Far be it from us to encourage reckless drinking. And may we remind you of the Six Maltese Stages of Being Drunk? But it’s always good to celebrate the small pleasures – and yes, advantages – of life, so why not celebrate drinking too?
Here are a few ways in which the ancient and universal habit of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol is made better with a local twist.
1. It’s cheap
The Maltese love a good bargain, and the best way to make a bargain better is to give in an alcoholic enhancement. This is also partly reason why hordes of teenage ‘English language’ students take over most of our public spaces during summer, but you have to take the good with the bad, right?
2. The holy seal of approval
If you’re reading this during summer, chances are you’re often a literal stone’s throw away from an incoming religious festa. Which means that your drinking will be tacitly approved by the patron saint of your choice. Go with God, my son.
3. Someone will always find you
Whoops. You’ve gone and got so plastered that you can’t find your car/have missed the last bus/puked all over your designated driver and now he or she has disowned you as a friend and left you to wander the streets – drunk and alone. But not to worry. Malta is also known as ‘the rock’ for a reason, and as you shamble for a way back home while trying to hold back a flood of desperate tears, you’re bound to come across another friend/acquaintance/family member who just happens to be going the same way as you.
4. You can finally enjoy Champs food
This applies to pretty much all the kiosk-pastizzeriji on the island, with Champs and Maxims remaining the heavyweights, of course. Oily and artery-clogging kemm trid, but pure culinary heaven when consumed while drunk.
5. You can have a ‘magic moment’
You know those American teenage films where the characters are all gathered up on some beach/idyllic location while getting drunk? (Except they will have to wait until they’re 21 – ha!) Well, in Malta you can experience that too… All the time. And as a bonus, you can do the same at an awesome historical site of your choice. Win-win! *hic*
6. Family lunches are actually tolerable
Not to knock family time, but there’s always that one racist, homophobic or generally chauvinistic relative who’ll leave you seething with rage at the dinner-table. Luckily, almost no Sunday lunch is complete without generous helpings of – at least – wine, which should make it easier to take everything in its stride.
7. Alcohol: the great equalizer
Malta has unfortunately been characterized by division more often than not: Nationalist vs Labour, hamallu vs pepe, Porky’s vs Fredy’s. But getting shitfaced without shame and for very little money at all should pretty much count as a national sport. And national sports have a knack of bringing people together.