7 Stages Every Maltese Voter Went Through Today
Hopefully, you've all fought the heat today and done your civic duty by going to vote for the good guys, whoever they may be. For those of you who did, here are the stages of the whole voting ordeal you inevitably experienced:
1. Everybody starts by asking themselves: Where the hell is Skola Primarja Dun Horace Fsadni t-Tieni?
So you've found out where the hell Skola Primarja Dun Horace Fsadni t-Tieni is thanks to Google Maps and you find yourself walking through the school, admiring the playground, theatre and children's artwork hanging on the walls, until your allocated room (and erba' uċuħ mdejqin) is in sight.
'Fi żmieni qas biċċa kartonċin imġiddma ma kienu jtuna!'
2. Once you get there, you spend the first few minutes sizing up everyone in the queue
You may have mastered the art of poker-facedom, but nothing stops you from not-so-subtly inspecting the fellow citizens standing before you in line and guessing which way they'll be voting. #IflihaBro
'Qas tidher lil min tivvota di...ara ż-żarbun.'
3. Then you're up and it feels like an X Factor Audition
You give your voting document to one of the four sitting on the panel in front of you and feel like you're auditioning for something you never signed up for. They say your name and surname, as well as some number which apparently represents you.
It is at this point that you experience momentary paranoia. Do they know who I am? Have they read my Facebook statuses? You're sure they have and two of four of them are judging you. Thankfully, they quickly find your prison mugshot face on a booklet, cross you off it and hand you the ballot sheet.
4. Now it's time to judge candidates based on their name, occupation, mugshot...
You walk to a free booth and open the paper. You immediately go for the side of the paper whose colour represents your party. You look at the long list of candidate names and realise you've never heard of half of them. The other half you have followed on Facebook and promised your number one vote to. You go through the unfamiliar names and judge them based on how appealing their names are and what it is they do for a living. If only someone had replied to my What Floats Your Vote submission!
'Social worker di, ħa ntiha n-number 5 miskina.'
5. Number panic! One, two, seven...
The moment of truth. You try to remember what the numbers on that Facebook pic you saw earlier on today looked like. Was number seven crossed? Was number eight formed by two or three circles on each other? At this point, your hands are as sweaty as Simon Busuttil's. Shit. My paper is going to be ruined as is the future of my country. All because of me.
'Qas fl-A'level tal-pure maths ma ċċekkjajt in-numri daqs m'għamilt illum.'Gareth
6. Small talk panic! "Aw bro"
On your way out of the room, you bump into your neighbour. Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind as a conversation starter is your vote, but there are people in the queue - sizing you up this time. Plus, you're not sure whether it is even legal to mention anything politics-related, and with the police around, you don't really want to pull a Daphne and risk getting arrested. So you opt for a 'Sħana tad-duluri illum hux?' and bid your farewells.
7. Then you do your good deed of the day
You inevitably come across someone looking lost, alternating between looking at their voting document and room signs.
'Room 218 fej jahbat ah, miss?'
You experience a split-second dilemma. You try to deduce whether they are supporters of your party or not, based on sound social and behavioural psychology experiments (i.e. patterns you've picked up from previous observations and partisan stereotypes). If your instinct tells you they're one of the 'good guys', you point them in the right direction. Otherwise, you send them on a detour around the school, hoping they will eventually give up and not vote.
Bonus: Planning for the worst
You stop at Gejtu's Gadgets and buy the most powerful headphones available in case your party doesn't win.
'F'****x il-carcaders t'għajni.'