As the nation tuned into Malta’s Got Talent last night, one contestant represented the island’s most hated minority to a T.
During his accent-impression act, 27-year-old Bruce Micallef Enyaud represented the whole tal-pepe community when Judge Maxine Aquilina asked “Where are you from, Bruce?”
“I’m Maltese, he replied. “I’m just really Pepe.”
In light of this universal interaction, here are nine more experiences that are bound to happen when you’re like, really pepe, maaa.
1. Everyone thinking you’re foreign even when you’re literally in your own country.
All Pepes are treated like foreigners in Malta – whether it’s our comrade Bruce on Malta’s Got Talent, at a bar, at school, the post office, even your neighbours of 20 years think you’re a barranija.
“Are you British?”
“I was literally born next door.”
2. Having to explain the North-South divide in Malta to foreigners.
“Ok, so basically, I don’t speak Maltese because, like, in the North we exclusively speak English in this weird hybrid accent,” you say, waiting for your mother to pick you up from yoga in her SUV with your Dr. Juice order.
“I know, it’s weird like, but that’s how it is here. My Nanna and Nannu can speak Maltese but they use it to gossip about us because we don’t understand. What time are pres tonight, babe?”
3. Being patronised by everyone not from Sliema when speaking Maltese…
Can someone explain to me why you think cooing and pinching our cheeks when we say literally anything in Maltese is going to encourage us to try? It’s not our fault we can’t roll the r’s in karozza.
We can still swear though… and that’s what really matters, ay?
4. …but still shitting on everyone not from Sliema
Ok, so everyone hates us, but we also hate them.
5. Thinking everywhere beyond Valletta is the South.
I’ve heard of a Slimiż who ventured passed Valletta once. We saw him three days later in a wife-beater tank top and a gold chain. He kept saying “X’Għadna?” to anyone that passed.
6. Being fluent in another foreign language over Maltese.
The tal-pepe clan all go to Malta’s finest independent schools, so our foreign language teachers are like, the best. Now, we can converse with a French person about food or an Italian about politics, but don’t expect us to say anything in Maltese, ever. Thanks.
7. Feeling patriotic ordering pastizzi at Serkin.
After a (socially-distanced) night out, it’s time to feel Maltese and grab some pastizzi from is-Serkin. We feel so good after passing as a local by ordering in Maltese, but not before posting it on all your socials to show how #authentic you are.
8. Feeling sorry for yourself in the pandemic.
No more Aperol Spritzes in your favourite rooftop bars. No more last-minute yacht trips with Daddy or impulsive weekenders with Bexi, Lexi, Chrissy and Luke up to Monte Carlo. I know – it’s hard.
9. Only feeling Maltese when you’re abroad.
Malta’s language and culture divides don’t matter when you’re abroad, because at the end of it all, we’re all the same weird island people.
The Malta’s Got Talent incident is just a splinter of all the hardships Tal-Pepe people have to live through on a daily basis. On behalf of the community, I’d like to give thanks to Bruce for shedding light on the issue.
Tag the most pepe person you know