After several years of being on the island, we have gathered some mutual Expats’ opinions while discussing things that we don’t like about the island. Don’t get us wrong; being here and living on this tiny little rock is our path and destiny during which we have certainly seen things that don’t make sense and bother us—a lot! Even though Malta is a great place to live, i.e., the quality of life is at a satisfactory level, we can still pinpoint a few things that do not apply anywhere in the countries where we came from.
It is unacceptable to throw garbage in front of doorsteps where you are living. Yes, garbage is being collected on a daily basis but almost every time not all the bags or leftovers are being picked up. On every corner, street and alley you can see and find garbage. What is even worse, you can see garbage and waste being thrown on the beaches and into the water. Yes, you could partially blame the ignorant tourists, but the problem here is in the mentality and primarily in self-awareness. You cannot treat the streets and the public areas as a garbage bin. We strongly doubt that you are addressing this during the early years of education. One can see the proof all around the island and the behavior of the Maltese.
2. Use of language.
We all know how much Maltese are proud of their country and their language. Hats off, you are the winners for being patriots and showing love for your country. But guys, speaking Maltese in an Expats inner circles is impolite. We’ve seen this behavior in almost every part of our life here. Whether it is an official company meeting, in grocery stores, hangouts, dinners, clubs etc… Stop doing it! It is rude and totally impolite speaking a foreign language in front of people who do not understand it. No matter how hostile or friendly you are – having just two persons speaking Maltese in front of a group of Expats makes it very uncomfortable for us. English is your second language, which you’ve been taught since primary school – use it no matter how incorrect or how badly you sound.
Speaking Maltese does not give you the liberty to bend the universal rules of respecting other people. Case in point–here there is a simple queue in the shops. Many times we’ve experienced some locals to break the rules by speaking Maltese and get a free pass and faster service. Why do you think that your time is more precious than ours? Yes, this is your country and your language that is spoken nowhere else, but, for the love of Christ, have a bit of dignity and respect other people who live here as well. Let’s not forget that we contribute in your public budget by paying taxes even higher than yours, pay for high rents and are being ripped off in every shop simply because we are foreigners and let’s not forget the utilities on which double standards are applied everywhere time and time again.
4. Perception of time
This is cultural shock number one for every Expat, who recently moved to Malta. Nothing seems to obey the time schedules specified in shops, bus stations, meetings…the list is huge! Time tables at bus stops are evidently there just to see the route. You can hardly see a Maltese driving a bus thus we share our experience as Expats in Malta. Coming to an unknown country, a fresh start of a new life’s chapter and you have to deal with the inconsistency of time perception. Being late is not responsible behavior but not showing up for an arranged meeting is totally unacceptable.
5. Pedestrians play a small part in the so-called traffic snarl.
Not every person that lives on the island has a car, at least not among the Expats who live in Malta. We strongly believe that this is not the case with the Maltese because you can hardly see more than one person driving a car. While you drive – there are these things called pedestrians, those are human beings—the same as you are behind that wheel of yours. Guess what, those human beings are called people and are part of the traffic as well. At some point in time you could yield the right of way and let people cross the street without hitting the horn. After several years of living in Malta – one cannot simply understand the driving behavior and the culture of driving. Please bear in mind that there often aren’t even sidewalks on the streets, so eventually, we need to share the road. Also, have you seen any zebra crosswalks for pedestrians near roundabouts lately? Probably not because there are none! So, lovely and friendly people of Malta, respect the pedestrians more and give way so they can safely cross the street without having to fear that they might get crushed or hit by a car.