Things Maltese People Do When It's A Public Holiday
'Illum kmandata Ma??'
You wake up in a cold sweat, your heart ready to leap out of your chest. As your phone gives you a shrill reminder that it’s 6:30 am, you groan internally and accept the fact that you have to go to work.
And then it hits you: today is one of the 14 days every year that we Maltese have as public holidays. Hooray! It’s time to do all that shit you’ve promised yourself you'll get done four months ago!
1. Catch up on your chores
Your living room bulb has been maqtugħ since the last time you visited bużnanna, and she died like six years ago. You’ve been using your phone to light your way as you stumble home in a drunken haze at 3 am (but now the screen doesn’t work as well as it used to).
Today, a day decreed by our kind rulers to be one divorced from employment, is the day you change that faulty light source. You rummage in your DIY box and find a paperclip, a box of tampons (in an all-male household) and a mummified moth. Must go to the ironmonger to get supplies! Oh wait... well shit.
2. Visit relatives
Since Nanna Buż passed, leaving you with a gnawing sense of guilt that you hadn’t visited for too long, you’ve made a resolution to keep in touch with all your elderly relatives (except Ziju Nen…he emigrated to Canada 47 years ago and you're not ready for that phonecall).
Your gut is slowly spreading forwards and outwards and a day off is a perfect excuse to pick up your squash racquet and go for a game. “Aw Tom, man, wanna play squash? Ah you have to visit your nanna? I…went earlier. Ok man, maybe next time.” You tried.
4. Go to church
A substantial portion of the holidays are feast days, and you are expected to commune with your Creator to some extent. “Illum kmandata Ma?” you yell, with your fingers crossed.
When the answer is a pointed iva, you take the opportunity to visit that incense-soaked locale that Jesus calls home. Or rather, you get into your car and drive around for half an hour, texting your Y4J friend to tell you what the priest wore today.
That assignment that you were meant to hand in last week? Still pending. But today is the day when, in a studious berserker mode, you shall blast that fucker out of your life.
You switch on your laptop and quickly get rid of your Farmville requests before getting down to business. You wake up. The sun has set. Please sir, can I have an extension on my deadline?
6. Go to the beach
Load up on lilos! Just a quick look on whichbeach.com.mt…hmmm…wind conditions mean that we have to go to Għadira, which is over 20 minutes’ drive away. At this point a trek into Mordor seems less daunting. Perhaps we’ll go swimming next week.
7. Take out the garbage
You’ve cleared up after your #PubHolEve party and have sixteen garbage bags to take out. Which you do. Then you realise it’s a public holiday, so the garbage trucks don’t come. Or do they?
You check online, only to find an email from your Condominium Committee asking “ALL Residents/Tenants” to quit putting their shit out on the wrong days. “Failure to comply will necessitate contacting the local wardens.” You bring the bags in.
You log onto “Swieqi Residents” on Facebook. Sarah has already asked “Anyone can tell me if garbidge collection is done today pls?tnx” The mayor appears to think that it is. You rush out with your sacks, just in time to watch the truck trundle past.
Lie on the sofa and veg. You’d watch telly, but the controls are on the other armchair. Settle back with your galletti and mayonnaise and revel in the fact that today you have failed.