minutes & then ran back in again. Well, we were so curious, we just couldn't understand anybody going in swimming in that kind of cold. So we quickly walked up to her & said, "Hi, how are you? Where are you from?" We were curious as we could be about where she was from, & she was from Sweden! I said, "Oh, well, we wondered how you could swim in this kind of weather." "Oh," she said, "it's delightful! Just lovely!" (Techi: It was probably warm to her.) Yes, she said, "It's much colder where I come from. This is just like Summertime in Sweden!" Where she came from it froze over in the Winter. (Techi: You have to dig a hole in the ice if you want to go for a dip!) So here was this lovely gentle surf & nice beautiful ocean & sunny skies & she thought it was just delightful!--Ha!

       Mr. Tom!

       32. So now we're back at the entertainment that dear Mr. Jean put on for us. And interestingly enough, he had also brought another very distinguished guest, besides us.--That's supposed to be funny! I wasn't distinguished then; that is, I wasn't World-famous then. So he had also invited Mr. Tom, a big, handsome-looking fellow with a typical Greek mustachio, slightly bald. He was about 60, & at that time I was about 51 or 52. He was a Greek salesman & very very charming, & we got to be very good friends! In fact, he took us out to dinner, & we took him out to dinner & dancing & he would dance with Mama. We had a real good time with him. He could speak lots of English.
       33. Oh my goodness, I've run clear over time! Why didn't you guys holler? (David: It was so interesting!) Well, let's finish this night's entertainment anyhow. We had this lovely entertainment with the bouzouki, as it's called. And then we were entertained by Mr. Tom--everybody went by their first names--& later we were invited out several times by him to different places, & it was really fun! (Later we found out he was an officer of the Secret Police!--A good man to be friends with!--Ha!) We had a lot of fun in Cyprus, & that's where I first taught Mama how to dance!--But I'll tell you the rest of that story tomorrow night. OK? That's enough for tonight. Praise the Lord! Shall we have a little closing prayer?
       34. (David: Thank You, Lord, for all the fun we had tonight with Grandpa telling stories about Cyprus & his & Mommy's life. Thank You for how You kept & protected them, Jesus. Thank You for how You've given Grandpa such a good memory to remember all these little details that happened & that are really fun & interesting for us & the whole Family. So thank You so much for that, Lord.--In Jesus' name, amen!) Amen! God bless you all!

       Picture captions & fact boxes:

       Page 1:
       Maria on the outside balcony, typing the Letters.

       Page 2:

       We met this Turkish family picking mint in the bottom of the moat!

       Page 3:
{\b \i        MUSTAFA}

       (Excerpt from Dad's tape describing slides of his trip, 1971:) This very handsome, dark-haired, typical Mideasterner happens to be a full-blooded Turkish policeman in plain clothes by the name of Mustafa, very sweet & friendly & hospitable, who gave us a tour of the Old City of Famagusta. This young man met us as we were trying to find a way to get through the walls, in fact, trying to find a way to get across the moat! We couldn't find any way & he talked to us in very good English & was so friendly. He had his little boy with him & his little girl in his arms, who was sick, & whom we prayed for & she was better, thank the Lord! The little boy was very interested in things we were telling them about America. People here think that America is "Heaven on Earth," it's their dreamland, & their goal is to go there.
       Mustafa took us on three tours of the old city & around the old walls & everything, on three different afternoons. We'd always take a walk in the afternoon, we'd come over & he'd meet us & take us around, & he was so nice & never wanted a penny, of course. We couldn't even offer him any money, he'd just refuse & be insulted because he did it as a friendly gesture. But he did say, "If you ever find any books about America that are easy to read for my little boy, that's what we'd appreciate most." So we went & bought a whole bunch of books, one or two about America, but mostly they were Bible stories & stories about little children in the Bible, etc. We gave them to him for his son, & I'm sure they were greatly appreciated.
       They are really something, these people! They are so handsome! They've got that rich tan colour & that beautiful thick black hair & gorgeous brown eyes & those beaming smiles!

       Our dear sweet Turkish police friend Mustafa, with Maria in front of the city wall!

       Page 4:

       (From Dad's description of trip slides:) The wall of the city is 50, 60, 75 feet high in places, & you can get very dizzy looking down when you're on top! The moat down below is like a park all around the city, very beautiful. This had been the Turks' defense against being far outnumbered by the Greeks, & that was the only way they managed to save their lives, because they were in a total war of extermination! The Greeks were going to completely wipe the Turks off the island, just absolutely massacre them, sad to say.
       This is what the walled cities looked like in ancient times. This one was built hundreds of years ago. First the French, then the Venetians, & later the Turks captured it. The French kings built this beautiful city during the Crusades as one of their bastions or stopover places, kind of a headquarters on their way to Israel to try to take the land of Israel away from the heathen, the Saracens & Turks, etc. It was a fascinating old city & a beautiful example of the walls of ancient times. The city was rebuilt in the 1400's, clear back in the days when Columbus was just discovering America.
       Inside those walls are barracks for soldiers, officers' quarters, mess halls, etc. That wall is not {\ul \i just} a wall! It's about two miles all the way around the city, & it is actually a building in itself, full of passageways & prison cells, old torture chambers & all kinds of interesting places.--A beautiful example of excellent security. Richard the Lionhearted came to Cyprus on one of his Crusades, & many other famous characters of history have stopped here, including me!--Ha! PTL!

       Page 5:
       {\b \i BOUZOUKI:} A Greek stringed instrument resembling a mandolin, capable of producing chords similar in tone to those of a harpsichord, & used especially in folk singing & dancing.

       This handsome Greek bouzouki player gave us a special concert!

       Page 6:

       Winemaking requires a series of steps. A winemaker must first decide which grapes to use & when to harvest them. After the grapes are crushed, the juice is converted into wine through a process called fermentation. Wine is then aged until it is ready for drinking.
       Fermentation is the chemical change in which yeast converts the sugar in grapes into alcohol. Some yeast grows naturally on the skins of grapes. Some European winemakers allow this yeast to conduct the fermentation. In the United States & most other countries, winemakers add selected yeasts to the mash to begin fermentation. During fermentation, the yeast grows & changes sugars called glucose & fructose into ethanol, a type of alcohol, & carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide is released as bubbles. The yeast also produces various by-products that may add to the wine's flavor & aroma.
       Fermentation also releases heat. Most wineries refrigerate the juice to keep its temperature constant during fermentation. Winemakers usually ferment juice for white wine at about 59 degrees F. (15 degrees C) & juice for red wine at about 86 degrees F. (30 degrees C). The fermentation of red wine takes from 4 to 6 days. White-wine fermentations last from 12 to 18 days.

       Page 7:
       Maria with Mr. Thomas.

       {\b \i MR. TOM & MR. JEAN!}
       (From Dad's description of slides, 1971:) Mr. Thomas that you see there with the big handlebar moustache was a {\ul \i very} {\ul \i very} charming host to us, very sweet. He's pure Greek, a salesman, & usually sat there very quietly all evening, never saying much at all. Once in awhile we got him to open up & talk a little bit & we found out he had real strong faith in God & the Bible & Jesus, & could even quote Scripture because he was a regular Bible reader. He belonged to the Greek Orthodox church, but had a simple, sincere, rather childlike faith.--And he used to get so mad at Mr. Jean when he would talk against God or the Bible!
       Mr. Jean was a great talker & a great philosopher & a dogmatic atheist, sad to say, & no matter how much you'd talk to him, he'd explode every time you talked about God. He became very embittered as an orphan in a Jesuit orphanage & never wanted to hear about God again. He apparently had some bad experiences with the Jesuit priests.
       Mr. Jean was always happy to try to build us a nice fire in his lobby fireplace to keep us well-heated, & it was very cheery, we enjoyed it. We had many many religious discussions with these old boys in the lobby of the hotel, with sometimes quite an audience!--Mr. Jean always managing to get around to God & religion somehow & getting hot under the collar & arguing about it, while I tried to keep sweet. I really enjoyed him though, he was really funny, & all the time I think he really believed in God, but he was mad at Him, because of the experiences he went through.

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