Ask anyone who’s been here more than five minutes to describe the Maltese and you’re likely to get a number of stock answers. Loud, friendly, welcoming, really loud. Most people would consider these pretty good qualities to have, particularly in a place where there are plenty of tourists about who need directions to the nearest Neolithic temple.
But for the introverts? Well, it can get a little daunting sometimes. Here’s why.
1. You will feel out of your depth about 90% of the time
Maltese gatherings are often long, loud affairs. The Maltese themselves have no qualms about sharing really intimate details about their lives with people they just met. When you’re an introvert, both these facts strike fear into your heart. You do develop coping mechanisms eventually but it’s likely you will never be completely comfortable at big events.
2. You probably never understood the appeal of Paceville
A place that destroys your eardrums and makes it impossible to have a one-to-one conversation, while forcing you into painfully close proximity to drunk teenagers? Yay, said no introvert, ever.
3. Making friends can be difficult
While this is probably true for introverts all over the world, Maltese introverts have it a little harder. I mean look at how well we adapt to change! Here, where everyone is tightly bound to one social group or another, making friends can be an uphill battle for someone who finds it hard to chat with people they don’t know. You may have to come to terms with another handy label…
4. You’ll be called a stramb/a…
Maybe it’s because we tend to avoid unnecessary social interactions with strangers. Maybe it’s our appreciation for alone time or our perfect contentment with spending hours with a book. If you haven’t been called (to your quickly reddening face or otherwise) a stramb or stramba, you haven’t levelled up yet.
… and you’ll stand out.
In a beautifully ironic contradiction, you’ll get as much social attention as an introvert as you would if you were… well, normal. Maltese people are fascinated by us. How can you not love rowdy family gatherings? What do you mean, you’ve never been to a marc ta’ fil-ghodu to get absolutely trash-canned on warm Cisk and someone else’s perspiration?
We also stick out because those hours spent in the company of Skyrim and Tolkien have done nothing for our complexions and scientists have yet to find a name for the brilliant white colour of our skin.
5. You’re full of surprises
Just because you don’t say much doesn’t mean you’re not interesting. Well, duh, we could have told you that, if we weren’t so busy keeping to ourselves. Occasionally, you’ll get the chance to absolutely blow someone’s mind when you crack a joke or deliver a particularly vicious burn. You’re welcome, unsuspecting acquaintances.