Maltese people like to complain. Most of us don’t even realise we’re doing it because it is such an integral part of our communication. We use complaints as conversation starters and to build rapport (xi dwejjaq ta’ temp għidli!). But generally, just to vent.
Here are a few things Maltese people never tire of grumbling about.
Go to the bank at any given time on a Saturday morning and witness the power of the domino effect. 90% of the sounds you’ll hear are tutting, huffing and mumbling; ‘Is-Sibt u persuna waħda jdaħħlu? Pifff x’injoranza ta’ nies!’
The same goes for doctor’s waiting rooms. That smell, you ask? Eau de negativity.
2. Putting On Weight
Maltese people apparently put on weight simply by breathing.
Grace: ‘Ħxienli Sandro tiegħi. Ma nafx biex. Trid pastizz San?’
Sandro: ‘Mela ż***, garrali tnejn’.
3. Ajma Dahri
The ajma dahri is way more popular than any form of exercise in Malta will ever be.
Brenda: Ma titħajjarx tagħmel naqra yoga, Tess?’
Tessie: ‘Hux yoga yoga. Ħallini mill-yoga bħalissa, Bren’
A daily struggle. Traffic on your way to work, traffic after a five-minute drizzle, traffic when your bladder is about to burst on your way home after Christmas shopping. Traffic.
You curse the government, the transport minister, all the eighteen-year olds who’ve just got their license, life, the existence of schools and school buses, tourists. Basically anything and everything you come across.
‘Le x’carpool, carpool’
5. The Weather
A popular one everywhere in the world, I’d bet my left ear no nationality complains as much as the Maltese do about the weather. Be it summer or winter – there’s one for every season and anything in between.
‘Uff x’breakdown ta’ temp’
‘Ill ħanina kif sirt żibel, ħaqq l-umdità.’
‘Jien ir-riħ idejjaqni, mhux il-bard.’
‘Tiġix tgħidli, dix-xemx teqirdek eh.’
Cashiers not acknowledging you as you drum your fingers against the counter top, pondering removing the alarm tag yourself and pissing off without paying, having your bill and change slammed onto the table, having to beg for a refund for a service that left much to be desired. Having customer service agents answer calls with a ‘Yesss?‘, leaving you wondering whether Parseltongue actually exists. The list goes on and with them, the complaints.