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Weird Maltese Quirks – An Expat’s View

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Malta is an incredible place to live and work, and there are hundreds of reasons why so many young professionals from around the world flock here to enjoy their mid-twenties. Whether they work in iGaming, finance or tourism, foreigners are here to stay for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, what do the international workforce make of some of the quirkier Maltese customs?

1. Change in shops

There are few things more frustrating than going into a Maltese shop, handing your money to the shopkeeper, holding out your hand for your change only for the shopkeeper to drop the money straight on to the counter (and often the floor).

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2. Reliance on Pastizzi

Don’t get me wrong, expats love pastizzi almost as much as the Maltese…almost. 

Whether it’s seeing a group Maltese guys stuffing their faces with pastizzi after stumbling out of Clique at 8am on a Sunday morning, or an athletic Maltese woman enjoying a pastizz on her way home from the gym, there is something uplifting about the Maltese love for the pastry. Tall or small, fat or skinny, young or old, y’all just can’t get enough of that greasy goodness.

3. “Hop in, I’ll give you a ride home.”

When socialising with Maltese you’re almost certainly guaranteed a ride home. That’s great, especially when you’re coming back from St Peter’s Pool on a Saturday afternoon, but when seven people are squeezing in to a battered old Ford Fiesta at 6am outside Numero Uno, it’s probably time to call eCABS.

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4. Hating Paceville

Mela, I never go to Paceville anymore. It’s full of kids ta.” So says every Maltese person over the age of 25. Despite this, if you head for Hugo’s on any given Friday or Saturday night, chances are you’ll bump into every single one of your Maltese co-workers drunk, dancing, and loving life.

5. “You know who Michael tal-Patata is?”

The answer to this question is usually no, but once we’ve checked him out on YouTube we can’t get enough of him. That man has potato blood in his veins and he’s damn proud of it!

6. Bells and fireworks

Seriously?! What is it with the elaborate firework displays at 7am on a Sunday morning? Can’t you just wait until New Year’s Eve and Halloween to traumatise the many dogs on the island?

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7. Kinnie

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that no Maltese person actually enjoys drinking Kinnie. Although no Malti will ever admit it due to national pride.


8. Queueing

The Maltese have a very peculiar style of queueing, whether it be at an ATM or in a Supermarket. There is no real structure or logic to a Maltese queue. It is up to you to remember your place in line and to be brave (or stupid) enough to tell a 70-year-old Maltese lady that she is skipping you. 


Joking aside, the Maltese people are some of the friendliest in the world, which is clear from the fact that so many expats socialise with Maltese unlike in many other countries. Foreigners love living here and we’re lucky enough that we’re generally met with warm acceptance. Well, warm enough, until we start overcrowding your favourite beaches this summer. 

Never change Malta. Never change.

READ NEXT: 27 Reasons Why You Have To Visit Malta Right Now

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