Let’s face it, assuming climate change doesn’t suddenly speed up and send us hurtling towards extinction rather earlier than expected, the Maltese Islands are unlikely to ever have a White Christmas any time soon.
Which is why we absolutely love the idea of visiting a shimmering glittering winter wonderland… that is, until we finally get there. Here’s the nine thoughts Maltese people have when it comes to surviving in a sub-zero environment.
1. The Runway Excitement
You’re on final approach, about to land after a zillion-hour flight, and all you can see is snow – a giant white blanket as far as the eye can see. Gobsmacked glee and the usual rummaging for your Instagram shot is interrupted only by a vague wondering on whether aeroplanes can skid across a snowy runway.
2. The ‘Ġesù-Kristu-Ħanina‘ Effect
After the inevitable wait as a plane chock-full of impatient passengers frantically grabs their luggage, it’s finally happening: you’re walking towards the exit of the plane… the cabin crew have smiled and said their thank-yous and have-a-nice-days… you step out into the crisp white snowy- IL-ĠESÙ KRISTU ĦANINA KEMM HAWN BARD.
3. Wardrobe malfunction of the snowy kind
Nothing could have prepared you for the cold. Why on earth would you live in a place where your dressing routine constitutes a morning workout? From the Christmas catalogues you got in the post, to the cute jumper you got from Zara, you’re about well-dressed for a winter wasteland as a naked astronaut in deep space.
4. Relearning the definition of cold
Ah, the locals. You’ve met up, and made it painfully obvious you’re a born-and-bred-and-likely-never-to-leave-the-Mediterranean-ever-again national.
Us: “It’s so cold! What is it, -10 degrees?”
Them: “Oh, that’s nothing. It’ll be -30 tonight.”
5. The Mediterranean Constant
You can take the human out of the Mediterranean, but don’t you dare try and take the Mediterranean out of the human. Skating just isn’t in our blood, scarves are only useful in Azure Window storm-level weather, and don’t you dare try and tell us that it’s perfectly normal to have a wind chill of -27 degrees.
6. Understanding you may never feel your face again
It’s bloody cold. So cold, in fact, that your face is no longer burning from the icy wind but has rather turned to a literal frozen grimace. At this point you wonder whether the loss of sensation all across your cheeks and nose is a good sign or if you’re going home with a permanent resting bitch face.
7. The Extra-Food-Doesn’t-Count Theory
Mulled wine, cappuccinos, coffee, tea, mulled wine, hot soup, warm pastries, did we mention mulled wine? You’re safe in the knowledge that whatever you’re eating or drinking in this frigid country is helping you stay warm, so it won’t really make you fat. Science. That’s how it works. Right?
8. Resolve to never complain about the Malta’s climate
As your fingers begin to twitch despite the two gloves you bought at the winter store across your AirBNB, you make a mental note to never ever complain about the weather in Malta ever again. At least until August arrives.
9. The Sweet Relief factor
There’s nothing quite like landing back home, feeling Malta’s humidity hit you smack in the face as you get off the plane, and realising you are, in fact, still able to sweat.