Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Back to the drawing board

Well we have just come back from the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus.

It is NOT the oasis of cheap living I dreamed it would be.

Eating and drinking out is mostly about the same price as here in England. I say mostly, some things are cheaper, but overall things cost the same. Take a trip to the supermarket, there you will find that most items are up to THREE times more expensive than over here. Yes THREE. I went to a few supermarkets just to check that there wasn't one supermarket for tourists and one for the locals, but nope the locals were shopping with the tourists and the expats in the same place.

After a little bit of online digging around I found that the official inflation rate in recent times has been about 12%. There has clearly been a time of hyperinflation in the area.

I just cant fathom how the locals live with this cost of living.

We enjoyed our time and the people are lovely warm people. The outdoors are spectacular, both DH and I enjoyed hiking through the mountains.

With that cost of living I don't think we could live there, every time we went to buy something I worried about how much it was going to costs. Housing costs would be a lot cheaper, but if we are spending up to three times as much on food as we are here and worrying about the cost of going out to eat then, its simply not worth the hassle.

I think a lot of expats are using the high interest rates that Turkish banks will pay on savings deposits. Most of them are paying around 10%. I believe that this is how expats are partly funding their retirement. But I consider this to be a risky move given the instability of the economy and the rampant inflation.

Sigh, back to the drawing board.

Monday, 1 March 2010

cyprus calling

We are off to North Cyprus next weekend for an exploration trip.
We want to explore the area and get a feel for the cost of living and potential areas for a six month winter stay. It appears to be virtually impossible to get a flight from the airport direct into North Cyprus. The only other alternative is to fly into Turkey and then transfer but we only have a week so its a bit of a rush. So we will fly into Larnaca in the south where our hosts will pick us up and drive us the one and a quareter hour journey accross the border. We will be staying in Bellapais. We have a week so I want to try and get a good look around but at the same time get some relaxation in too.
I am looking forward to the break. After all the stress and busyness that the flat sale brought it now feels like an anticlimax. I think perhaps we should have just escaped straightaway after we sold the flat but now we are signed up to a six month lease so thats the decision made for us really.
I will report back:)