If you’ve ever brought a friend over in Malta and it was their first and last time, maybe this article will shed some light as to the reasons why. Or maybe if you’re about to visit a friend’s house for the first time, you can keep these in mind, to not get the fright of your life.
We’ve all been there. If you’re lucky enough to never have experienced any of the following, we’re pretty sure you’ve at least heard about them. Here’s everything you need to know before visiting a Maltese home.
1. Get ready for the family pet to greet you at the door
You’ve heard about Buttons before, about how cute, friendly and adorable he is. But I guess you had no idea of Buttons’ sheer size, or the fact that as soon as you enter the door, he is going to pounce you. “Uwejja, mellsu ftit ħalli jieqaf jinbaħ, mhux ħa jigdmek ta!”
I think I’d rather not risk it, to be honest.
2. Be aware of the possibility of a grandfather clock on any corner
You might not jump out of your skin every time your grandfather clock chimes upon the hour, every hour, as we’re pretty sure you’re used to the sound at this point.
But believe us when we tell you that any guest visiting your house after sunset will probably shit his pants at the horrifying tune that follows your clock striking 7 pm.
3. That smell of minestra, kawlata and brodu is here to stay
Ok, this is probably more common in nanna’s house, rather than your typical Maltese home. But the scariest part about this is that you genuinely never know when it is going to hit.
As soon as you open the antiporta, the heart-wrenching smell hits your face and you can feel your stomach coming up to your throat. But it’s too late now; you’ll probably be smelling like this for the next good 48 hours.
4. Shouting from one floor to another is a norm
You’re minding your own business, sitting in your best friend Maria’s room while she is doing her makeup, getting ready to go to Paceville. All of a sudden, you hear a thundering sound from below, and Maria just normally replies, on top of her lungs.
“MUR AQLALI L-ĦWEJJEG SABIĦA”
“WADDABLI NAQRA L-PYĠAMA QALBI”
Do you think they heard them from Comino?
5. Prepare yourself for gigantic portions of food
You’ve heard about the myth before, but you never thought that it would actually happen to you, or at least you hoped it never would. It is finally time to meet your kunjata for the first time.
You go inside the house, sit awkwardly at the table and hold your breath as you’re presented with a plate of food double the size of your face. As if that wasn’t enough, as soon as you manage to munch on the last bite, kunjata rushes in with a mini buffet of pasti, tea and homemade cakes. #ĦaNaqla
“Erba’ gidmiet zgħar ħa”
6. Look out for neighbours staring at you from their balcony
You’ve finally managed to find the house after several winding roads on Google Maps. Finding a spot to park your car was also a bit of a pain, but it’s ok; at least you got there in time. You walk nervously to the front door, and just as you’re about to ring the bell, you hear:
“Aw sabiħ, Mhux qedin hawn ta! Marru s’għand il-Lidl daqs siegħa ilu.”
Thanks friendly neighbour. I totally didn’t see you right there and I might’ve peed just a little.
7. Walking into the kitchen to find the father wearing only his underwear (or penti)
Oh no! What’s happening? Where do I look? Anywhere but there! Maybe the fridge? The freezer? The house cat? But she’s walking towards it so I can’t look…
“Qed tħossha s-sħana jew? Kollox iweħħel!”