As the 21st of September is rolling by, we want to celebrate the anniversary of our independence from the British rule, and more particularly, our uniqueness- there’s no other nation like us.
Face it, you love us. From the way, we wake you up at 6 am with our church bells, to the random “IL-LAMPUKI!” or “TAL-BIGILLA” screams in the middle of the road. We’re adorable. The Maltese people are the embodiment of Mediterranean temperament; everything we say, everything we do, is done with passion and joie de vivre. We understand why you’d want to be more like us, so here are seven tips and tricks to help you integrate with our nation.
1. Waking up with a “te’ fit-tazza” and a “pastizz”;
We don’t all drink tea in a glass and eat “pastizzi” every day, but this is truly the breakfast that makes us feel patriotic from the get-go. Super indulgent, comfortingly soft and easy on the wallet. You’re so welcome. And yes, okay, it is very high in calories, but that only means that there will be more of us (and you) to love.
2. Learning these phrases;
We’ve all been through it; that random lady starting a conversation on the bus, most of the time, in Maltese. What do you do?
- a) Panic,
- b) Get off the bus or
- c) Fake it till you make it?
We’ve taken the liberty of choosing option c) for you, and with these phrases, you’re bound to ace any conversation in Maltese “Mela”- meaning “of course” “granted” “you are absolutely right” “Istra”- meaning “wow I’m impressed by what you are saying” “Jaħasra/ Myskina”- meaning “I empathise with you, storyteller” “Ċaw!”- meaning “bye!”, for when the storyteller departs.
3. Going to Gozo for a holiday;
Also known as the ideal staycation, or the holiday (a few kilometres) away from home. Our foreign counterparts laugh at us, however, there’s nothing more relaxing than visiting Malta 2.0; the natural, quiet, hustle and bustle free Malta, predominantly known as Gozo. You see, we love our country so much, we ask ourselves, “What’s better than going on holiday in our own country?”. And the truth is nothing. Nothing is better. Gozo is clean, fresh, a true weekend break. You know it’s hard to resist.
4. Complaining about “long” “far away” journeys...in Malta;
You could possibly come from a country where the nearest Mcdonalds is about an hour’s drive away, so the fifteen-minute car ride from St. Julians to Valletta might seem like a dream to you. For us, anything longer than 30 minutes is a total and utter nightmare.
And parking? Let’s not even go there.
5. Going to the Village Festa;
Put on your village “colour”, grab a cold six-pack of Cisk and head over to the Village Square for a night of music, loud singing, junk food and band marches. Every year we become very patriotic, somewhat religious, and proud of our Village festa, then we forget all about it, but the point is that we will welcome you to our festa with open arms, and we’ll even offer you a beer and a sing-along!
Of course that only accounts for half the Maltese population. The other half complains about late-night fireworks, loud music, littering and (you’ve guessed it) the lack of parking around the village, on Facebook.
6. Letting the weather predict if you’re going out tonight
The first rain as summer starts coming to an end always brings about floods, relief (because now you have a good excuse not to wash your car), excitement (no more heatwaves...perhaps?) and...facebook posts, alerting the Maltese nation that yes, it’s raining, just in case you can’t hear the rain beat down on your office windows.
However, the real Malteser (not the candy) element here, is the fact that we are somewhat genetically predisposed to being afraid of going out in the rain. Understandably so. Malta’s roads flood ever so easily- it is of no surprise that cars tend to break down easily during the rainy season. And obviously there’s our hair- that weekly hairdresser blowdries don’t come cheap, you know. Stay in, make a tazza te’, and enjoy the weather.
7. Bringing a three-course meal, wherever we go;
Are we going to the beach? Let’s pack a lunch. Work? Pack a lunch. Picnic? Pack a lunch. Cinema? Pack a lunch (in all fairness, cinema snacks are overpriced, so mum might have a point here). And when we say lunch, we don’t mean a light sandwich. We mean “just in case you need to feed yourself and 30 of your friends” lunch. We don’t follow the “eat until you’re not hungry” rule- we follow the “eat until you tear the seams of your jeans” rule. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?
The “more to love” rule also applies here.
We cannot guarantee a passport, but what we can guarantee is that now you really are one of us.