Expats who live in Malta know that many Maltese tend to complain (or argue) about how crappy life on the island can be. While there are some valid reasons to be annoyed, all in all living in Malta excites much more than it depresses… and here’s why:
1. We can breathe outside the persistent duality
Laburisti vs Nazzjonalisti, ħamalli vs pepé, England vs Italy, Juve vs Manchester United, North vs South, Malta vs Gozo… the list goes on.
To an outsider, there is more choice than just two options for anything. An expat can even express their opinion freely without anyone suspecting they’re conspiring with either of the two sides
2. We’re often less ‘foreign’ than the Maltese
A native to Hamrun is a foreigner in Sliema. A native to Attard feels alien in Qormi. It’s simpler to just be a foreigner everywhere. “Go back to your country” is only a joke, right? Please say yes.
3. We know a few Maltese phrases and everyone loves it
“Mela, ta, madoff!” Just saying any short phrase in Maltese will excite all your local friends (and strangers) making you feel you’re a lot better at the language than they let on.
Also, knowing a few key words allows your creativity to run wild with the Maltese version of swearing (seriously, guys, you do it in style) yet it’s not enough to fully grasp discussions fellow bus travelers engage in. The perfect case of blissful ignorance. Tal-biza!
4. We don’t get invited to a lot of weddings
And from what we’ve seen/heard that is definitely a positive. Maltese weddings are amazing, but having 12 barely-acquaintance weddings in one season is a bit much.
5. We don’t need to fit into social bubbles
Today we can celebrate a village festa, tomorrow – attend a talk at Blitz. This can be followed by a concert at the Manoel or a book launch at some bohemian bar, all before pretending to be a hippie for a couple of days at Earth Garden.
We expats can go to things simply because we think they’re fun. To us, interesting events are just interesting events, with no political or class labels attached.
6. We were spared the torments of church schooling
The sight of a nun does not leave us in flashes of fury and memories from the scary, old school days. It’s not just church schools though. To an expat, Malta is free from the bad memories local children and teens may have passed through in their school days. This sort of thing happens everywhere, but at least we’re not forced to remember being bullied every time we walk by a specific location.
7. We don’t have to prove anything to anyone
We don’t need to flaunt degrees or career achievements to convince the established clusters that we can be worth something. Nor do we feel the need to announce we’re super alternative cause we “read books”, “watch films” and “like culture”.
We can get away with doing something solely because we think it’s cool, without making a fuss about it – and that’s so liberating.
8. We’re aware of how lucky we are to be expats
As expats we feel so free in Malta, yet a part of us always knows it would not have been the case had we been born, or grown up, in Malta. It’s also a totally different story for the refugees.
As people who’ve moved away from their home country to live on this beautiful island, we also appreciate the advantages of the EU citizenship way more than the locals do.