Since a lot of my readers seem to be American or any country other than Malta anyway, I thought of sharing some facts of our little island and way of life.
Malta is the biggest from a group of islands forming an archipelago. These can be found in the middle of the Mediterranean sea between Sicily and Tunisia. Malta is 316 sq km and basically should you own a car you can cross it north to south in under 2 hrs! We have got a long history and own the oldest megalitic temples dating to 3500BC. We also have our unique language which is called Maltese and is a combination of a lot of other languages really (since we had been taken over by basically all powers that dominated in the world)called a semitic language. Our population reaches approx 400,000 and we are mainly Roman Catholics. Since 2004, we form part of the European Union and have also adopted the euro as our currency.
Facts on the Maltese way of life:
- 75% of the Maltese own at least one car- making it difficult to find parking especially since everyone tries to find parking exactly underneath his destination lest he needs to walk more than out of the car and into the place he is going to.
- most Maltese go out to eat and/or view a film at least once a week- even if we complain that life has become expensive and we can’t keep up with the bills and usually the bills are the ones that suffer since we don’t want to loose out on the fun
- we have more rocky beaches than sandy ones so we tend to over populate the sandy ones as we prefer those.
- any excuse is good for a celebration be it a football team or political party winning to birthdays, anniversaries etc
- 50% speak more than 2 languages – Maltese and English are our official langauges
- we tend to spend a lot of money on things we don’t really need- every season needs new clothes and shoes and every new gadget that comes out needs to be tried out!
- most Maltese go for a weekend break in a hotel in Malta or Gozo (the sister island) more than once a year and travel out of the country once a year.
- there is no weekend if we do not meet family & friends so its picnics in winter and beach bbqs in summer
- when we go to the above mentioned, we need to take everything with us to make it comfortable ie table, chairs, gas bbq, generator (if its night time), 3 coolers full of food and drinks, radio for music and were it possible even a toilet I suppose – life is simple see…
- we talk loudly as if we are in a talking competition, are vain, love to boast with our neighbours (telling them how better we are then them) and we prefer a grocery store than a big store so we can keep up with the gossip
- we love eating and drinking and basically enjoying ourselves
- most of us are with a big mortgage as we buy houses rather than rent and I think we are one of the countries that have most people who actually own houses
- we have free public health but complain that it takes too long for an appointment
- 90% of the population own a cell phone
- children are normally taken care of by grandparents so the parents can both work and maintain the high standards they set for themselves ( but a lot of times also out of necessity really)
We love complaining and I think its a way of life but we live in a cushy place things considered and as we got a low crime rate its great to live here. I’d love to live abroad for a while but I simply know that eventually I want to come back home. Home, the place were Summer starts in April and I complain non stop about the heat (which can reach 40 celius in August) and the fireworks that characterise our feasts (and between June and October you have at least one every week). Home, the place where Winter is very short and not too cold but we still complain of the cold (the lowest temp I have known is 5 celcius at night). Home, where I can leave for work only 30 mins in advance and usually get there right on time. Home, where what I don’t find to buy in our localstores I can now get it on the internet and love it. Home, where family is only a max of an hour away by car and reachable by phone, cell phone and internet.
With all our problems, I love it and I won’t change a single thing….well maybe our bumpy roads