Now that we are soon leaving Malta I figured it would be a good time to look back on the 2,5 months we’ve been living here, just if some of you would like to know a bit more about this small island country. Also added some photos. So these are some of my thoughts in a random order about Malta that we’ve had here while living aboard in a marina.
45 minutes to the other side
Malta is small. We rented a car for the weekend just to see around the place and basically you can see the typical sights and places of the main island in a day.
English and Maltese are both official languages, so it super easy to get around and communicate with the locals. Everybody speaks english, so this has made our works on the boat a lot easier.
Maltese people are very friendly and really helpful. You always get an answer to your question. Of course there’s a Mediterranean vibe here – why do stuff today when you can do it tomorrow, but I think this makes them one of the least depressed people. They like to relax, take it easy and work always comes second.
Sun, wind, rain…
It’s totally unpredictable. I mean that it changes all the time during the day. You wake up seeing some heavy clouds coming your way and in an hour you are sweating from all the heat and sun. But it’s definitely a nice change coming from the north and seeing the sun three times a year.
Kale no, pizza yes
Before moving to Malta I thought I’m gonna have loads of fresh fish every day and the restaurants will be packed with people graving for healthy stuff. Turns out it’s really difficult to find places to eat that offer healthy choices with reasonable prices. Around the place we live there are basically two or three cafes where you can have something else besides wraps, pizza, pasta or sandwiches. In fact, first weeks we mainly ate wraps ’cause these seemed to be the best choice and they’re cheap. It’s a lot of white bread and sugar here, so we’ve tried to cook as much as possible in the boat.
There are a lot of cafes on every corner where you can sit down, have an espresso and not be afraid that somebody will tell you to leave even after four hours. As we’re in a need of a wifi dose often, this is very nice.
Every working day there are food trucks that prepare fresh food as a takeaway. They tend to get busy during lunch hours, but are still a quick and cheap to fill you up. One truck particularly was totally self-sufficient, powered by solar panels and offered a vegetarian menu.
They don’t seem to have a national food, but one thing they are crazy about is pastizzi wich basically is a pastry filled with peas or ricotta. It’s rather greasy, but actually tastes pretty good and you can find them anywhere even as low as 60 centes. They also like rabbit meat.
Millions of cars
Let’s be honest – Maltese and their cars – it’s crazy. It’s a tiny island with around 400k people and we’ve heard they have more than one car per every household. At times we were really frustrated with taking in all those fumes in the middle of the streets. You would guess it’s a perfect place for bicycles or scooters, but they love their cars. And it’s useless to steal cars in Malta – you can’t get them off the island. The traffic is pretty crazy, too, with constant honking, but after some time we figured out they do it more for safety reasons (for example near the road crossings). You can’t find a lot of zebra crossings, but they do stop in the middle of the street when they see that you want to cross the road, which is nice. But still – too many cars.
It’s slow and hardly ever on time. They said it used to be worse and now the system has improved a bit, but still many times I waited for a whole hour for a bus. Fortunately never on the wrong side of the road (the traffic here is left-sided).
Holidays all the time
They have a lot of public holidays. I think one of the most in EU.
Keeping the deadlines… maybe tomorrow
As I said Maltese are really laid-back, so at times it was a bit frustrating when the guys doing works on the boat finished the jobs a month after the deadline. As we wanted to finish fixing the boat as quickly as possible this just didn’t help at all. By now we have gotten used to it and don’t really get stressed anymore. They still have a smile on their face and the sun is still shining.
Let’s build it
Everywhere you see a crane. I don’t know why but they are always building something.
Connectivity / wifi
It’s always hard for estonians abroad – we’ve gotten so used to having high speed connection everywhere anytime that sometimes it’s really frustrating when you can’t have a decent skype call. Internet here is still quite expensive and there aren’t a lot of options to have it unlimited, but in most cafes and restaurants there is a good wifi free of charge, so that’s super.
Still don’t get why the streets are so filthy. The neighbourhood we live in has garbage and litter flying around, but I’ve heard they are working on it.
Trucks that go around with either gas or pastries have special honks so you’d know when they’re coming, it’s quite cute and practical.
I read from forums that if you want to buy clothes in Malta, go abroad. Or order them online. That seems to be true, cause it’s mostly cheap market’s stuff with colourful ornaments and glitter or Gucci. I think Zara was somewhat okay place in between those two to get some basic tank tops etc.
Malta seems to be super safe. Not even once I felt that I shouldn’t be here at this time of the hour.
So we have a couple of more days to spend here and then we’re off. It’s been a very busy and interesting 2,5 months in Malta and I’m happy that we could explore this sunny archipelago.