The weekly blog series #effitfriday by Modern Dad Pages and Life With Baby Kicks showcases posts by bloggers who want to have a bit of a rant – funny or serious – about anything they want. Up til now, I’ve dug up something from my archives but this time I wrote something specifically for #effitfriday. Will it bring on some haters? Maybe. Do some things need to be said instead of always being politely suppressed out of fear of offending? Definitely. So if this loses me a few readers, so be it.
Here’s the thing. Many people know how positive I am about Malta. I’ve sung her praises in 30 Things That Make Me Happy, Should I Stay or Should I Go, my instagram pics and Facebook posts. Overall, I am grateful for the life I am able to live in Malta. An average of 300 days of sunshine, a safe environment, a house 100 metres from the sea…we left London behind and have never regretted it. I am blessed. I know this. And frankly, I think, when you choose to live in a country that you did not grow up in, you try to show respect towards and appreciation of that country. After all, I guess if you don’t like it…
I know no country is perfect. Every country has its negative aspects. But the negative aspects are starting to get me down a bit. You can’t tar an entire country’s people with the same brush of course. There are wonderful reasonable open-minded level-headed people here. So I’m sorry if I put anyone’s few noses out of joint, but it’s time for an #effitfriday rant about my adoptive country, this mad dusty little rock I’ve called home for almost ten years:
Dear Malta, when you leave a pushchair/washing machine/rusty bike/plastic bottles etc on the side of a road or on a picturesque path or you get up from a beach/picnic area leaving coffee cups, beer bottles, plates and napkins strewn across the area where you were sitting, you depress me with your utter disrespect for the environment when your own houses are spotlessly clean.
Dear Malta, when the fishmonger at that supermarket shouts at me, brings the whole shop to a standstill, reduces me to tears in front of my girls, causes the manager to get involved begging the fishmonger to serve me and begging me not to make a formal complaint (!), you make me question how some people are just so damned pigheaded and horrible.
Dear Malta, when your drivers, knowingly come the wrong way down a one-way road towards me, refusing to reverse even though they are stopping me from driving the correct way up the road and become aggressive when I point out their ‘error’ – day after day after effing day – you test my ability to understand humans who cannot/will not acknowledge their wrong doing.
Dear Malta, when I go to a wedding and a friend makes no secret of her distaste at ‘the immigrant’ situation and complains loudly – from her privileged vantage point over champagne and canapés – about how she has stopped going to her favourite vegetable shop as it is full of “****ing Arabs”, you make me question how humankind is so unable to empathise with others who endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy that causes them to flee their own country.
Dear Malta, when I finally get to go out for a much needed night out, drive around for ages and grab what seems to be the only parking spot only to get verbally abused by a Neanderthal shouting “Move your car” – and then once I’ve moved on to another spot get abused again by the same driver slowing down to yell “This is MY country, not YOUR country”…you kill me with your racist narrow mindedness.
Dear Malta, when I stand in a queue at the supermarket, shortly before I need to collect my kids, and a women in front of me who had only one basket in her hand then calls her husband over who rocks up with an entire trolley (and I start to ask “Ah which queue were you in?” only to get as far as “Ah” before said woman jumps down my throat in the ugliest most aggressive mannerless way, you make me wonder how the younger generation will learn how to conduct themselves.
Dear Malta, when your customer service is so lacking that the customer feels like they are a burden and you are doing them an enormous favour by eventually giving them a menu/stopping your conversation with your colleague to bark “Yes!” instead of “Hello how can I help?”/slamming their change down on the checkout ignoring the customer’s outstretched hand, you puzzle me as to how you still have soooo much to learn, years after you got into the EU and years after you might have learned something from us foreigners’ reaction to such customer service.
Dear Malta, when you constantly use the word ‘foreigner’, not realising how offensive it is to every expat living (and spending money) on your island (and when you try to get away with charging me “foreigners’ prices for my fruit and veg etc) you dishearten me and make me wonder why you insist on encouraging this divide.
Dear Malta, when you ignore sense, humanity and the conservation issue and let a referendum through that allows the barbaric shooting of birds during a two week period in their critical breeding season, where the poor dears are merely passing through your country as they migrate to other places, you leave me speechless at your cold-heartedness.
Dear Malta, out of respect, I’ve written nothing like this in 19 months of blogging. But respect is a two way thing…and it needs to be earned… So please, Malta, stop breaking my heart.