You probably didn’t know what Maltese people were actually like before you moved to Malta.
Sure, you knew they were typically Mediterranean, and you probably knew that an Italian man had once visited the island.
But what the inhabitants are like day-to-day, you probably couldn’t tell – and how to fit in amongst them and become a naturalised Maltese person, you knew even less of.
Simply put, becoming a Maltese citizen in the truest sense of the meaning means becoming one with the Maltese lifestyle.
Now, you could always just buy your citizenship, but for those who do not have half a million euros lying around and decide to actually move here and live among the Maltese, you might begin to notice a slight change in your behaviour after a little while.
Here are 16 things you’ll find yourself doing as you slowly become a Maltese citizen.
1. Buy a car and drive it – even if your destination is a two minute walk away (and the nearest parking space is three minutes away)
Get ready to never go past third gear again.
2. Wait for an appointment for five minutes, then claim you’ve been there for an hour
“It’s just so hot in here madonna!”
3. Forget how to queue like a normal person and contribute to creating a disorganised clump
Why wait in line when you can shove your way forward?
4. Sweep the road outside your door
Preferably early in the morning.
Just like this, except outside
5. Make friends with someone who owns a boat
Then go to Blue Lagoon with them and complain there are too many boats.
6. Park in the middle of a main road
For no other reason than to buy pastizzi or say hi to nanna.
7. Try to skip the queue at a supermarket because you only have one item
At this point, you can expect your accent to start changing sightly, with much more emphasis on the letter “e” in all words.
8. Master the art of responding to every Maltese statement you don’t understand with one of these seven key words
Mela, Uejja, Naħseb, Ija, Orrajt, Ma Nafx, and Ehe are, honestly, all you really need to get by in life.
9. Call someone you don’t know “Charlie” just to get their attention
10. Tell a foreigner who says something you don’t like to go back to their country
Sad, but true.
11. Assume the person you just met knows a friend of yours because they happen to live in the same town
“Uwejja you definitely know him he’s from Birkirkara as well!”
12. Hold a conversation in two languages
Code-switching is a way of life in Malta.
13. Be greeted with “aw lib” (“hey sperm”) and not be offended
You’ve probably got a Maltese partner by this point as well, and been to at least one fenkata/majjalata.
14. Renting a massive farmhouse to party with your friends on NYE amidst a pandemic
Charmaine Gauci isn’t very happy with you right now…
15. Know the life-story of the cashier at your local grocery shop
“She’s a good girl ta’, Rita, imma she just keeps getting herself into bad situations miskina…”
16. Understand the nuances of when it is OK to offend someone’s mother and when it is not OK
When you naturally understand the right and wrong times to drop a proper Maltese f-bomb – “f*** ommok” – then you have truly become a Maltese citizen.
BONUS: Dream of potato
Congratulations, you have become more Maltese than Mary Spiteri eating a piżelli qassata on the national flag during L-Imnarja at Buskett as deafening fireworks explode around her and some protected storks get shot.
Tag someone who is slowly becoming Maltese!