With so many cars on the road, traffic isn’t Malta’s only problem. Once you’ve (finally) reached your destination, you’ve got a whole other wegħda to make if you hope to find a legal spot to park your car.
As with most things in Malta, the hunt comes with a few unique characters who make the experience that much more interesting.
1. The Old Helper
When an old man sees you indicate towards a parking space within 100m of his location, he’ll hobble over to try his best to help you. The result of this is always one of two things happening:
He’ll tell you to keep reversing even after you hit the car behind you, with a silent chuckle and a ‘mhux għalekk qedin il-bumpers?’
Or he’ll scream ‘Woah woahhhh WOAH!!’ while you could still fit a baby elephant between your car and the one behind you.
2. The I-Don’t-Trust-You Bag Fiddler
Are you parking near someone who also just parked? Enjoy the extra pressure as they pretend-rummage through their bags, the whole time glaring at you as you approach the invisible bubble surrounding their automobile.
3. The ‘Sorry, Daqt Ġej Ir-Raġel’
If you see a nice, clear parking space with a woman (probably in her PJs and/or curlers) standing in it – know that a polite honk is not going to cut it. She is there as a human bollard, preventing you from taking what their family believes to be their rightful spot.
4. The Brick That Means ‘Sorry, Daqt Ġej Ir-Raġel’
Like the obedient wife above, with less curlers, and more ‘fuck your car up’ if you tried to take it.
WARNING: Brick may be replaced by: wooden palette, bucket, stolen traffic cone or sack of sand.
5. The Last-Minute Dasher
Having clearly never seen a horror movie where an actor gets disgustingly squashed in two between a car crash, these daredevils always decide to dash for the pavement right between you and the car you were about to swiftly reverse towards.
6. The Smug SoB
You turned left, they turned right. You’re both back on the same road but they’re ahead of you. They indicate. They park.
You drive by as they give you the facial expression equivalent of a middle finger.
7. The Family Of 50
Someone is leaning into their car… and tying up a child! Huzzah, there will be parking available soon. But as they reach in to tie one more child, fix their bonnet, feed them a jar of mushy peas, read them a bedtime story and help them study for their O’Levels… you realise this may not have been the space you hoped it would be.
Bonus: The (actual) Parker
There isn’t really much to add to the never-ending discussion about Malta’s parker-plague. But they are a unique aspect of parking life in Malta.