January 21, 2014

Malta wrap up

back from Malta. back to normal. which means i wake up to a txt that my student is canceling todays class. well, every job has its pros and cons, for sure. and while on Malta another student informed me that she finally decided to go to England for an intensive English course. so that was that with her then. im happy she gets to go there of course but the "traffic" of students and volatility of the job is tiring. yet i do enjoy teaching a lot. but so, today is a good day to put up a new ad then, look for additional jobs online (translation etc), clean around home and go get a haircut. while wearing my new boots :)

Malta was a nice short escape. its got plenty of culture, beautiful views and history - all in a small package. and other cliches. i think its good for partying teenagers as there is a big and loud club scene in one area, but also nice for those who just want a peaceful stroll by the seaside while staring at old buildings.

the food is good (pasta, pizza, mediterranean cuisine) and liquor cheap. thanks to the small population the shopping options are limited and public transportation (bus) even more so. for someone who is not fond of walking the island presents some challenges. the hilly streets of Valletta and Sliema are pretty through, and oh so quiet. Valletta is the capital and its population is under 7000, so, i guess that explains. tourism is very visible naturally, u hear swedish and russian and even turkish here and there. the locals speak both English and Maltese, the latter sounding like a mix of Russian & Polish. understandable, since the land has been sweeped over by many empires. officially i think Maltese is related to Arabic.

there are barely any supermarkets, people shop in small corner stores that give plastic bags without handles. credit cards are not accepted everywhere, or have a minimum of 5 or 10 euros. the taxis are modern and trustworthy but meters are not used, the prices are fixed. interesting concept. i found the service to be overall good & friendly, i think it comes from the country being under the british rule...(because i paid attention to waiters coming and asking "is everything good?" etc - not a mediterranean custom i think). i dont think UK is known for amazing service, but everything is relative. if u experience the rude waiters in Paris or Rome, then.

my hosts Paavo and Elisa also took me to Mdina, ancient walled town on a hill. the atmosphere there really is like u were in another century, empty walled corridors and no ads or noise. apparently the city also held up against an attack from the turks :D and we visited the cliffs at the opposite side of the island. the views from there are rough and impressive.

weather was ok, a couple degrees higher than back home, around 15-18 degrees. but maybe due to wind it felt chilly. overall its a cutesy, peaceful place but for someone who is not fond of walking and had an aching knee, it was not ideal.

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