We may be a small island, but there are some definite distinctions between individual towns, and that’s a pretty awesome thing to have. But just like our friends from Gozo will tell you, there’s no need for condescension when conversing with people from the South.
1. “But it’s so far away”
Honestly, we live on a rock you could walk across in one day flat – nothing is actually far away.
2. “Ah you’re from the South? Mela missierek x’jahdem?”
Translation: You’re from the south? Oh cool, what does your dad do?
They may seem like they’re genuinely interested, but they’re just waiting for you to say “bidwi“.
3. “How are you… ah sorry, ‘kif inti?’…”
Surprisingly, despite growing up so far away from the civilised North, we actually managed to learn English, and you don’t have to translate every sentence for our benefit, thank you very much.
4. “I would never live there, but it’s really pretty ta”
This one usually comes with a complimentary eyebrow raise and condescending slow-nod.
5. “Istra mar tajjeb – insomma haqqu ta, dak jahdem miskin“
Translation: Wow, he did really well. Well, he deserves it, poor thing works really hard!
You know we didn’t all grow up in some ghetto, fighting our way out of poverty while working three jobs just to make it to university.
6. Person: [says a perverted joke in Maltese] – “Tajba kienet hux?”
Translation: That was a good one, wasn’t it.
It might have been a good one, but we don’t all share your crass sense of humour, and we don’t all giggle every time we hear “zobb“ or “zejza“.
7. “But where do you go out to eat?”
Get this: the concept of restaurants is not one endemic to the North of the island?
8. “Kellimni wahda bl-imghawweg”
How about no?
9. “Ahh, Birzebbuga? That’s near Fgura aye?”
No – it most definitely is not. Stop naming random places you know in the South.
10. “But you’re not really from the South South”
I’m not? Well then, I guess my whole life is a lie.
11. “Which banda are you with?”
Birth, baptism, banda pledge – the first six months of every baby from the South.
Thanks Luke, Karl and Teo for your help with this piece.