In fits and starts: Malta in february – First part

In fits and starts: Malta in february – First part

I’ve been to Malta for (what I like to consider) the first time, few days ago, in between the end of a week of february and the beginning of the following one. Malta in february, people say the worst period to visit it.

Actually to me the best period to visit a place is often comfortably beaten by the right period for me to go somewhere, so I basically take things as they come. “What the heck have you been doing in Malta in february?” included.

For this purpose I’d like to say two things: first, everybody made me exactly the same question, only changing “heck” according to their French level; second I still have to figure out why if during winter I travel to colder places it is socially accepted, however if I go where temperature are warmer, but not reaching 30°C, I am a crazy person.

So, what have I been doing in Malta in february?

A shi*.

As you can see, my French level is almost mothertongue.

Waiting for answers that were late to arrive, facing answers I wasn’t waiting for and that would have never arrived. At the mercy of more or less common wistfulness and willing to keep away my laptop for few days, i decided it was the right time to take a break.

I checked the flights available from the small airport close to my hometown. Not so many options, but I wanted to take it easy for once.

Malta, Gozo and Comino.

The idea was giving myself a couple days of relax, in solitude. In practice, the will to explore was so strong that every night I was coming back to my hotel room exhausted. But it was relaxing somehow, every person has his/her own way, isn’t it?

My journey started in the early morning, when a bus took me to the nearest city, where I would have got on a train to the city where the airport is, that I would have reached by another bus.

Yes, this is the nearest airport.

Between the first bus and the train I had enough time to have breakfast in a bar. The same haunted as a high school student and that gives you the perfect vibe almost every time. While I was ordering my cappuccino and croissant, I couldn’t imagine I was almost to feel the vibe again.

I give 5 euros to the bartender, take my order and turn towards a free table. Next to me an eccentric 40ish man is taking a close look to some flyers on the bar counter. “Look, here for Valentine’s day couples have 30% discounts!”

I was still waling to my table, while he kept on saying loud “The miss didn’t get it, I guess!”

Ah, so he wasn’t talking to the bartender as few minutes ago.

I come back to the counter to take my change. “So, shall we go together here for Valentine’s day, so we get also a discount?”

On the train I add I’m gonna be (500 miles) by The Procalimers to my Spotify playlist and I found out laughing all alone.

You can understand my laugh, only if you Have Met These Guys

Once in the hotel, I was thinking to take a walk around St. Julian and then going to have dinner in the place one of my maltese friends suggested me. However, once there thinking about a bath in hot water while drinking a glass of wine and listening to relaxing music won.

[I know, I promote eco-friendly behavior and you halso may have read here that it is always better to rather take a shower instead of having a bath. But I have rather gone for showers always, for 11 years more or less, so…]

However things happen in life. In this case maybe the corkscrew of the hotel was a bad one, or my strenght was the bad one, or I just had some bad luck. The fact remains that I could have just dreamt of that glass of wine while enjoying my bath. That damn stopper didn’t want to hear a word about going up, neither about going down. It was just stuck in the bottle, leaving me with a big dilemma: should I abandon this bottle on the table, letting it watching and judging me every morning when I leave the room and every night when I came back or should I collect a bunch of goofs and go downstairs to the bar of the hotel and ask the bartender to kindly open the bottle for me?

I am against waste, you know that. So I hide put the bottle in a fabric bag, and reach the elevator pressing the button that would have taken me to groun 0, that was also the level of my dignity at the moment.

Did you know Malta has these too?

Mdina is a silent city. I read about it in different blogs, but couldn’t really imagine how much, until I walked by. After all, how could you express silence by using words?

Among the solo travel issues, there’s the one about pictures. Either you take snaps where you don’t show, or you trust stangers photography skills, often settling for arguable results.

What about trying with a tripod, a camera and self-timer? First answer: no, I am ashamed. After a while answer: yesterday you brought a supermarket bottle of wine to a bartender in a hotel which has Spa and asked to open it. You can do it.

So two cannons grab my attention: you will be the chosen ones. I set the camera and the tripod, set the timer, run towards the cannons. In the right moment, three girls are walking in between me and the camera. Two of them notice it and stop straight. The third one doesn’t and keep on walking. The two call her, but she turns towards them with a tricky face that could be universally translated as “I know and I am doing it on purpose!”

My face in the picture is not one of my best, but honey, you’re not in it, ha!

There are so many things I would like to say about social media, about what they create and what they destroy, about how we perceived their being necessary, about what we realize when we don’t miss them. What Malta told me about social media is that sometimes I am suspicious about them and sometimes not and those are the times which should grow in number because it is how I met Giorgia. A girl whom I had some talks with on Instagram and that instead of simply meet me in person for a coffe, took her car and drove me around the island. Thanks to her I visited places i would have surely missed.

I get on the bus that brings me back to St. Julian from Mellieha, only one free seat. “May I?” The guy I am talking to doesn’t even look at me and turns his face. I shrug and have a seat.

In the meanwhile he move himself to a fetal position: doesn’t look to anyone neither through the window. He’s wearing a windcheater with that kind of hooks that you can adjust by a string. I almost feel like I’m invading his space, I was doing something wrong by sitting there.

He didn’t move for about 10 minutes, gaze straight to the floor, body bended and his head laying on the bus wall. I understand we are approaching his stop because he is not asking me to let him pass, but does a sudden movement and went to a proper sit position, watching at the same time the window and the door of the bus. I stand up, he press the “stop” button. He doesn’t look at me, nor anyone else and gets off. I keep on watching him by the window while he pull the strings so much that the hook almost covers his face. The same motionless and empty expression he had while I was getting on the bus.

In my mind I tell him I’m sorry.

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