Tuesday, March 29, 2005

This is Cyprus....!

On my way home from the Post Office, I went by one of my favourite plant shops. I reckon I need a few more bedding plants to fill in a few gaps in the borders and there was a good display in front of the shop. I wasn't sure if it would be open, but the night-time barriers around the outdoor plants had been removed, and I could see that the door padlock had been unlocked.

So I picked out a few plants, then went to ask how much they were. Sometimes they sell them in threes or fours for a set price. I pushed the door, but it didn't open. So I put the plants down and went to the side door. I could see a freshly empty coffee cup on the table outside. I could see a light on inside the shop, and a TV blaring away. But no people... and the side door was also locked.

I looked around - sometimes shopkeepers wander away but keep an eye on their shops. Nobody in sight. I tried the front door again, then shrugged and went home without the plants. I'll try again another time.

But it occurred to me how typical this is of Cyprus ... robbery is so rare that a shop owner would feel quite happy to unlock his shop, leave some of the stock outside, and just assume that nobody would take anything. Or that if they did, they'd come back and pay another time.

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