Shit Every Maltese Person Hears When They Meet A Foreigner For The First Time
Admit it, you've heard all of these before
Fact: Most Maltese people really love to travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s a last-minute getaway to Sicily or a carefully-planned adventure half way across the world – we’re excited and ready to have a ball (and bring back souvenirs for everyone). Now being from a teeny tiny island smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean, we do have the odd encounter with people who’ve never heard of our fair country.
In the spirit of understanding (and giggles) let’s take a look at what our friends from overseas go through when meeting their first Maltese person.
1. "Ooh Malta... I see."
Translation: I have literally no idea what you said, where that is, or if it’s even a real place. Are you messing with me? You know what, never mind. I like you. I’ll just play along and nod before Googling this later.
2. "Wow but, your English is like, really good!"
Why thank you kind sir/madam. You too. I mean, we were colonised and conquered a few times, but the English really stuck - we found it went nicely with our passion for football and love for tea. Italian was a close second.
3. "So is that where Maltesers come from?"
There are two options here, depending on your sass or alcohol levels.
Option 1 (recommended): polite fake-laugh like you’ve never heard this God-awful joke before. Cut them some slack.
Option 2: speak our unofficial third language – heavy sarcasm. For extra ‘maaaaa’ factor, add an eyeroll. Use with caution.
4. "Wait, weren't you guys in that Panama thing?"
Well, technically yes.
But in our defence, we’ve done a lot of other, less-scandalous things. I mean, have you tried our pastizzi? Have you seen our capital city? We won that siege in 1565, got the George Cross for our bravery in World War II, and came second twice in the Eurovision thanks to icons Ira Losco and Chiara. Represent.
5. "Say something in Maltese!"
To which we inevitably respond with an incredible string of exotic-sounding swear words that you’ll probably wind up teaching them later (to varying degrees of success). Why is swearing in Maltese so satisfying?
6. What does mela mean?
This one happens with a lot of our conversational go-tos, including (but not limited to): u iva, u ejja, orrajt, ajma, and illallu. You can explain, but be prepared for the possibility of confusing people further.