Yes, we get it – we’re Maltese, we have an unhealthy diet, we’re the most obese nation in the known universe and beyond, everyone’s pet has diabetes etc. etc. We’ve learnt to live with this. But putting that exaggeration aside, creeping up on you like the cockroach you find on your knee at a public lavatory, here are some other ways in which Malta is slowly killing you.
1. Fireworks are making you fat
Fireworks contain perchlorate, which is found in high concentrations in Maltese soil (because so many of the damn things explode in Malta). This chemical interferes with your thyroid gland’s ability to pick up iodine, which hinders its function. This may cause hypothyroidism, which makes you overweight, unhappy and unhealthy.
So, those bangs are not only worsening your post-Saturday hangover, they’re also making you fat.
2. Cars are choking you
Malta is ninth globally when it comes to vehicles per capita, with almost 0.7 vehicles per person – that’s a lot of cars. These cars spew all sorts of evil gunk into the atmosphere, which ends up in our lungs, probably contributing to the high incidence of asthma in the country.
And although we have one of the lowest traffic fatality rates in the EU, we still hear of deaths every year on our roads, in part due to the national pastime of getting behind the wheel whilst drunk off our faces. To say nothing of the harm caused to our blood pressure by the boiling road rage that grips us as we enter the daily fetid traffic jam on our way to work.
3. The sun is fucking up your skin
We have a fantastic climate, with about 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. That means we are all bronzed, beautiful and healthy, right? Wrong.
The constant barrage of UV light means that we are more susceptible to different types of skin cancer, some of which can be fatal. Those long days at Ghadira wearing a skimpy bikini aren’t doing you any favours. Getting sunburnt is bad, and a peeling back that looks like ornate bizzilla is not a sexy look. Slap on the sunscreen and get out of the sun, especially at peak hours.
4. STIs will get you
Condoms – we don’t use them. For many, protection during sex is keeping the car windows closed to keep mosquitoes out.
Malta has an abysmal rate of condom use, and subsequently, a rising rate of sexually transmitted infections. STIs you may be gifted with when you next have unprotected sex include: HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer (which can kill you), HIV, which can lead to AIDS (which can kill you), syphilis (which can make you insane), chlamydia (which can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain) and pregnancy (which can lead to weight gain and financial ruin).
5. Noise is giving you anxiety
How does tal-gass let you know he’s arrived? He blasts his horn for two hours straight in your neighbourhood. How do you know the plot next door is being developed? Jackhammers are started up at 7am daily. How do you know you’re in Malta? Noise, noise and more bloody noise.
Since we’re all squashed onto one tiny pebble, we spend our days basking in each other’s aural fart-cloud. Noise makes us nervous, stops us from sleeping, causes stress and distress.
6. Barbecues are cancer farms
Sorry. Meat barbecued at high temperatures gets charred, the fat dripping onto the charcoal does too, and chemicals in charred meat have been linked to kidney cancer. Also, processed meats have been linked to colon cancer. Yes, it’s those pink sausages I’m talking about.
In conclusion, go out at night, on foot, in winter when there are no festi, wearing a condom and ear plugs, turn vegan, and you’ll be fine. Either that, or perhaps just emigrate?