“Living in Malta means to accept mold”
Mold. Everybody knows what it looks like. Now I, too, know what it feels like to suffer its effects. For me it seems to be about a very burning sensation in my eyes. Watery eyes. I have a blocked nose most of the time. I feel a bit lethargic.
I was wondering why, ever since I came to Malta, I have felt this way to a higher or lower degree. I think I have figured it out now.
When I lay in my bed and look at the dark grey dots in the ceiling, I wonder if they aren´t the smooth criminals causing it.
Humidity and engineering
The majority of flats is infested with mold, if I may use a term like that. Malta is simply moldy. The humidity and the way they build the flats equals mold. I won´t say it´s exclusive – it is a common problem in many other countries, too.
I will just say that it´s inevitable, screwed up and a pity, which is far from filing a real complaint.
The denying architect
My friend moved to a nice flat with her lovely family. The landlord is very nice, she says, but there´s an unusual thing about him; namely, although he is an architect he seems to be oblivious of mold.
”Nooooo that´s not mold at all”, he told my friend.
”That´s not mold”, he confirmed. ”We will just come and paint soon, and the problem will be gone”.
My friend said that the moldy patches in the ceiling are located right above the washing machine and tumble drier. Why wouldn´t it be mold, she says, when it looks like mold and is situated where mold would be, ie where there is humidity.
”Nooo, it isn´t due to the washing machine or tumble drier, no. It comes from outside, because it´s near the windows, but it isn´t mold”, her landlord had said.
I wonder what he thinks it is. Mascara for ceilings? The darker side of the ceiling personality? Fume stains maybe, from car exhaust pipes. Or mini-bats small as dust, hanging from the ceiling in thousands and just appearing to be mold.
Deal or not to deal
Obviously, adding another layer of paint on top of the existing one is how landlords deal with mold here. Or rather, the health hazard previously known as mold.
Where I come from, they tear walls down and examine water pipes and make huge and costly repairs. At least the plumbers and other handymen are kept busy and in business.
I just don´t know how to deal with my burning eyes and blocked nose. Simply stick with it as there is no alternative here, or complain and notice it even more, or try to move to another flat, or what. It’s a situation where little else helps than saying let´s see.Mold just doesn´t belong in human dwellings unless they are caves. Yet living in Malta is the same as living in a modern-day cave.