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Watching TV Abroad

Times have changed significantly for Expats living abroad in the 21st Century. This would never be more true with watching TV in Sun. Once upon a time in the 90's the nearest we could get to BBC was the World Service on Radio.

Then came the Satellite dishes abroad hung from balconies and roof tops, Pirate decoders and the possibility to watch the somewhat outdated BBC Prime or other free or accessible programs from the skies. Some Expats even created a Sky set-up with a huge dish to capture the service. Over the years the dish got bigger and the picture less reliable, as attempts to scramble satellite signals in general deterred people living abroad to go the satellite route.

Today the full range of BBC programming is available on BBC I-Player through the Internet, which is of course the future. This includes Catch Up TV and even LIVE. Even all BBC Radio shows are available from the same Player. ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 have a similar service and NBC, CBS and others are available from the US. In fact most countries are offering a similar service.

There is sadly a snag, as such services are only available for people viewing from the home country; BBC in the UK for example. Many Expats figured out a work-a-round however via a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which is a kind of tunnel that transports the user to appear as though they are in the home country. VPN's were used to great effect during the uprisings of the Arab Springs.

Here below is in our view one of the best Companies offering the TV Abroad service...

The legality of such services is somewhat a grey area. The websites claim it is perfectly legal, but perhaps BBC and other channels have a different idea. Either way no-one to our knowledge has been taken to court as yet and if the legal course was pursued an awful lot of people around the world would be affected giving negative Press to the TV Channels.

Either way if you are an Expat wishing to see the latest dose of Eastenders, Coronation Street, Dragon's Den, Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor or even Doc. Martin, then all you need is a good Internet connection and a decent Laptop.

Happy Viewing!

The magnificent Council Building of Oroklini

Have you ever wondered what that modern yet graceful building is on the left hand side as one enters Oroklini from the Dhekelia access road?

Well, if you didn't already know, its the Oroklini Council building. A little large and extravagant for a council building I hear you say, but to be fair Oroklini is a rapidly growing village and in fact during the most recent census it was recorded that 6,134 people reside in Oroklini, giving it the potential to be a fully pledged Municipality.

The building itself cost around 4 million euro and received a Government subsidy of 500,000 euro.

In essence its a state of the art council office with a Reception, ample parking and an astonishingly (for a village) high-tech conference / theatre room comfortably catering for over 250 people. Each chair features a pop-up table which incredibly automatically closes in case an emergency getaway is necessary.

All in all we can be proud of our council building and will be working with the council to keep you informed and to generate some community based activities for the benefit of everyone residing in Oroklini.

Coffee culture of Cyprus and the brand wars to win business

This drug can turn a profit in a recession, chill the otherwise stressed island people and it's responsible for many hours of idle talk. Yes COFFEE is the drug that I am speaking of!

During the boom years of Cyprus all the major brand names and/or franchises such as Costa Coffee (UK), Starbucks (US), Flo Cafe (Greece), Gloria Jeans (Australia), Coffee Beanery (US), Segafredo (Italy), Illy (Italy), Caffe Nero (UK) and their many copies, actually convinced the population at large in Cyprus that a simple Coffee (however dressed) could or should cost as much as 5 euro. What's more astonishing, is that they got away with it for such a long time and Cypriots/Expats alike were literally  hooked on a Coffee Budget of up to 10 euro per day!

They applied every trick in the book by confusing us with sizes, when small became > large, medium became > extra large (the unusual norm) and large turned into a well, soup bowl! Intense marketing, comfy sofas, wooden decking on the balcony, fancy umbrellas and fake claims of sustainability, all duped us into buying more Coffee than we really needed.

Then came the recession, which started to hit the peoples pocket in 2012 and then it exploded in 2013. Suddenly, even that overly sugary Frappuccino or luxury Frape was at risk of being cut from the dwindling expenses of the average Cypriot household.

The major franchises stuck with their unsustainable prices for as long as they could, to squeeze tevery last drop of money. Occasional special offers and discounts appeared on the market and the people kept drink Coffee to moan about the financial crisis.

Then enter the new wave of Coffee Houses, that understand all the people really wanted was a combination of a decent place to sit outside (perhaps to combine with smoking), quality coffee and a reasonable price, which is easy enough to deliver, as the mark ups are so huge!

All of a sudden here in Larnaca we saw even more trendy Cafe bars opening everywhere, from Ermou Square to Makarios Avenue and of course Finikoudes. Coffee Island (Greece) has already relatively recently opened 7 outlets in Larnaca alone (same as Limassol). In Nocosia they operate 15 outlets and it's easier to partner with them. 

Coffee Island and to a lesser extent Lavazza have understood the pulse of the people by meeting the above mentioned criteria for a decent Coffee in a recession. Many other small individual Coffee businesses have also opened too and the market is going crazy at present (all be at lower prices) even in a recession, such is the love of the Coffee culture among all Cypriots. 

Lithos Bar & Grill Events in November & December!!

Lithos Bar & Grill
Oroklini, Larnaka

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Call 99 790678

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