Just in case you haven’t gotten the memo: it’s very hot. Welcome to Malta’s version of spring, where the sun is way stronger than you think and will find a way to damage your skin even through the clouds.
Here are the seven stages everyone who’s been burnt this early in the year knows all too well.
You scoffed when your friends told you to be careful because you were looking a bit red. Whether lounging about enjoying the sun, or simply walking around on a beautiful Sunday morning, there’s no way you were going to get burned.
It’s breezy and fresh, you’ve only been out here an hour and it’s April!
Finally indoors you feel a little flustered. That walk really took it out of you and you’re sweating a little. But why are you emitting so much heat?
A family members spots you for the first time and excitedly claps you on the back and you see red… literally. They’ve hit you right in the centre of a terrible sunburn and the pain you know all to well is back.
The clothes on your back, the sheets on your bed, the slightly tepid water from the shower on your shoulders. It all hurts so very much.
“IT’S APRIL!!” This is your only thought for the whole day. On loop. You’re angry at the sun for being so unforgiving. You’re angry at whatever made you go outside. Most of all you’re angry you forgot where you were living and that at any given point the sun will make sure you suffer.
If I moisturise now and need go outside again the pain will go away. And if I do have to go outside I’ll wear sunblock. Anything to not feel this pain again.
Those days of carelessly frolicking outside without the fear of a farmer’s tan are gone. Malta’s sun isn’t safe anymore. Everything is out to get you and you will be stuck indoors forever. The world is crumbling around you and you are sad.
6. Working through it
Today you move your shoulder and didn’t feel like dying. The skin that didn’t peel off is an almost tanned colour. You’re not 100% there yet, but you’re getting better. Who knows, perhaps you won’t wake up sweating every day for the rest of your life.
7. True acceptance
Yes, it’s only April… but it is Malta. You can do this – it just takes a little more shade-hunting and a lot more sunblock. This is fine – no, this is good. Jackets are such a hassle to carry around and the summer sun brings so much joy.
You’re one with nature, you respect the power of the UV rays and use it to your advantage. This is your calling.
You walked from your parked car to your house in a sleeveless top. It was a 2-minute walk, who needs sunblock?
YOU. You needed sunblock. Your shoulder is burnt, the pain is back and you’re back to stage one all over again.