Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lefkara Aria

像我这样的一个女人和这样的一个小孩,无知而无畏,行走在四面八方。带着东方的面孔,坦诚的微笑,和一颗童真的赤子之心。 --  题记

(Cypriot woman making lace)

I hardly knew anything about Lefkara before my trip, except that it's located between Larnaca airport and the conference site, good for a one-day exploration. It's the idea of seeing genuine Cypriot village which leads me there; the village is famous for traditional folk art such as lace and silver making. Whenever having a choice, I prefer guest house/B&B to hotels. I by chance found the Iosiphis house, where I lived in Lefkara, from an argotourism website.  Without a car it'sdifficult to go there. Yet remember there is always a solution on the road! Everything ends up with a happy surprise. The house owner Efti and his wife Linda picked me up from the hotel with reasonable charge for gas only.


I rent a small studio, but since I was the only guest, I in fact possessed the whole stone villa! Me alone, without anyone else, have the kitchen, bedroom, the whole yard, etc. It was really like going home, -- you hold keys and remember to turn off light and shut the door; you have all the rights and the responsibility! 


It is a more than one-hundred-year old stone building, with beautiful antique wood bed and handmade lace curtains. All furniture in the room are from three generations earlier. Here is the framed photo of the hostess Linda at her childhood. I had my first sweet sleep in the past nine days, waking up in the song of birds and the fragrance of jasmine!


Linda kindly left me several pieces of bread, some cheese and butter. I bought a watermelon and picked up apricots from the tree (Yes, right from the tree!). Together with tomatoes, peaches and oranges from the farmer market I bought one day before, I made my supper.

(my supper)

After that, I happily left 'home' and joined a local cafe for the UEFA Euro football, sharing excitement with unknown people and purely enjoying the fun! This reminded me of the night at Colone, when I was drinking beers at a bar along the Rhein, celebrating the final of 2008 Euro Cup with enthusiastic strangers. Four years passed, I am still traveling...


Lefkara is a beautiful beautiful village, with well-preserved and rich cultural and architectural heritage. Lefkara, meaning "White Mounts", took its name from the limestone rocks of the region. The houses, built in traditional architectural style, were plastered with white loan or whitewash internally, while externally, they were left visibly whitewashed.


Walking in the alleys, I was stunned by the colorful beauty of the village. I suddenly realized that the beauty indeed comes from the contrast against the plain white stone wall. This reminds me what Laozi  said in Tao Te Jing more than two thousands years ago.

三十辐 ,共一毂 ,当其无 ,有车之用。
埏埴以为器 ,当其无 ,有器之用。
凿户牖以为室 ,当其无 ,有室之用 。

故有之以为利 ,无之以为用 。

"The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends.
Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends.
The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its use depends.

The potential utility resides in the tangible.
But true usefulness is a manifestation of the intangible."

Photographed by Jennie Bai.
Copyright ©Jennie Bai. All Rights Reserved.

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