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.
[…] is where my eyes and heart don’t hurt over the lack of regard for the environment on pretty much a daily basis. […]
Wow, I have just read all the comments (yep, all of them, it’s been a quiet afternoon…..).
I am a British born Maltese (both parents) and currently living here in Malta. Funnily enough, I never truly knew how British I was until I came to live in Malta. I identify with your blog because the same things blow my mind – in fairness I have never been shouted at by a shopkeeper and if they did shout at me, I would throw my British reservations aside and tell them where to stick it! Customer Service is generally renowned as being crap but I have had only one episode where service was atrocious – by a sullen girl that clearly couldn’t be bothered to be at work that day. I also don’t drive because their driving skills (or lack of) terrifies me. I find their reckless attitude to driving scary and tiresome but sadly I don’t think it will ever change. The attitude to the environment also makes me sad and frustrated but I actually remember it as being much worse, so let’s be thankful for small mercies.
The thing that gets to me most though, is the small-island mentality. The Maltese are renowned for being proud, stubborn and in-ward looking. Not everyone, of course, but it is something of a national trait. I have known it all my life and moving here reaffirmed that to me. Don’t ever suggest to a Maltese person that you know of a better/more professional way to do something because you will be, quite literally, sent to hell. Don’t ever express a different opinion either, just don’t go there. But if you meet the good ones (as I am sure you have), they will quite literally offer you the shirt off their back and feed you until you burst (one of their more generous qualities) 🙂
Like you, sometimes all this shit gets me down and I try even harder to weigh up the positives. But, in life you make your choices. I liked your post, it was honest, refreshing and I don’t believe it was remotely offensive. You have lived here for 10 years, contributed to Malta’s community and economy, why should you be shouted down from expressing your well-informed opinion?
When you are having one of those days though, remember that Malta has on average 300 days of sun, and life is always more bearable when the sun is shining! Pour yourself a glass of wine, eat some hobs-biz-zejt/pastizzi and enjoy all that this unique, crazy, beautiful, nutty little island has to offer.
Take care and please continue to write excellent blogs. 🙂
Aaah I know that magic number of sunny days all too well and that’s just it isn’t? One of the things that keeps us, well me anyway, here. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this comment (and really…you read ALL the others? Wow…best reader medal!). This island definitely has its faults but you make your choices in life as you say. Thank you for the very kind words about the blog.
time has past a bit, but no change on the maltese behavior.
school registration (privat) was a fight, landlord was a fight, getting appointments set is a fight, public transport & taxi is a fight, shopping in the supermarket often becomes a fight,,
on and on this takes a lot of energy, not shure if its worth to go through for long time.
we lose the faith in our wonderful island…so sad…
Thanks for the comment. It is sad but at least we have the sun!
To start off with, I only got half way through all the comments but read enough of them to know that the points in your article are justified. I have had the opportunity to travel and live in a few different countries and never have I come across such a narrow minded country, not to mention utter rudeness and at times sheer stupidity. However, I have come across Maltese people who are kind, generous and understanding but those people are few and far in between. Someone passed a sarcastic comment about Malta having a high tourist rate, believe me, Malta has a reputation in other countries but none that I have heard are positive.
What upsets me the most is having to hear time and time again, “if you don’t like it then leave” instead of working on the problems just walk away from them? How does that work? Also who are you to tell anyone to “go back to their country”? Isn’t everyone paying taxes??? How would you know what situation one is in? Maybe they would like to leave but can’t financially maybe due to the fact that they can hardly get by with the wages Malta pays! Pure ignorance at it’s best and in all honesty, it is a childish comeback to an honest critique.
A comment about the Maltese not even being capable of hurting an ant!!! That was just comical. Everywhere I go people are always screaming at each other or about to get into a physical altercation. Am lucky enough to be able to say that I have finally moved to a town where people genuinely seem to be nicer. I’ve had to move several times due to locals that “can’t hurt an ant” trying to poison my dogs, constantly keying our car, purposely littering in front of our door and then complaining about it, even going as far as smearing faeces across the common areas just to pick a fight and cause hassle. I’ve been insulted in the most obscene ways imaginable, people have tried to mug me and the list goes on. This is only a fraction of my experiences.
I don’t understand comparing yourselves to these other counties, it is pointless. I don’t care about England, France, Japan or Jamaica! I live on this island and am not going anywhere anytime soon just like you. Is it too much to ask to just be respectful to one another and together, as a nation work on the faults to better the island?
My heated rant is now over, take it as you will.
Oh my goodness Lorin your experiences make mine pale in comparison! Thanks for the comment.
Great post. Why shouldn’t you be honest about the things that bug you about where you live. I love the UK but then spend alot of time moaning about certain things, I think we’re all like that to a degree. Living 100 meters from the sea sounds pretty amazing though 🙂 Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst hope you’ll pop by again!
Thanks Helen. Exactly! x
Great post!Shocked to read some of the narrow minded comments you’ve been getting!We could all write a post just like it about our different countries and let’s be honest it’s highly likely that the “foreigners” would get blamed for it everywhere.Why people just be more open-minded is beyond me!#bestandworst
It beggars belief really. Thanks for reading.
Lots of privileged people complaining about immigrants here too – and I also hate the lack of empathy being shown. That supermarket queue trick is so cheeky – I’d be annoyed! #bestandworst
Thanks. I know… 🙁
Oooo Prabs, you have hit a nerve with this post! It took me about five minutes to scroll through all the comments to get here. Sounds like Malta is dealing with some serious issues. I wouldn’t like to deal with all of that confrontation! Good luck, I hope it’s not always like that.
Well it’s the Mediterranean…’passionate’ people shall we say.
Hi Prabs, Judging by the very lengthy list of comments on here your post has certainly generated some debate! When we go on holiday to places like Malta or the Canary Islands, or some equally sunny and sandy destinations that holiday makers flock to for a fortnight a year (if they are lucky) you often dream about how nice it would be to up sticks and move there. What we holiday makers fail to realise is that expat life isn’t just a long holiday, it is life and life has its ups and downs and its trials and tribulations. I think because you have lived in a number of different places you are more able to identify and question the advantages and disadvantages of each. Great post. I really enjoyed reading.
Thanks Pen! You’re absolutely right. x
WOW!!! It took me almost a day just to get to the bottom of the page to post this comment!! Great post! I think wherever you live, you will have things that annoy you. When I visit India, I come back fuming (for so many of the same reasons that get to you about Malta). And when I lived in Hong Kong, I loved it, but there were still things about the local Hong Kong people that would drive me insane. It didn’t mean I wanted to up and leave. We’re all allowed to get annoyed about the state of the country we live in. I think far too many people are being far too sensitive by leaving you some of the awful comments they have! #wineandboobs
Thanks Natasha. Yes exactly no country is perfect. Which I said. Some people just don’t register what a writer is trying to say. Hey ho. C’est la vie. Thanks for reading. #wineandboobs
Dear Madam, I am a Maltese woman, living in England to be exact Manchester for the past 8 years but visiting HOME each year. I have seen the drastic change and it is sad knowing my people to be so kind and of welcoming nature to turn into racist people. I do agree with almost everything you said on your blog but was extremely offended with the comment of “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.”
One thing I want to make very clear that we did not need the EU or any foreigner to teach us anything because if you know anything about our history we have always been oppressed and used by foreigners but we still fought and got out of it by our own fighting spirit. If you thing that my family and I as foreigners are being treated any different by the “British”… well guess what we’re not. We moved to the UK when my eldest son was 10 years old, from the age of 10 till the age of 14 he was beaten both in school and on the road, left unconscious on the pavement and called PAKI nonstop (so much for educated people, PAKIS/ MALTESE?????… Can’t get my head around it, please educate me.) We reported all this to the police and as they are racist too they did nothing about it but victimised my son even more until he couldn’t take it anymore and beat one of the boys that was harassing him in the presence of witnesses. Again guess what happened? My son was reprimanded and no action was taken against the British boy who racially abused him.
As for customer service in shops, it’s a disgrace, no one wants to help or work if anything and as exactly as you have said, “They act as if they are doing you a favour by serving you,” Though I must say I have never experienced that in Malta except by foreign waiters who know absolutely nothing about our culture and put too many airs up thinking that somehow they are better.
If you had come to Malta a couple of years before, just before Malta joined the EU you would have been able to understand the Maltese better and the cause of their frustration. Saying this I do not condone their actions towards foreigners as I happen to be married to a foreigner, to be exact, an African and had experienced such behaviour first hand but people have changed because they can’t take this invasion anymore. Malta is small and was always overcrowded but now it’s become worse than China as there is no room for expansion. But the main reason that people are frustrated is the way the foreigners are behaving, none are ready to adapt to our culture, everyone is trying to turn our country into their own especially the muslims, they want to behave the way they did in their third world country mentality where unfortunately there is no regard to LAW and other humans and as for the Europeans like you, they go about all puffed up, thinking in some ways that are superior than us. Why don’t you try to learn something from us instead??? Or do Like I am going to, seeing that I believe my country is much better than yours I will be returning home very soon and advise anybody that think the UK is somehow better, that they are very much mistaking.
As for all those foreigners like Al Atkins and other like him who think we are jealous of you because you come and buy properties, sorry to disappoint you but we’re not. We’ve always been a hard working nation and we’ll continue to do so. What we are angry about is that, since Malta joined the EU and after the invasion of people like you, things are getting harder for young people to get their own homes or start renting because the property market has gone mad and as we believe in family values it is getting harder for someone to be able to start a family and have time for that family when both parents have to work 2 jobs each just to be able to pay rent and make ends meet.
Trudy that is awful about your son. I am of Asian origin…I grew up in the UK in the 70’s…so yes been there! And yes of course the UK has its problems. EVERY country has its problems. That’s just it! Some people missed me saying no country is perfect in my post. Each country has to look at itself and address its issues. I live in Malta. I wrote the article about the country I live in and the issues that particular country needs to address. There is no hope for change if the main counter argument from others is to start mentioning other countries’ problems. By the way, the comment on rent is a sore point for expats. Do you have any idea about the enormous increase in rental price way above the reasonable asking price, that landlords charge BECAUSE they know expats’ companies will pay? But those like my husband and me who pay our own rent (well now we have a mortgage) suffer too. Believe me it’s a mess. Yes things are getting bad for young people to get on the property ladder (everywhere to be honest) but believe me, us expats are also caught in this situation! We found out a year after buying our property that we got conned by two people involved in our house purchase who decided to see how much they could get out of us because they of our expat status. It was a catastrophe. I could go on and on.
Finally regarding being a puffed up foreigner…I’m a tad speechless. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m the opposite and to be honest, I did not write my article with a rude offensive tone. Sadly I’ve had rudeness and offense thrown back at me (by the minority though). I love Malta. It is because I care about your gorgeous island that these issues (and I only mentioned a few) hurt so much not to mention the awful reaction from certain people.
Thank you so much for your comments which you have taken time to add here. I do appreciate it. Genuinely.
Feeling somehow that I need to leave a comment, although living in Malta for 13 years I choose many times to stay out of conversation on this topic 🙂 Sadly, very sadly I have to admit that either it really is getting worse (the intolerance to foreigners) OR I have been a little blindfolded in my first years here by the lovely sun and sea and my husband’s very nice and welcoming family that I havent noticed it. Maybe due to the raising number of refuges that is happening all over Europe or any other reason but I have to admit that I am (personally) meeting hostility and unjustified judgement based on my nationality much more often nowadays. Some nationalities seem to annoy locals more for some reason and mine seem to be one of them. Wherever I come from, I did not run away from anything, I have lovely family back home, I dont have a problem with going back and would probably build a better life in financial aspect there, but for reasons that is only my business and nobody else’s I am living in Malta now. I have not been living on any social benefits or anything of that sort, rather on the contrary… But sadly often the attitude is not positive and sometimes comments made in Maltese (not knowing that I understand it) or in plain English hurt, yes, they still hurt. And yes, the same ones “go back if you don’t like it”, “you have to be greatful that you are here and not there” (that was a loud reply in a broad day light in front of a queue of people that actually made me cry in front of my son that I received at the Expats department when I have complained that they have not issued my Id card in months stopping me from going abroad and making me feel like I am in prison). I am not a negative person and it takes me long to actually find flaws in people as I keep making excused for their behavior, but last years in Malta have made me more reserved, being careful in voicing my opinion and learning how to deal with insensitive and unjustified attitude.
Thank you Olga. I’m so sorry you have experienced that. It is a real shame.
Oh dear, sounds like Malta has a long way to go on the ol’ PC front. Still you’ve got the sun to block out all the ‘foreigner’ BS. Just kick back with a glass of vino and stick up 2 fingers to the ignorant b******s #wineandboobs
lol! I love how backwards in coming forwards you are in that comment hee hee. Thanks for reading.
Wow you’ve caused quite a stir to say the least! I was reading some of the comments and wow, erhm, yeah. I totally get where you’re coming from – not that I live in Malta – but most countries and small communities are the same. Thanks for daring to share! #wineandboobs
lol…yes not that I actually intended to cause a stir!! Has been quite the week.
This is how I thought moving to New York was going to be like but fortunately it wasn’t. I’m sorry you have to feel this way about a place you call home. Raising children in a place you have mixed feelings about can’t be easy but it sounds like you’re doing the right thing by staying respectful and loving. Keep it up!
Thank you! See…you understood I was not being horrid and rude. Why couldn’t the ignoramuses get that? Takes all sorts. Thanks for the comment.
You’re most welsome! #wineandboobs by the way. 😉
that linky name still makes me laugh.
Just to add my voice to the list of supporters. All you said was true but in truth, these things piss most of us off as well, not just the expats. It’s a pity that some of our compatriots are not able to hold an adult discussion without going onto the offesnive. We are not all like that, I assure you. It’s just the empty vessels that make most sound. Please keep that in mind.
Just a note though, I’ve come across similar situations in many other countries. The dumping of garbage in Sicily shocked me (just returned from a weekend break there). The driving in France (was I just unlucky?). The arrogance in London shops (some). The difference I suppose is that you care for your second home, and so should we care for our island. Just because these things happen elsewhere, does not mean we should not try to better ourselves. Let us broaden our minds, and not narrow them further.
The empty vessels that make the most sound! Wonderful! And rest assured Edward I know so many Maltese people are just as frustrated over the same things and frankly most of my sympathisers were Maltese! And yes this is the thing…no country is perfect (which I said and so many readers missed) but why not try to improve the one we live in instead of pointing fingers elsewhere? Thank you for understanding and voicing your opinion.
Here’s a different slant: while I am sure that your complaints are valid, they seem quite trivial. I have lived for extended periods in various countries in the Middle and Far East and these complaints could be made about any of them, in spades. Ditto UK whenever I get back there. World-wide trend, I should think. Andy above has a good approach. While these niggles obviously annoy you, you are lucky they are not worse! They are probably outweighed by the good bits.
Dear John I really have to wonder if you read para 2, the beginning of para 3 or the line where I mention I sing Malta’s praises in other articles… I honestly don’t know how much clearer I could have made it that there are plenty of good sides to Malta and that this article is about just a few (just a few…) of the bad sides. What you seem to be saying is that because there are good sides, one is not allowed to campaign for change or hope for an improvement in the bad areas? I am encouraged that the overwhelming majority of commenters (most of them Maltese) have agreed with me and also hope it gets better. For the record, being screamed at and abused (often in front of my children) is not a ‘niggle that annoys me’…I’d say it’s a bit more profound. However, I thank you for visiting the blog and voicing your opinion.
I am a foreigner like you, but what you did is a shame. Never criticize the country that gives you a home, NEVER !
If you are not satisfied enough, go and live somewhere else.
Maltese people are what they are, you won’t change them. If you want to be accepted by them, be like them, or leave !
Speaking one’s mind in a polite respectful non aggressive way trying to make the world a better place and trying to ‘put something out there’ as we writers say, is NEVER a shame. Sadly, it’s that attitude and apathy that is landing the world (not just Malta) in the situation it is in. You are of course entitled to your opinion and I thank you sincerely for visiting my blog and recording that opinion but it is not (to my satisfaction and relief) the opinion of the majority on here. Most of the people who have congratulated me on here/my social pages etc etc were in fact…yep…Maltese!
Finally, for what it’s worth, I did not write this to be accepted by anyone. I don’t think you’ll find many writers who do what they do just to be a crowd pleaser. I teach my kids to stand up and be brave. Not impolite, not disrespectful but nevertheless brave. So no what I did was not a shame. But again I thank you for your comment Bobby.
This article couldn’t have been written in a better way, in a better language. I am confident that a majority of Expats have experienced all these issues at some point, I know I have… YES, these thing do irritate us Expats and we wish there would be a change – even though we would still be living here if it did not. It is just a matter of improving the conditions that we ALL live in…
I agree to each and every point in this article but lets also talk about the POSITIVE aspects of the island. I have experienced several and I believe we have to give some credit;
1)You can still get personal connection with a service provider. Like my insurance salesman knows my by name and I have to just call him to get a problem sorted out. In Sweden where I am from, you have to wait in a tel queue for at least an hour to get through! My butcher will again know me by name and will never give bad meat. He will ask me to come the next day instead. I value the personal connection that you can get here.
2) If you are in distress, people will stop to help. I had an engine breakdown at Sea with friends and kids onboard. The TM patrol boat gave me a tow back to the marina, did not accept the 2 cokes I offered them and did charge anything! This could easily have costed me abt EUR 200. If my wife has a flat tire, I am sure someone would stop and offer help to change it!
3) My mechanic will borrow me a battery and not ask a single dime for it. He will fix the car and tell me to pay later! Try this elsewhere in Europe…
4) I have never had a second thought about giving our maid the house keys. I do trust the Maltese and I would be very surprised to hear if something was stolen by a Maltese person.
5) I am a bit 50/50 on this but here we go… I DO respect the way they protect the undeveloped areas. If it was any other European country, we would probably reserve 1/4th of the space for green and develop the rest with business complexes, marinas and economically attractive places to achieve full economic potential. The Maltese will not… They prefer to keep a barren area as it is instead of benefiting from it.
I am sure with a bit more time I would think of other positive aspects about the life in Malta.
In summary, I can say that life is rather pleasant here (just as the blog entry mentions) and there is nothing wrong to suggest some further improvements. I have met many open minded people and I wish more people would be open for communication/improvement.
Hey Andy, that’s just it. There IS plenty to love about Malta which I referenced only part of in para 2 and also made sure I linked to a couple of posts that clearly show how grateful I am to live here. This is why I have been pained at some of the shockingly awful comments that have been levelled at me because I wonder if people really absorbed what I was saying or the lack of rudeness with which I said it. As I said, this post was a rant as part of a ‘rant series a fellow blogger runs’ so I do think people missed the point. I mainly agree with your good points and in fact the irony is, I was scheduled to write a ‘good points about Malta post’ for another series (perhaps I should have mentioned that in this post on second thoughts but you know what? Those same people who were so vitriolic wouldn’t have paid attention anyway). In the end I take comfort from the fact that the overwhelming majority of commenters here and on my social media pages as well as people who private messaged me (a shame as it would have been nice if their comments were made public) understood what I was saying. I even say in this post there is no perfect country!
Thanks so much for taking the time to write your reply. I do value it.
Have you considered that your condescending attitude might have something to do with getting people riled up?
Given 1) that the overwhelming majority of people have actually agreed with/sympathised with/understood what I have said (and it is a small minority who got riled up and actually validated the very points in this post) 2) the content of paragraph 2, the beginning of paragraph 3 and the restraint and measured words that I used to write the whole article and 3) the nature of your own comment, I’m not sure I am the one with the condescending attitude here…
Thanks for the comment.
Hello JG I wrote a long reply to your comment about 3 hours ago and I’ve just noticed, upon revisiting my system, that it didn’t go through! Technology… I will reply again later after my work day is over. Thanks.
Thank you for the blog. I agree with your comments. I found it uncanny as your observations so closely mirrored my own experiences.
I am not British, my country suffered under the colonialists of the British. I am therefore uninterested in the Maltese / British vitriol.
I have lived in 5 countries and I have worked in many more. I speak 8 languages. Maltese is a challenge but I will become proficient in time.
I prefer Southern European anarchy and lawlessness to Northern European rigidity and regulation.
That said I have never experienced such a contradictory people as the Maltese. I have met with incredible kindness and generosity. I made more friends in Malta in 2 years than I the 6 sad years in the UK. I have been embraced as family by strangers.
The rudeness and unkindness I have witnessed and experienced has been equally surprising. I have been non-plussed by the unprovoked attitude of local inward looking residents.
Although there seems to be a long standing suspicion and dislike of foreigners among certain Maltese people there also seems to be a new rising trend of active hatred.
It may be that the EU has polarised the Maltese. They are often threatened by Eurocentricity and resentful of outside interference. This attitude has increased the dislike of foreigners. Although they are happy to receive more from the EU than they contribute.
Added to this the illegal immigrant crisis is making many Maltese dislike the spectre of the foreigner. The fear of dilution of the pure Maltese culture is very real to a sizeable minority.
To cope when I am exposed to the racism and xenophobia from the Maltese in Malta I try to seek understanding. Perhaps their passive-aggressive behaviour and lack of civil respect and civil disobedience are related to a feeling of loss of control and political impotence. Maybe we receive the abuse and anger which is really misplaced?
For a nation of mass emigration the understanding of immigrants should be expected to be more understanding.
I thank the kind and generous folk of Malta and Gozo. I challenge the unkind and uncharitable people to practice their humanity.
Thank you. Well said.
I’m sorry. I feel so annoyed when I hear these horrible experiences.
I’m sorry you’ve been attacked by so many people who seem to go off topic. It’s also a shame there are so many Malta haters. Malta really isn’t that bad, I have experienced all of the issues mentioned in the UK. I remember each one clearly. I have been asked “what are you doing here?” In a certain tone, which means pretty much “go back to where you came from” . I hope all this negativity doesn’t make you want to leave as Malta is a lovely place for children to grow up.
The comments here further reinstate your points Prabs. Unfortunately you will never win in a island where there are so many (but not all) with an attitude of:
a) your a foreigner so you should pay more
b) inequalities between ‘foreigners’ and locals even by the government, banks, etc
c) if you dont like it leave
c) downright racism
I have witnessed it myself. Fortunately I try to avoid those people where possible.
PS: Im guessing trees are foreigners too cos they just keep on cutting them down. But why should we care about the air we breath. If you dont like it, go somewhere else !!!!
The PS…brilliant! Thanks Paul. Mela…
Hi Prabs, I read the blog and a long list of comments that pursued as I will often see things form both sides. I have been in Malta for 4 months as a UK expat and in that short space of time have experienced everything you mention in your blog on more than one occasion. I moved her with my husband, no particular reason we had never been to Malta before and its not that we despise the UK either, although what we did want was to experience something fresh and new, be a little adventurous and enjoy another culture, way of life. When I ask my hisband , who made the decision to move here, why we moved here again after experiencing the lack of customer service, of cars bibbing at you, abusive drivers for the umpteenth time, I often have to question it…and his reply is to have a better life. You see he works here, he pays taxes, he contributes to the tourist industry and has residency and a bus pass he simply loves being here. For me its been far much more challenging, he doesn’t experience what I do on a daily basis and I am often being told, ‘its Malta, its just the way it is’ or ‘you have to embrace Malta and go with the flow’ but I can not comprehend why they are so resistant to progressing. I have seen the racism here too and sadly this really disappoints me, when you think it is such a small island, is there really any need for such disrespect and dislike? It so often reminds me of South Africa, with segregation, black people being refused into restaurants and clubs, watching them walk alongside roads because bus drivers don’t let them on and given crap wages because they are even more foreign than an expat. I have been shocked by what I have witnessed.
We never came here with rose tinted glasses so we never opted for a beach house or penthouse with a sea view, we wanted to feel like it was home, for me that has been far much more difficult as an entrepreneurial woman who will happily bring more business into the country, again because I’m a woman and one in business I’m seen as a sub standard member in society which is very demeaning. I cam e here to support and teach other business how to improve their customer service, to gain more clients and earn more money but still cant comprehend why people will not take an outstretched hand of help.
So far I have been welcomed by many expats but what I really want to do is mix with genuine Maltese people because I am open to learning about their culture and history, to chat with the old dears on the benches on the promenades or watching the sunset go down outside the chapel. I love the ‘Maltese’ family life and how they have kept a lot of values that the UK lost a long time ago. How they care for their elders and their children are always safe. How I have felt safe being here since day one, I am truly grateful for. Its a mixed bag of emotions for me, I am a great believer in there is good and bad in everything so will take the rough with the smooth but I do wish drivers would be more considerate and say thank you if you let them in and not bully there way across you or try to hound you to move out of there way. I do wish shop staff would have eye contact and smile with you, common courtesy folks, and not slam the reciept and change on the counter abruptly. I do wish that when I hangout at the beach an see the 20 or so Maltese family that have spent Sunday afternoon together having a great time pack and leave but leave all their rubbish behind them would just pick it up in the bin, its such a simple thing to do. We only have one planet and all of us where ever we are should give it the up most respect. Should I pick up and leave?? My husband loves it here and I want to be beside his side so I will continue to grin and bare it but I would appeal to those that think we are here to screw you over, we’re not we just wish to integrate into society and perhaps educate Malta on some common politeness and courtousy and well done to those that are standing up for Malta and moving with the times, I thank you form the bottom of my heart to have accepted me, bought me a drink, helped me when its been rough and kept my chin up in times of despare.
I really have come to believe that this behaviour is a reactionary, conservative, extreme defensiveness to the onslaught of so many different nationalities and so many different ways of doing things coming to Malta.
Why do I think this? I am Maltese and yet have been at the receiving end of “Go back to your country”. 😀
So, what do these Maltese people mean when they tell me this? This is my country, so how can I go back to my country without staying here? (I’ve confused even myself with this one. :D)
I think it means that they would like me to stop trying to change things.
I returned to Malta five years ago with my family. Immediately we encountered problems that were extremely noticeable because it is the kind of stuff that we took for granted in the UK.
My previous 15 year teaching experience in London and Scotland was not recognized so I was paid the same as a newly qualified teacher. This is actually breaking EU law and I’m going to have to do something about that.
We pay more than three times as much Annual Circulation Car Licence fee than a friend who has an identical car of identical age and hence of identical polluting effect, just because we moved here in 2010 and not 2008. This issue is pending with the EU.
The worst by far is the total absence of any regulation of the long let rental sector.
We paid practically double over a 35 month period because my landlord did not see fit to register us on the Arms bill, so we were on the extortionate domestic tariff instead of the correct residential tariff for people living in their primary residence. We had our bank account and my salary garnisheed when we refused to continue overpaying. Two years of attending court later, we had a semi victory:- He has to pay half the overcharge because the only legal option left to the magistrate was to rule that we were both at fault for not doing our research. Even though our ex landlord had been a landlord for many years and we had only signed the contract ten days into being in the country. This is what happens when courts of law have to fill in the big black holes of shambolic, catastrophic administrative policy. No matter here either because the EU is on the case, with my petition to the EU kept open on the 14th July, 2015 because it was not happy with the Maltese government’s response to the tenant/Arms issue.
Other than the Arms issue, there is no certification of electrical safety, accommodation is substandard, no return of deposits even when the tenant returns the property to the landlord in a pristine state, dodgy plumbing and drains, illegal evictions, extortionate rents, unfair rental contracts…
People tell me: Why do you bother? Why don’t you pay up and shut up? Why don’t you go back to the UK if you don’t like it here? And the worst one of all: Why do you hate Malta so much?
We waste so much time bickering amongst ourselves: blue/ red; environmentally friendly/ concrete jungle lover; pro bird hunting/ anti bird hunting, that we don’t see where the real divide should be:
Us, All of Us,
The Political Class
We have to, all of us, hold the political class to account.
Because my work, and other groups’ work, on the regulation of long lets will also benefit Maltese tenants
Because my insistence that my previous teaching experience is recognized will also benefit Maltese teachers who have worked in other sectors. Teaching experience is valuable and should be rewarded as much as loyalty is.
Because the insane Annual Car Licence Fee pricing structure is exactly that, insane.
I’m sure that there are many more.
So, rest assured, Prabs, that I totally understand where you are coming from. I totally understand that you would like to be a fully accepted member of Maltese society, one that is allowed to participate fully in the formation and evolution of our civil society.
Please ignore the Neanderthals. They are less Maltese than you are.
PS This is my blog about the same issue: http://maltatenantsupport.weebly.com/blog/why-dont-you-go-back-to-your-country
Thank you Johanna. Eloquent sensibly argued points. Sadly the people on this thread who have acted so revoltingly will never get it will they?
No, I don’t believe they will. I think you have been very gracious in graciously responding to them. But I wouldn’t give them the light of day. Having said that, they’ve done you a favour because you can rest your case 😀 . Many times.
I would like to comment on a couple if things you mentioned above. I am Maltese living in the UK, I had the same thing with the car insurance policy. I had driven in Malta for 16 years but was still treated as a first time driver on all insurance policies and the cheapest premium I could find was £1500, the highest £4000 for a car that was worth £2000.
As for your job, unfortunately the UK has a very low standard of education compared to Malta and probably that is why you are paid as a newly qualified teacher as you need to get up to date with the Maltese exceptional standard of education.
“The UK has a very low standard of education”? Britain’s education system is not perfect, by any means, but in terms of acting on educational research which encourages critical thinking and creative, active learning, it is excellent. I worked both in London and Scotland, which also has a highly thought of educational system.
I’m afraid that I disagree with your depiction of Maltese standard of education as excellent, too. This quote is from “Our educational system is sick says former dean”.
“In recent weeks the Education Ministry released the Trend in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss) which ranked Malta 40th out of 50 countries in science skills and 28th in mathematics skills. Another study – the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls) – ranked the island 35th out of 45 countries in literacy and reading skills. Both studies are carried out among primary school children.”
And, actually, the point I made wasn’t about standards of education. It was about the fact that teachers’ teaching experience, even the experience of Maltese teachers in other educational sectors in Malta itself, is not valued or rewarded accordingly. So, if you stay in the same sector of education for 20 years you will get paid more than somebody who has worked in different sectors over 20 years. This is actually against EU law. And I will be fighting it.
Interestingly, however, when we moved to Malta, we could show our no claims certificate to the insurance company and it was no problem. Have you got a no claims certificate? If so, you can definitely take this up with the EU, I’m sure.
Finally, your comment betrays a hidden irony. To be excellently educated today, you have to be open to the possibility that everything you have been told may be wrong. You need to question everything, not resort to knee jerk, insulting defensiveness.
So, I’m afraid you prove the point of this article and also you, yourself, provide question marks as to the excellence or not of the Maltese education system.
just because I am an expat/foreigner/immigrant (although the last bares a more negative sound),it doesn’t mean I make a fortune here so that i can pay 550 + bills for 1 (!!) bedroom flat even in the central/north/south part and take up to 2 buses to work. Just because it is summer, it does not mean I am not going to be here in winter too. Just because I am not Maltese, it does not mean that you have to discriminate against me when it comes to bills even rent prices.
STOP asking me of what ethnicity I am, I AM EU citizen and to you this should be enough. Just because it happened that some people showed disrespect in the past, it does not mean that ALL are going to treat you the same!
Thank you Malta, because despite the discrimination and the small things I complain about, I found a new place to call home for 26 months now.
born, raised ans still living here for the last 32 years… And can only say one thing “guilty as charged”, of course we all love our country, and because we are mainly lacking experience outside our little rock it is difficult to realise how ignorant we are a out the world… We really need to grow up…and one can only grow up if they know what to strengthen and what to improve,,
Your post is right on point as I was myself wandering if these things happen only to me! indeed, I would say you could have been even more harsh on the situation here. As much as the country is beautiful there’s a great lack of respect towards each other despite the nationality or race. However, I strongly believe that the forgeigner community here is the factor that makes Malta a better place a lot. Afterall one cannot be ignorant to positive changes that people bring.
Yes a few people have said how restrained I’ve been. Thanks!
Visiting from #momsterslink 🙂 these comments are crazy! Did you get more tequila at the store perhaps? You are handling it fabulously! **two thumbs up** you got this 😉
Awww thanks Trista!
Prabs…it’s a lost war, which the “Foreigner” or “Barranin” as they call us, will never win as Malta and Maltese will never get your points cause it’s made out of narrow minded people. Even the ones that supposedly have a brain , they think their are doing you a favour by letting you staying in what they think it’s “their” country. They don’t realize that without those bad foreigner as we are they would be still 50 years behind the rest of Europe. .they don’t realize that without the foreigners they would have still be a third world country..they don’t realize 90 % of their income as a country come from turism. ..guess what??? Yes the turístico coming to Malta are foreigner…
We take their jobs….of course we do cause the are unable or not trained to do them, and when you tried to teach them, they behave as if you are teaching them something they already knew but the reality is that they know f*** all. I have been living in Malta just a few years less than you did. I had my raw with some of them as well but you know what…If a dog comes and bark at you…just bite back. About parking the car, you should just have left it there, if something would have happened to it, you already knew who was to blame. To all those historians who pulls the history on the side they better like, they should go and get their history books out and read them properly because if it wasn’t for the bad english people (mind I am not english) they would have been still eating kart kartoffen und bratwust. There would be tons of things to say but after saying all that I must say that all my Maltese friends are sensible and well mannered. Now I am waiting for the rude ones to tell me why am I leaving in their country. Well I live here for the country not for you. I would like to finish woth …Narakom ghall kullhadd
Great, thanks for this comment.
while i get your acidity, which is well deserved towards the natives… Your comment is quite ignorant and deprived of facts and figures.. You should really get yourself a proper cool down
Thanks Mr. GAUCI, truth hurts ..eh? Fortunately for me I come from a place where people are way worse than maltese. And I’ll be the last one they can step on. Ghax m’ghadix problema, jien nitkellem u nifem bil malti wkoll, but this is an English blog and I don’t need to be rude writing in your lenguaje cause everyone has to be able to understand . With me rude people are not getting far. My acidity comes from the fact Maltese think they can rule people cause they are foreigner and from the fact they speak behind your back thinking you are not understanding what they say, we’ll it’s a nice surprise when I aswer back it feels so good. Thank to my good friends and my partner I have learned Maltese very fast and knowing the language helped alot to answer back to those rude ones. I know my facts and figures very well , don’t worry. You have a good day Mr Gauci you probably deserve it
Nice blog. I know were you are comimg from..im half malteses and lived here for a short while as a baby and toddler before going back to thw UK when I was 4 -5. I look maltese bt stereotype.. short etc and when asked I always said I was maltese. However, I have a British accent and although in sort of understand tne language I can not converse in it. When strangers talk to me in maltese I get 3 types of reactions. 1 they apologise to which I say you should not apologise for speaking in the language of your country. 2 they speak in english and laugh about the fact they thought I was maltese..i love this reaction… and to be fair is the one that happens more. 3rd which has happened and I feel disappointed is they say oh English… never mind….to which they get a mouthful from me. I think malta is worried about being invaded and losing its identify through the enormous influx of people from other countries making malta their home. Seeing what is happening in the UK and France must scared the hell out of the some people. Its after all a small island. So I agree with you… but also understand why some are like that even being on the receiving end of it because I have a britsh accent
Thanks Steve. The sun shines and I keep smiling.
I can only speak as a british tourist who has visited Malta every year for 30 years, and the reason for this is I love the people, the climate and the cost of living. It saddens me to hear so much anti -british feeling on here from certain maltese, as I have never come across this before, I must have been extremely lucky. I am sure if a lot of British tourists read this blog and all its threads, they would think twice about visiting.
In general would you still say you prefer Malta to London/Paris ? I’m a local and still struggle to find the merits of Malta sometimes
I’m moving to Malta (again) in 2 weeks and some of the ‘delightful’ comments on this post have me wondering if I should have even considered it in the first place. Luckily I won’t let the attitude of a few cloud my judgement. I have lived on the rock before and despite a few teething problems and experiencing a few of the points you’ve mentioned above, I can’t fault the kindness of the people I encountered living in Malta, both Maltese and otherwise.
I found your post amusing. I could have written it myself following my stint in Malta or about the last 5 years I’ve spent in Spain. It clearly wasn’t meant to insult anyone and despite some of the situations you mention obviously causing you some upset and quite rightly so, I took it as quite tongue in cheek and just a humorous look at some of the things that grate on you if you live in Malta and that could be as a ‘foreigner’ or if you were born there – I know several Maltese people who mention a few of the above in their list of reasons I shouldn’t move back to Malta.
I think people forget that it can be a bit of a culture shock moving from somewhere like the UK to somewhere with a more slower pace. In the UK you’re used to having your bank account opened that day for example, in Malta, or indeed Spain, if it happens the following week it might well be considered a miracle. It doesn’t make it better or worse, it’s just about managing expectations and I think living in Spain before moving to Malta prepared me for a less hurried way of life so it didn’t stress me out quite as much as it might others who move straight over.
At the end of the day every country is different, they all do things differently and there will always be things we don’t like or that we find frustrating, it doesn’t mean we don’t like the country or the people as a whole. Yes there are people who will moan about everything, no matter where they live, but there are others and that includes the majority of expats in any country that moan purely because they are having trouble merging their two lives. The old and the new. It takes a while to adapt.
Plus you can guarantee that expats are expats for a reason. They don’t go to Malta or Spain or anywhere else in the world because they love everything about the UK (or their home country), they leave because they don’t like where they’re living and are chasing the dream, relocate because of work and any other number of reasons. As you can imagine here on the Costa Del Sol a fair few of them are running away from something – it is nicknamed the Costa Del Crime after all!
Personally I’d rather take up residence in Libya than the UK again. I do moan about certain things in Spain (like I did about the UK and France when I lived there too) and no doubt I’ll find something to moan about once I get to Malta (I predict it’ll be the traffic as in Spain there are never any traffic jams and barely any cars on the road – I do the same every time I reluctantly go back to the UK. Or perhaps there’ll be too many English people for my liking – oh yeah that’s my number one complaint about the Costa Del Sol), but that’s life. If I don’t like it will I go home? Maybe, but that’s my decision and not one that I expect to be shouted at me if I choose to complain about something while I’m there that’s for sure!
Sorry for the essay Prabs but thought I’d add my two cents worth seeing as I’m relocating to Malta soon myself and having read your blog over the last few weeks since we agreed to the move I’ve found it nothing but a positive and humorous take on living in Malta – even this post – until I read the comments of course. Now hurry up and approve my comment or I might just throw my toys out the pram 😉
Awwww thanks for that last bit! Funnily enough, the ignorant comments I can take. The ignorance of people expecting me to be in front of my computer 24/7 when there’s the small matter of me raising my kids and running a house/life and immediately approving their comments and then STILL moaning has been mind-boggling though. So you gave me a much needed giggle there.
To be honest, this is the only non-funny (well this and my previous anniversary post) I’ve done. Totally serious. Thanks for your comment and best of luck moving here. Who knows, we may bump into each other in a supermarket…just not that fishmonger 🙂
Ha ha luckily I don’t eat fish 😉
I’ve been there too – been blogging for 6 years and the incessant moaning about the fact you aren’t at a readers beck and call can often be more irritating than having a post taken completely out of context.
I noticed Eve did a response to this post actually – so you’re definitely famous now (not that it’s a well written post or links back to your blog of course)!
Oh my word! Yep that’s amazing and no it doesn’t link back to my blog and oh I could go on…! Thanks!
Could you explain to me why you have not yet posted my comment? You seem to be very selective about what you do and do not approve. Was it not a good example to you of a “bad” Maltese person?
Sharon…I was out food shopping that’s why! I had the same comment from another gentleman over on Twitter. I have three children, a house, a husband, a life that also goes on outside of this blog. I am not a machine. In fact I stopped what I was doing to approve your other comment. Hope that’s satisfactory. Cheers.
Well thank you so much for yet again spending time approving and responding to my posts. I made that comment because you had the time to post Martin’s disgruntled comment, which had been made after I had submitted my post. I didn’t think it was a lot of work for you to simply post my comment. You could have responded to it when you had more time. You should have expected that you would have riled up people by what you have said, so maybe you should have cleared some time out of your day after posting such codswallop, otherwise people are just being pointed to your site to increase your traffic and see a one sided story of whatever posts you decide to let through in your busy schedule. I am also a busy person, but I was not the person that wrote such an article. I will now go off and do something more worthwhile than spending my time writing to you. Enjoy the rest of your day!
Had I not approved the comment, you would have complained (as others did when I dared to shut my computer for a few hours) that I had not approved it!! Sharon it depends on which order they show up in my systems’s feed. I just go through them in the order they show up. Constructive debate is good. This sort of aggression is not. Yes we are all busy and I’m sure as a woman you understand how demanding multi-tasking is. Frankly, according to a lot of my followers/readers, I’m doing a great job of going through the comments here and all across social media. But then you know that and seem to just want a futile argument about absolutely everything. Sorry you are so unhappy.
LOL, I was making a joke at the beginning of this comment about the fact that you were too busy to click to approve people’s posts on a page that was very one sided. It is a skewed portrayal of a supposed debate. A one sided story? That is not debating at all!!! I do not know anything about your other social media sites and I could not give a rat’s ass about anything you do, so do not assume anything about me. I do not see my posts as aggressive and I am sorry if you feel that I have been aggressive in my responses in any way. It was not my intention to come across like that. I am NOT unhappy. Do you really think that you could make me unhappy?, lol. You are an irritation at best. You have discussed something very personal and close to people’s hearts, so you should have expected a passionate response about your accusations to my country’s people. Why don’t you just pat yourself on the back some more and get on with your multitasking.
Message to Carlos and his friends on this blog; I am Maltese but have lived a large part of my life abroad in various countries. I feel I am in a position to compare Malta to other societies. Prabs is 100% correct in her analysis. In fact she is being far too polite about us in my opinion. It is true to say that there are rude, ignorant, ill-bred, aggressive and down-right nasty people in all countries. However, in every country I have lived in these types of people are a MINORITY. This is absolutely not the case in Malta, where the MAJORITY of people fall into these categories. The recent referendum on spring hunting is scientific proof of this. This is why Malta deserves to be singled out and criticised by people like Prabs and many, many others. People like Carlos Ellul guarantee there is no hope for the future.
Mmmmmmmm, Malta is a contradiction in terms. I feel I am well qualified to respond to the article and to many of the comments. I’ll tell you why… I grew up in Malta, between the ages of 7 and 22. So I feel I know and understand the culture. But I’ve lived in London now for the best part of 30 years. During that time I’ve also lived in the US and another stint in Malta. But I am a confirmed Londoner. Right, background over… I generally return to Malta at least once a year on holiday. It is a beautiful wondrous place. The many Maltese I know are kind, warm, cultured, intelligent and. ABOVE ALL, well mannered and considerate of their fellow human beings. After every trip here though I am always grateful to return to my home. And that is because the general feeling I am left with after spending time on this beautiful island is that the ME ME ME attitude and lack of general decent behaviour to other human beings, the attitude of being bereft of civility and the lack of consideration of others around you simply just wear me down and, to be honest, I’m always delighted to go back home to London where I feel more comfortable with the things that are important to me. Malta is wonderful. But unless a lot of work can be done in the areas of customer service, civility, consideration, awareness of others, then I feel that the future for Malta, especially in the eyes of the world, will be bleak. No place is perfect. But it is the people that make a place. And I can assure you, some places are more perfect than others. If, due to the lack of awareness, you do not see a problem, then there is no chance that that problem is ever resolved. Please be ‘aware’ Malta.
What a fantastically well-worded comment. This is it exactly. A few people seem to have read this as a Malta-bashing tirade. I’ve made it clear in this article and others I’ve linked to that there is plenty of good in Malta. The weather, the beach life, the safety. But as you so rightly point out it is the PEOPLE THAT MAKE A PLACE. And yes, the me me me attitude etc is a shocker.
Yes, it would be worthwhile if the ‘against’ faction on this blog were to re read your blog and recognised the real message. Malta is wonderful. Lots and lots and lots of the Maltese are wonderful. However, as with all aspects of life, it is often the few that spoil things for the many. My main worry is that, in Malta’s case the ‘few’ are an ever increasing percentage. And if people don’t look themselves in the mirror, dust themselves down, and change their ways, these few will become the ‘many’. Be objective… recognised what shortcomings are being highlighted, and make changes for the good. Viva Malta u il Maltin! 🙂
We used to live in Hawaii on the Island of Kauai and I can relate to so much of your post. From the hike in prices to the “tourists”, to the extremely rude customer service-mostly at little. privately owned places that mainly cater to locals not the hotels and stuff. People who vacation there a lot always fantasize about moving there but it’s a very different place when you are trying to find a place to live and work and shopping in the tiny local grocery store and no longer staying at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu dining at Roy’s and taking surf lessons.
Spot on my dear, as a Maltese I hate these horrible traits we have…our lack of courtesy is not just towards the infamous foreigner , but also to ourselves. It is very evident in our driving, littering of our beautiful sites and beaches , customer care etc etc…so don’t feel so alone, we feel it too !!
I hate to say this but I think some of the treatment you have received is because you’re Indian. I have lived here 15 years and yes there are many things that are annoying about Malta and the people can indeed be rude for no reason but I’m “white” and have not received some of the shocking behaviour that you have. I have never been told to go home or had any nasty comment about being a foreigner (the word doesn’t bother me actually). There’s no denying that the Maltese are an extremely racist nation but only against dark skinned people, not foreigners in general. Unfortunately, it’s getting worse due to the amount of immigrants arriving. Now the Maltese are genuinely worried that the island will be overtaken, on top of their normal attitude against black/dark skinned people. I honestly think that is at the root of some of the issues you’ve had and I’m sorry you have to go through that.
Yes to be honest I’ve been aware of that. But judging by the attack I’ve taken on this from certain readers, can you imagine what would have happened if I’d mentioned that? Lol. Seriously, though I’ve never gone through life wearing my ‘Indian-ness’ like a badge or having a chip on my shoulder thinking the whole world’s out to get me. That’s just not me. But I DO value you bringing it up Jacqui.
My dear Expat Mama,
By all counts you may well be right. Whether it is all as bad, or you are feeling super-sensitive is not something I can say, but regardless, it is making you unhappy. Unfortunately even Malta is not a heaven on earth, just like many other countries.
The fact that you wanted to live here, is to me indicative that you found it better than where you were before.
Malta, is not getting worse. It is what you chose to ignore before but rankles now.
One little point: Your spending money in Malta does not give you any special privileges, Ma’am. Even though you are not a tourist, any time it suits you, you can say Goodbye. It is Malta that is according you the privilege of living there. I know Malta well – even though I do not live there – and it is a darn good country.
Dear Marie with the ‘you can say Goodbye’ comment you have validated the very points I am talking about. Thanks for reading however.
I can understand why Malta is attractive to many expats. The weather is great, the standard of living is relatively high, the unemployment and crime rates are low and most people know how to speak in English and Italian which is a big plus. However you need to understand that its somehow different to back home. Its a South Mediterranean country with its own culture (including weaknesses) and that’s something that you will never be able to change. Also bear in mind that it has an overpopulation problem and the EU (including probably your country of origin) had not made things better by insisting on treaties such as the Dublin 2 treaty which turned the small island into one hell of a detention centre
I also feel that many are suffering from nostalgia of home which is perfectly understandable. When I first left Malta I couldn’t stop comparing or idolising my country until I went back and realized again that things weren’t exactly as great as I imagined them. Hence why I left again. I can assure you that hostility for foreigners is on the increase anywhere. For example Britain UKIP is the third most voted party in Britain. You barely can open a newspaper these days without reading on how the terrible foreigners are taking their ‘generous’ benefits etc.
My aim here was not to justify bad manners or to create a foreigner vs Maltese argument but to simply to help you understand the ‘other side’, share my experiences and give my advice. Please assess the place, see the pros and cons and decide accordingly. If you feel you can close an eye to what happens and you feel confident that you can integrate than by all means settle down. In that case I suggest to learn the language and to sympathise with Malta’s situation especially in terms of irregular immigration because people tend to appreciate that. However if you think that you will be able to build a little Britain in Malta or you cant accept the Maltese way than I suggest to look elsewhere. Life is too short to live in frustration
To conclude you will find morons everywhere you go.
My wird, you have mega blogging confidence. I admire that. I’ve never been to Malta but I’m told it’s a wonderful place. That said, the parochial mentality you face doesn’t surprise me. Depressing as it sounds I think that just comes with small communities although we all know it shouldn’t. #effitfriday
lol John the funny thing is I wasn’t trying to be controversial but of course having lived here a while, I knew I’d probably be misunderstood and attract some vitriol. Believe me, I waited over a year into my blogging experience to write it!! Thanks for reading.
Each and every point you write about happens and happens several times unfortunately. However not to the extent you seem to make it out to be. It also happens unfortunately from one Maltese person to another. I had an incident with someone where I wanted a receipt and because I had a Gozitan id card was told it shows you’re Gozitan. You can imagine how the idiot felt when I pointed out I was Maltese so how wss he going to win the argument now?
But to get my two cents in; I’m sick and tired of British foreigners (yes I used the word foreigners) who tell me us we don’t speak proper English just because we don’t have your accent. Or that they ate native speakers and we’re not.
First of all I don’t speak English with a Maltese accent but with what the Maltese call “tal pepe”
Secondly if those who think we are not native speakers even understand their own language should pick up a dictionary and find out that a native speaker is someone who speaks the language from a very young age as most of us do. We actually learn English first before Maltese as it’s much easier and we actually have a wider vocabulary in English since there is a wider range of English books than Maltese books available (especially if you’re a bookworm like myself) and native speaker and native mean two different things.
And last but not least re our accent British people have so many different accents you don’t even understand each other. An accent those not make the language. If it were so all the foreigners who come to Malta to learn (same as they do in the UK) wouldn’t have a chance in hell of learning English and as a teacher who teaches English to foreign students, let me assure you that is not the case.
An accent does not make the language
Hi Mikela thanks for the comment. I haven’t mentioned anything about language, people’s accents etc in my article at all so I can only assume your remarks are in reply to another person’s comment…?
To be fair if you visit the lovely island that is malta for a short spell ie 2 weeks you will love it.
If you come here to work you will over a period of time find quite a few things that annoy you. I did. There are a lot of issues, some of which seem to be getting better. iei queueing for ARMS or MTA where they now have ticketing systems etc. but there are still a lot of more fundemental issues which a lot of my maltese freinds also complain about. bad driving like you would not believe, turning right from the left hand lane of a roundabout, non use of indicators while driving. etc etc.
but the best part was from a “Private” school which we were paying a lot of money for our children to go there, which activly promoted racial harmony. one child had a bullying issue which we tried to raise with the teachers only to be told by them that “Foreigners always have this issue”
I was left almost speechless at this, given the fact that we were paying thousands of euros per term for their education.
@ Carlos you need to accept the fact that there are a lot of basic humanitarian issues that are wrong in Malta no matter what you say. I have lived here for over 5 years, paid more tax than a doctor earns in a year, but does that make a difference how you get treated, nope not a jot.
Malta has a lot of growing up to do period.
I think that this article was very long winded. It was bulked up by your bad personal experiences that you would encounter in any country. There are assholes all over this world, but there are also good kind hearted people too and Malta is FULL of them. I recently read somewhere someone saying that Maltese are the most kind and welcoming people they have ever met. They would give you the shirt off their back even after knowing you for a few minutes. This is what I believe holds true to the core of Maltese people’s hearts. Are you going to get an asshole with road rage or an irate fishmonger?, hell yeah, in most places all over this beautiful planet. Is it right? No, but come on, balance out the fact that these were a few incidences that you encountered, not a countries bad ways. You are obviously just venting. This sounds like you have been keeping this bottled up for the whole ten years that you have been in Malta. I read that you do yoga.You may need to step that up a notch and take some valium. The fact that you are so offended in the supermarket by the husband with the trolley actually made me lol. Did you think that you could mess with a Maltese woman about her food and not be finished for it?, lol. Jk 😉 This article states a lot of the same thing, as several individual points making Malta seem a lot worse than what it is. You speak about times when people were horrible or racist towards you. Again as I have already said, this can happen absolutely anywhere. You sound quite fragile which possibly may not help being around mostly blunt Maltese people, but that is just my opinion. With reference to the trash on the beaches, as far as I have ever experienced, (I have been to Malta most years of my life for summer holidays since I was 2 years old and have spent tons of time at the beach), trash on beaches normally were left by holiday makers, not Maltese. Also the trash on the beaches used to be really bad when I was younger, (40 odd years ago), it is tons better now. I do agree with 2 things in your article, 1: That Malta needs to up their game in improving their customer service skills seeing that this is not their forte and tourism is one of the main sources of income for the country. 2: Yes a lot of Maltese are horrendous drivers. On the point of being treated like a foreigner, most of my family are Maltese, I have Maltese parents, but was born in London. I understand Maltese, but speak it badly, (I have lived in the UK all my life). When I go to Malta, I am a foreigner, when I am in the UK, I am a foreigner. I don’t bitch or moan about this, I see it as I have the best in me from both countries. You are not Maltese by any stretch, so why do you care about being called a foreigner? Yes, in the perfect world everyone would not be racist at all and we would all be very accepting, but for a small country, Malta has been very accepting/accommodating for immigrants and has come on leaps and bounds in terms of this. Can Malta do better? Sure, but put things into perspective here. On the foreigners being exploited point, it is my understanding that you can get a discount card if you live in Malta, could you not get this? Do you know how to speak Maltese? I am sure it will help you to get the deals/cheaper bus fares that you feel that you are being done out of. On the bird issue, have you never had Maltese pigeon pie? if not you don’t know what your missing, lol. Sorry, bad joke. Overall, everyone has a right to voice their own opinion, but it seems to me like you are umming and ahhhing about whether or not Malta is right for you. I can answer this for you, obviously it is a big fat no! Sorry that our country does not fit into your perfect world, but as you say in a similar statement, well you know what you can do if you can’t stand the heat….
Hi Sharon I’ll fully read this properly once my weekend of actually seeing to my kids/house is done! But very quickly 1) I can’t mention all the incidents I’ve had in one post…otherwise it would very longwinded to quote you 2) it’s not longwinded…very succint and to the point and I missed a lot out 3) nope I’m not fragile. It takes balls to write about the stuff I do and my writing has been commended as brave, honest, gutsy etc many times over which is how I’m also featured on the Huffington Post 3) please read the other articles I’ve linked to! Also go back to the beginning of this article where I say I routinely sing Malta’s praises.
Thanks for the comment. I promise I’ll read it fully later. This article has gone off like a firework and my house/kids have been neglected as a result! Cheers.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to approve my comment. First off, I think you need to learn what the word succinct actually means. Most of the points in this article are bad experiences that you have had during your 10 years living in Malta. My point is that yes, I still believe that your article is very long winded. You have waffled on about your bad experiences to make it sound like Malta has SO many things wrong with it, which is has not. You are simply drawing out its bad points to get a story and a response to your “poor me” statements. Try to condense down your points and you will see what I mean. Your points 2 and 7 are about poor customer service skills. Points 4 and 8 are about immigrants/foreigners. Points 3 and 5 are about the Maltese being bad drivers. I agreed with you that Malta needs to improve its customer service skills and that their driving skills leave a lot to be desired, however that was to me the only two valid points in your article. The rest was just strung out bitching that was pure waffle to me and tried to make Malta seem much worse than what it actually is. Oh and by the way, even your points in your response to me above are not succinct. 1 and 2 are the same point. Thanks for holding back on your “other bad incidents.” I would still be here reading your long winded article and would have had to pull my violin out. Pat on the back for having such big balls that you were NOT also featured on the Huffington Post. You have two points 3, but that is probably something to do with your great writing ability that I am not understanding. To answer your second point 3. I had already briefly skimmed through your, “30 Things That Make Me Happy” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go” articles. I have seen at the beginning of one of your articles where you do sing Malta’s praises, however if you have to seriously ask yourself the question whether Malta is right for you, where you list a negative for your positives and then you write this article, I think you have answered your own question. In the article, “30 things that make me happy”, the majority of them could have been in any country, only a few of them were actually because you were in Malta. If you are having such a hard time in Malta, I truly feel sorry for you. I am actually a really nice person, as a lot of Maltese people are. I want you to be happy and have a good life, however we do not live in a utopia. On a separate issue, please stop pointing me towards re-reading your articles. Skimming those two articles were all that they deserved and I am sure as hell not reading your other articles as I have absolutely no interest in knowing what is in your handbag. You say that you are a former London/Paris girl. I have lived in London my whole life and have been to Paris. I do not believe that they are welcoming to tourists, certainly not Paris by any stretch. When was the last time that you had someone say good morning to you in London or Paris? When was the last time that you said it to someone and you did not get a response back that was not shock! horror!, why is this person talking to me? response. In Malta I can not walk down the road without someone saying hello or nodding their head at me to acknowledge me. In Malta people are on whole friendly and hospitable. Ask the majority of tourists that frequent the island time and time again. It could not be for our good fashion shops, could it? ;), see your point in your other article about how we have no decent clothes shops, lol. We have the most beautiful people on this planet, inside and out. That is my opinion 🙂 By the way, my husband is from the US and as a true tourist in Malta he has had the mick taken out of him by Maltese people before. These instances were just Maltese people joking about, (we have a bantering type of humour, that some people may not get). I explained this to my husband and he gives back as much as he gets and it is actually very funny. I will end by saying that Malta does not “need to earn your respect”. It would be nice if you would stop bad mouthing such a beautiful country that has been your home for the last 10 years, but I guess it is your prerogative to bitch about whatever you want. Be succinct in your future articles and enjoy life wherever you move to next. If you do end up staying in Malta, try to grow a thicker skin and bigger balls than what you have at the moment, it will make for a happier life in the long run 🙂
Head…brick wall…banging. See how thick my skin is Sharon.
P.S. “nice people” simply do not engage in the behaviour you have done these last few hours here. And if you are not willing to read the other articles which disprove most of what you say about my attitude/person (that you know nothing of), and other comments on here backing me up, what hope is there for you ever understanding the debate? Take care.
Ah you have read them. I missed that there was so much to read. Oh well never mind. I don’t think you want to see eye to eye and I’ve tried my best. Thanks Sharon.
I think that you have been banging your head against that wall a little too hard. I am a nice person. I will pat myself on the back and let you know that I am an extremely liked and popular person, but I don’t need to blog this to others all the time to let them now this. You have done this repeatedly, in every response that you have given me. You have also repeatedly told me how much of a superwoman and great debater you are, however you have never once constructively answered ANY of my comments. You just kept telling me how busy you were and that you would get to them later, only to subsequently say that I missed the whole point of the debate and that I was not worthy of a response from you. That was absolutely hilarious!!! You fail big time at debating!!! Unless things are said to you in a fluffy sugar coated manner, you do not want to hear them. I am direct and to the point. You cannot handle direct, clear debating, full stop! Yes you clearly did not read my post properly the first time, I said that I had skimmed your 2 articles that you had referred me to and I certainly shouldn’t have to read all of your other uninteresting articles about yourself to further understand what you have written in this article and to further confirm what a wuss you are. You clearly do not have the intellectual ability to respond to anything that challenges your article. You are a waffler and a coward. Thank you for showing your true colours by not answering ANY of the points in my comments. I will not bother writing on your blog anymore, so do not bother responding to me as you have clearly shown that any of my comments that were hard for you to answer are not welcome here. Hopefully you will let my last 2 posts through onto your wall, as shady as it is 😉 Oh and by the way debating is not your forte, so don’t quit your day job.
So one minute you are criticising me for not commenting because shock, horror yes I was busy trying to see to my kids/house on a Saturday but now you are saying don’t respond. Make your mind up. Not a waffler and a coward etc etc. Just someone who realises there is no point wasting my energies on debating with you because yes, out of ALL the people on this thread, you have without doubt been the rudest and most aggressive (referring to the other comment I can after this one) and yes that was your every intention. With every word you have typed, you have validated my very points about lack of civility and humanity. So what is the point of trying to have a discourse with you? No point. I don’t counter rudeness with rudeness. It’s futile. Thank you ever so much for promising not to comment on my blog again. The blogosphere is big enough and I’m sure there are plenty of other writers out there for you to victimise.
yes the huffpost bit was a typo lol. I am on there not that it matters. Take care.
In the words of Rihanna ” Take a breath and take it deep ” people !!! ( Sharon Carlos etc. ). This is a post expressing personal opinions of a lady who has been living in Malta for 10 years. She has politely and rather elegantly stated her views and experiences. Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and it is shocking to see how some of you have taken it personally. Commenting is one thing but being rude and obnoxious at length is unnecessary and totally unacceptable. So, stop, take a breath ( listen to Rihanna if you must ) and get on with your lives.
Yes Sharon it can happen all over the world! I have lived in 4 different countries myself. She simply wrote about her experiences and life in Malta where she resides and not even in a bad way!
I agree with you Sharon regards being a Foreigner. I am a foreigner too…in England and Malta, I have to say less so in England.
I find it rather funny and it also angers me when in bars or shops and I hear them ask each other what they should charge me ….am I foreign or Maltese?! Some I win some I lose but I have a choice. If I feel I have been ripped off I dont go back many places have lost my custom and many continue to have my custom. I dislike the fact that this does go on and that the “foreigners” dont even know its happening. GRRRRRR! Discount card for what !?
The Driveing in Malta has improved so much over the past thirty years so I am not going to even mention the driving just the atitude of some of the drivers …then again I have had the odd sign language and verbal road arguments myself both in the UK and Malta (I think thats a Maltese trait in me 🙂
As for customer service in Malta …well let just say it needs improveing A LOT. Because it is so poor I am sure that Malta loses out on tourists returning. I go to Malta normally once or twice a year each time I go after two weeks I am glad to get back to the UK mainlt because of it, in truth if it wasnt for family being there I would holiday else where.
As for being called a foreigner what else can you be called if you come from some where else ? I use the term myself and do not find it offensive and do not mean it as an offence when using the term. I see lots of foreigners in Malta its, funny though I dont see Brits as Foreigners myself:-) even in Malta. prabs I really dont mean this as an offence but I would see you are a foreigner in England or Malta.
Trash and the environment all countries suffer from areas where this is a problem, the problem is that Malta relys on tourism, tourists do not like going on holiday and being surrounded by rubbish , they should’nt have to walk in the road because the pavements are either littered with bin bags or other rubbish. Im not talking about the industrial estates look around Bugiba….. empty building lots full of rubbish pavements not fit to walk on.
ENGLISH GO HOME
I have and normally do and probably will continue to do so. I have only ever heard one person in Malta say this to me …my Nana! bless her soul. I have made England my home others in my family have aswell, other stayed in Malta, others have returned to Malta others have left and live in other parts of the world.
I dont like hearing any one slag Malta or its people off I dont like any one slagging the UK or the British off for no reason. Yet I do it myself, why? because I would like them both to change for the better both can improve.
Am I about to up sticks and leave the UK because UKIP was the the third most voted party in the UK, am I going to leave because last week an A Hole cut me up on the road am I going to leave because fox hunting may be reintroduced in the UK ? NO !
So some one who has issues with some of the things they see as problems with Malta may not be trying to change the whole country just the parts that they think may need improving. Nothing is stopping them from leaving prabs just by continuing to live in Malta has weighed up the pros and cons and has made her mind up …..I think she likes Malta and its people and is staying. Good luck !
People who come into a country, want to instantly change everything about it and just critasize it because its not the same as where they came from and what they wanted to leave are idiots. They do need to go home and I have no time for them.
Having said this I do not agree with all that she has said but neither do I agree with some of the other posters on here.
Thank you. You have shown how it is possible to argue/debate/show your opinion in a calm rational polite way whereby you may not necessarily agree with all I had to say but have shown courtesy in the way you disagree with certain points. I appreciate your comment very much.
Oh my what a cluster of thoughts. Just reading through some is giving me a headache. Don’t let opinions get to you Prabs. We all have them. And as bloggers/writers/artists…there are always going to be haters of your work somewhere. **hands you a double shot of tequila** 😉
You do have a point and yes you do have a right to complain. But there are worse things about Malta then the issues you mention. Yes the attitude is terrible but I can’t see how that will ever change. The Yes! At the shops is not just to expats but to Maltese too. They don’t realise they’re actions are offending people. It’s just how Maltese people with no training (mostly family businesses) serve their customers.
I’m afraid the if you don’t like it leave mentality is imbedded in our brain. I live my life by that, I left Malta 8 years ago and have lived in 4 countries, 3 continents and 3 different states. Purely because if I don’t like it I leave ☺️ . What Malta really needs to do is get everyone to re-take a driving test, but most people will fail and the whole country will come to halt. And Maltese really need to work on the appearance of Malta as its looking really shabby!! And most of the cars on the road need to be written off.
I’m sure If I went to your home town and advised everyone on how they can improve they would tell me to F* off .
As regards to the immigrants, they don’t want to be in Malta so the feelings are mutual.
you must be the unluckiest person on earth, or you go and look for these things..ie the instigator, the person who always find a hair in her plate. I can write an article like this on any country in the world, why I would choose to write one about my adopted country…leaves me some what bemused . Tell me prabs , what one good thing you’re hoping to come out of this, other than provoking someone like me to waist time writing this…
you are showing your true colours by not accepting my comment..typical bully you are..
Hi Martin. “Thank you” for the comment accusing me of me being a bully as well as the aggressive tweets. I’ve scrolled through my comments in my system and can’t see any from you. Are you sure they actually got posted?
Carlos you are trying to proove your argument by highlighting exactly the argument you are arguing against. How many West Ham fans travelled to Malta? How many more followed at home? Yet you find 3 posts and think that qualifies as a whole nations thoughts?!?! The majority of Whufc comments have been incredibly positive about Malta and this blog points out that it is not everyone Maltese that is like this but it is a mere view of certain aspects of the island which could be improved. Your narrow mind is merely making the point of the blog more pertinent
Richard thank you for your comments and sharp understanding. I couldn’t find the right words but you have re highlighting the argument Carlos is arguing against and validating the very point of the article.
No country is perfect but we can all find simple things that can be done to improve things your blog was eloquent and inoffensive so people like Carlos make the argument for you. I have very good friends in Malta and they have all made similar comments to your blog so obviously it’s not just one person expressing this view the sooner others take constructive feedback on board the better
Well I can post hundreds of articles written by British newspapers against foreigners alongside several comments made by politicians like Farage. I may also say that none of our head of state had ever given any nazi salute or their partners said xenophobic or sexist comments.
Even if I do so I wouldn’t generalize about the entire British population or write blogs about how my dear England is breaking my heart. If I feel that a given society had disrespected me I would have moved long ago. Its strange that you have ignored such point considering you claim you read my posts.
I actually hated Malta when I went for a ‘holiday’ there. I don’t know much about its history, or politicians. I don’t even care to be honest. I was on holiday to relax and take in the sights, but some of the natives… their horrible chip on their shoulder… the TERRIBLE drivers and their attitude. The roads are awful! Good for you for defending this by pointing out other countries have problems, but, Malta seems to rely on tourism far more than the UK. So, it might do Malta a favour if someone told the natives to look after their little rock and not be rude, or try to scam ‘foreigners’, because as stupid as Maltese folk may not be, they’re not very wise when they behave so badly toward their wage payers. Of course, they weren’t all like that on my fortnight visit, but enough were to put me and probably others off of ever making a return visit. The internet is now a great way to promote, also share bad experiences. So remember when you defend certain things, you’re encouraging that behaviour. I wouldn’t go back and have already talked people out of going, so I hope tourism drops over the next few years, which may give Malta the kick up the ass it needs!
If u don’t like it go back to “bloody” england where the people aren’t any better. Btw have u ever heard about fox hunting. And fyi racism is everywhere even in the utopia that is the uk even though we may not like it. U “foreigners” thinking ur sooooooo much better than us just because of a few I’m sure its the same in the uk. Take a look at ur country before u criticize ours. Have a nice day.
Sadly you’ve totally missed the point. It’s such a shame. Please read the line about my husband and I not regretting leaving the UK. In fact, reread the whole thing as you’ve missed the point entirely as I said. Thanks for reading.
Omg – that is so funny! Today is the first time in a year, I have wanted to go back to the UK! I had real bad customer service in Shoppers in Mellieha today. I spent nearly €100 in this awful shop, only to watch my shopping be scanned, and thrown in a pile, while I was struggling to pack, and the assistant just sat there watching me – disgusting!
Too many mobile phones while driving, I was on a two lane road today, the car in front, behind and to the side were all texting on their phones. Non use of indicators, being in the left lane, and going right around a roundabout! Rant over!
Speaking of tolerance
The only thing Westham supporters are blowing are big fat ****s
I lived two years in Malta and I have to say that I can’t understand how they can be part of EU. They are most stupid nation in “Europe”.
Honest article. Whether we Maltese like it or not everything that was mentioned in this article is true. I do not live in Malta anymore. In Switzerland where I live, I also feel treated like a foreigner and I am called a foreigner, so this is not a unique occurance to Malta. Malta used to be a better place. It makes me sad whenever I go back to see the beauty of the place being tarnished by the sheer arrogance and despicable behaviour of a few individuals. However I was deeply offended by the comment made by Father Christmas. Sir, we are NOT stupid. Most of us who have left the country have done relatively well for ourselves. We measure up to people coming from much bigger and diversified economies but I never felt inferior. We have extremely good professionals in Malta, in health and education for instance. Of course customer service lacks basics, but Sir, I get that feeling in Switzerland too and when I lived in the UK I was not treated very politely on a couple of occasions either. Malta needs expats. Most of us appreciate the diversity. So please do voice your opinions but when you do so do it respectfully – stupid is a bad choice of words.
Speaking of narrow minded people.
Dear Father Christmas having such a nick name already shows what kind of idiot you are wake up we are in Summer & you are still living in the North pole 😉 When you change your nickname than you can comment back again. The most stupid nation you called has its own language, culture & rich in History. Having also a strategical perfect point in the Mediterranean sea wanted by many since always if you have a look at our history you will have all the answers to your stupid nonsense comment. Thousands of foreigners come to Study in our University & schools again this shows how stupid we are! & finally its true that we are the most stupid country in Europe because we accept all especially “people” like you!
Not as stupid as your nom de plume lol
If it makes you feel any better, I am Maltese living in Spain and have experienced all of the above by the Spanish as well, except for the driving wrong way down a one way street! that, is all Malta 🙂 I don’t want to sound as if I were solely defending Malta, I get what you mean by respecting the country you live in but still being able to speak your mind bla bla, but unfortunately I think this is a case of ‘Dear World, not Dear Malta.
Dear South of Europe actually.
Sayitasitis. The point is not that it happens elsewhere, the point is that it’s happening here.
Why should I a Maltese, take police in the fact that other people in other countries may act the same, when I do not want and resent that type of behaviour in Malta.
Dear Malta is right, for its only in the last few years that we have become a rude, humourless intolerant nation.
Thank you Antonio. I’ve read all your comments. You are a breath of fresh air.
Ah, all the above is so true. Can think of plenty more things for another list though!
As a Maltese girl myself, I can say all the above are just enough for me to want to leave. Whenever I come to the UK I relish the good manners most of the locals demonstrate – in the way they take care of their own country, the way they speak and the way they treat each other. It makes me smile a little inside every time. The British are also so much more aware of themselves and their surroundings – the Maltese (not everyone of course) seem to live in their own bubble. The more time I spend away from Malta the more I become aware of the points you have mentioned – and more.
The roads are THE worst. Driving is somewhat like a ‘private’ thing done in public, and is hence a pretty accurate reflection of the essence of an individual’s character. Selfishness and the ‘first-me-second-me’ attitude absolutely reigns. This lack of respect for one another is so prominent it’s near disgusting.
As for the foreigners statement – I often used the word myself (innocently) till recently it was brought to my attention that it is perceived as an offence by the British. Not sure about other Maltese, but I never quite used that word with the intention of insulting – I think perhaps it’s a language issue since we use the word ‘barranin’ in Maltese, pretty much to refer to someone who is not Maltese. (Nothing, however, justifies the higher prices for individuals like yourself. I know it happens and it’s absolutely ridiculous discrimination).
Fabulous feedback Sarah…and erm…permission to copy that line on the driving being a private thing done in public? Genius!
Sarah, if by UK you mean England, I am really confused to which England you are talking about because I’ve been living in England for the past 8 years and I see the English very rude, they do not care about anybody but themselves they are very sly and to use the proper maltese expression very “haxxejja” They smile and speak softly unlike us but they put words in your mouth, manipulate situations and stab you and each other in the back.
At least with the Maltese you know where you stand. If we like you, you’ll and if we don’t you know as well.
I used to adore England as a child and always looked forward to move there as I thought it was an amazing country but it didn’t take me long after I moved here to see the reality. The country is beautiful but the people are horrible especially in the north. so now I can’t wait to go back home to my beautiful Malta.
I’m SO happy to see that there is another person who feels the same. One year in Malta was enough for me. Thank you so much for this!
Spot on. This little rock has become the most self-centred place on Earth. Island mentality and self centred ignorance are rife. In fact the majority of locals will not even understand your article. Our character is unique and was very well depicted by the great Jeremy Boissevain. Nothing like it anywhere else. And its becoming worse. A foreigner unfriendly place at its best.
A foreigner unfriendly place at its best. that’s why we have record tourism, it’s wingers like you we don’t need.
I suggest you read the other comments Martin. But you don’t seem ‘amenable’ to accepting observations of your country. Most people (many many of them Maltese) have understood the point of this post. By your very comments and intimidating behaviour towards me on Twitter you have validated the VERY argument I’m making. You have such a lovely island in many ways but you don’t make it easy… There are dozens of people on here not to mention social media pages who agree with me and describe their experiences, many of them people who grew up in Malta! I really do urge you to take a step back, READ everything that has been said and learn from it. Thank you.
Its great to hear that expats that despise us natives on this dusty and noisy island leave for good.
I thought twice about approving your comment Winston. I’ve published it so that people can see this is EXACTLY the problem. Your attitude. You’ve pretty much confirmed what I’m saying (and most people in this thread and elsewhere on social media). What a pity. Thank you for reading nevertheless.
Before criticizing and generalizing I suggest to dissect the argument. One hint, expats that despise us natives. That’s how many are interpreting the expats constant moaning
Let me teach a little history lesson as you seem to be in need of one. Let me take u back to the 19th centuary where d british treated d locals like crap. Consider this payback. How do you like it now.
I do not think – judging from the unnecessary tone of your comment – that I am the one in need of a lesson, Who Cares. This article literally has NOTHING to do with what the Brits or any other nation did back in history and EVERYTHING to do with common courtesy and good societal values, two things that you seem to be lacking.
And if we are going to enter into a competition involving Britain and colonialism…I’m of Indian origin…shall I teach you a history lesson about the British in India?
What an unintelligent comment.
In case you are not aware of it the behaviours described by the author are not only towards forigeners but also faced everyday by Maltese.
I read your points with interest and maybe you should take this into consideration. Not all maltese people are the same. Not everyone leave dirt behind ir shout at customers. The majority of the maltese people are clean in and out, are helpful and don’t fall into the categories above. So before judging all the maltese citizens i will remark that once you were at the supermarket and the fishmonger shouted at you, etc etc. Cause I am pretty sure all the points you mentioned before happened once or twice max. Which happens all the world.
Hi Charmaine. Reread the article…about me NOT tarring everyone with the same brush…and appreciating the good etc etc (FYI I have lived in Malta for almost ten years…I can assure you I’ve held my tongue for a long time and these incidents have not happened once or twice. If they had, I wouldn’t even mention them!)
My parents moved to Malta when I was 6, I left when I was 18, but they stayed for another 10 years… It sounds like something’s on the island will never change… but it always stopped people in their tracks, when I responded in Maltese…
I had one rule…
If spoken to in English, respond in English…If spoken to in Maltese, respond in Maltese… If being Abused, Complaining or being shouting at, always use Maltese… Even if it was just a single phrase… it made them think twice…
After 5 years in Malta with the Maltese constantly telling me to just go home every time there was an argument or complaint, even in situations where they probably knew themselves they were 100% in the wrong, I had enough and did just that – I went home. I love the island, but it’s not freaking worth it. I have lived many places in the world, but never have I come across any more entitled, rude and egotistic people. Fortunately, there are exceptions – much love to my Maltese friends that prove that there might be hope for Malta if the future generation follows their example instead of the general attitude.
BTW I agree completely about customer care which in Malta is virtually non existent. Not to forget the distasteful practice of shopkeepers who tend to pick food with their own hands (no gloves etc). I hate that.
Well I’ve been working in the IT and advertising sector for enough time to know that blogs tend to give a tunnel and somehow thwarted view of what the majority truly think. Think about it. We tend to read the opinion of authors we like and ignore those whom we disagree with. So your blogs like any other blog for all that matter is read by like minded people and ignored by those who disagree with you. Of course you’ll always find the exception of the case, people like me for example 🙂
I am not arguing with any of your points. What I am trying to do is to make you understand why the Maltese are acting that way and give you some sound advice. Life is too short to live in a society where you feel disrespected in. BTW I am speaking from experience.
To conclude call me a pessimist but I cant see a great future for Malta and Europe as a whole. The immigration problem is set to grow, which means more pressure on the Southern countries and more hostility among nations. If the EU cant understand how stupid and shortsighted the Dublin 2 treaty is than its only a matter of time before Malta will have their own Salvinis, Farages, Wilders and Le Pens. You cant really blame them completely either. The country is just too small to integrate everybody successfully, the immigrants don’t want to stay there in the first place and the Maltese are getting a bit frustrated of seeing their own country used as a massive detention center. The fact that Malta never colonized or caused wars with anybody make matters worse. Unlike Britain or Germany whose got such a horrendous past the Maltese feel they have no moral debt to anybody.
I guess you made your homework before coming to malta. So I ask, what is it that made you change the nice cute things the maltese do into a list of annoying things? That’s malta. Many British still didn’t realise that the days of the empire are over and we are an independent country on the same deciding EU table.
Maltese are foreigners in Gozo
we have a small island mentality
queues were never respected
I am sorry that you were discriminated against and though I am also sorry that hunting is still legal. That’s democracy!
For the nice cute things, please see the posts mentioned in this article. This is a specific topic about the problems in Malta (which many many people have agreed on in the few hours since this has been published). Please also reread the many disclaimers in this very article about nowhere being ideal etc etc. Finally, perhaps read the other comments in this thread? Many thanks for reading the post.
I think some things cannot be clear enough! If I enter an establishment that is below my standards, I will have to decide whether I should leave or stay. If I decide to stay I need to be aware that the establishment makes the rules and not I. What was that old saying, …do as the Romans do? Does this only apply to selected situations or to all? Or is it that we have become so Politically Correct that everything that was no longer is?
Carlos, like you I am Maltese, and sixty years old to boot.
Maltahad vchanged to the worst, as a country I do not think we are as friendly and welcoming as we used to be.
We have become an intolerant nation, not only to foreigners but also to each other
The blog had got nothing to do with the British empire or colonies or about the author changing his perception of the island , its about all those instances of lack of civility that seems to be permeating our country.
Thank you Antonio for understanding what I was trying to say. Amen.
Of course it had changed to the worse. Its an overpopulated country whose expected to integrate an ever increasing and uncontrollable number of immigrants that everyone seem to pity but no one seem to want. People (including the Maltese) should be leaving the island but instead the population keep on increasing. To make matters worse the road structure do not help.
I was financially better off in Malta. I left because I was feeling claustrophobic. Having said that, while I agree that the country is becoming more hostile to foreigners its nowhere near to other countries. Up in the North xenophobia is not only celebrated but is well organized and is also represented in parliament (UKIP, Lega Nord etc)
Ukip I believe won one seat and lega Nord us xenophobic to all Italians from the south and would want the North to seceed from the rest of Italy.
Again this has absolutely nothing to do with with the blogg which is about what Maltese citizens, living in Malta, have been complaining about in the media, social network and daily conversation.
It’s a pity to see Carlos has missed the point of the article completely.
The instances she alludes to stem (for the most part) from the lack of basic understanding of manners, the complete lack of a sens of pride in being helpful and friendly to your neighbour.
Malta was very different years back. I’m not that old at 36, nevertheless I have seen society change for the worse.
A real pity that you counter a gentle eye-opener with “your county ain’t perfect either!!”.
You think Malta’s perfect? No? Then what are you doing about it to see it blossom?
Thank you thank you thank you Mark! Exactly. I have in the spirit of encouraging debate and respecting the freedom of speech published all of Carlos’s comments but it has been with gritted teeth because the point has been so spectacularly missed by one or two individuals. (Although I am hugely surprised and encouraged to see so many ‘locals’ agreeing with me and understanding what I’m trying to say…step in the right direction?)
I have understood her comments perfectly however I took an effort to explain why things had changed and to explain that this change is happening everywhere. Regarding manners, well I agree with her perfectly especially in terms of customer care
What puzzles me is about being friendly to your neighbour. I have yet to meet people as cold and unhelpful as Londoners. Well actually I am wrong on that. The Parisians are actually worse.
Experienced every single one of these things for the 5 years I lived on the island, despite the fact my husband is half-Maltese, and our first child was born there. The ‘Yes’ thing – I can’t even explain how crazy that made me. HATE it. It’s so bloody rude! You forgot to add in the people who queue jump in front of you in the local shops, and when you point out their *error* they claim not to have seen you (hello?!?!). In the end, I just couldn’t put up with always being treated like a second class citizen, and returned to the UK. It is such a shame, as if the attitude wasn’t as bad as it was I would have happily made a permanent home and life in the country.
I never understood how a person can live in a society that he finds hurtful or disrespectful. If you don’t like a place than move elsewhere. That what I did whenever I felt uncomfortable in a given place.
Also you can’t blame the Maltese for not being very friendly with Expats. All they do is moaning and groaning about how horrible and primitive Malta is. Meanwhile their politicians work hard to shift the consequences of their nations mistakes (ex colonialism and war) on the Southern nations including tiny Malta.
Thanks for reading Carlos. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion. To be honest, yours is in the minority from what I’m seeing on my own social media pages as well as the forums that other people are sharing this in. The vast majority of Maltese people who’ve read this are in fact in agreement (embarassed but in agreement!). And I do refer to the ‘if you don’t like it’ mentality in my post. How many times do you suggest I move my 3 kids from country to country and school to school? Not that easy is it? Please do read my post Should I Stay or Should I Go? and 30 Things that Make Me Happy to see how much good I also say about Malta. Cheers.
I am curious to know why you think it’s a reasonable response to tell us ‘if you don’t like it, leave’? Why do you feel that we’re not entitled to dislike things about a country? It doesn’t mean we hate everything, but surely we’re allowed to have annoyances at the country we live, work and pay tax in, just as much as you? If not, why not? Must we all only live in countries we like every single aspect of? I don’t believe there is a country in the world that would fit that bill.
We live in Malta, we made it our home, so of course we’re allowed to find things annoying and to voice those annoyances. Do you honestly believe that Malta is a perfect country and wouldn’t benefit from improving on things like customer service, acceptance of expats, basic manners, safer roads and drivers?
All countries have an expat community, it’s a testament to the country that so many ‘foreigners’ want to live there, but live there we do. I live here, I work here, I pay tax here, I feed the economy with my rent, my food, my bills, my shopping. When I hear these ‘go home’ or ‘leave’ comments I really do wonder what position Malta would be in if all the foreigners like me just up and left one day, taking our income and our businesses with us. I’m not saying we’re so important Malta can’t survive without us but we’re here, we have every right to be and we do a lot of good for the country, so being a fully grown adult and believing we don’t have a right to an opinion, or a right to voice our opinion is very childish.
THANK YOU RHI! I nearly put that bit in actually and left it out…about what would happen if all these awful ungrateful ‘foreigners’ who dare to voice an opinion were to leave. Honestly, it would have a major impact. It’s well known that there are different rental prices for instance for locals v foreigners. Thank you so much for your constructive comments.
As some one had already said, the problem is not that we don’t want foreigners in our country especially those who came here legally who surely and truely work pay taxes etc.It is when these foreigners start looking at us as we who live on a small island are a bunch of idiots that makes us want to tell them if you don’t like it go back where you came from.I ‘ve been ti Britain many times to the states Poland Italy Greece etc I had every single problem you listed in here and mire Prabs.In the 80’s in England if you got lost and asked someone to help you they wouldn’t even lift an eye let alone help you.In England people behind the cash also slammed change at me when I put my hand out,in England they shoot foxes(such lovely animals,pheasant,partridge etc.So don’t get offended if you are told to go back if you don’t like it because these islands were firever
Were forever occupied by foreigners and it was only when the maltese took their country in their own hands that oyr economy got better,people were living a happier healthier life and wages went up.Now because of some idiot who wanted to write down his name in history who gave Malta to the foreigners once again we are finding a lot of these foreigners who our trying to change the way we live and tell us how we must behave and beleive me if all foreigners had to leave we will again fend for ourselves like we did before.One thing don’t forget though Malta compared to other countries is a tiny drop.
Foreigners (that word again!) are not ‘trying to change’ how the Maltese live. They/we are simply aghast and dispirited over the lack of civility, accountability and sense of responsibility rife on this island. I have written this article with such respect yet…you miss its tone and don’t recognise a word of what I am saying. By the way, is this where I point out that for a nation that is 99% Catholic or thereabouts, this “we’ll do fine without you all telling us what to do” attitude is disturbingly un Christian…not to mention short-sighted because if all the ‘foreigners’ left, so would half the money keeping the island’s tourism/catering/entertainment industries going.
Thank you for reading.
Are you sure about that Prabs? All I am reading is patronising comments some of whom border to plain insults. One of the posts you approved even said that the Maltese are the most stupid people in Europe.
Carlos if I don’t publish, readers say I’m censoring. If I publish, readers insult me anyway. Try running a blog! Thank you for all your interaction. I find it heartbreaking and just as insulting but in the interests of debate and freedom of speech I HAVE published them. Thanks.
I love how Maltese seem to use the worst situations in other countries as an example (and usually the only example they know) to then imply that Malta is not as bad.
I really think its just a matter of an inferiority complex. (But also a little bit of: “I can complain about my mum but no one else should dare to!”)
There is constant ‘internal’ discrimination in Malta too: North/South; English/Maltese Spoken; Malta/Gozo.. etc
But be sure that some locals also feel your pain, even if the comments are not directed at us, we too lose a little bit of hope with every comment, or situation, and slowly feel like this is not what we want to call home.
Hey hold on your horses deary, no one is telling you to leave if you don’t want to. I am just giving an honest advice ie if you feel disrespected or you can’t integrate into that society then it would be better if you leave it for good. Its easier for a person to live amongst those he share his culture with than expect an entire population to adapt to you. Also usually such miracle never occur so it will only add to your frustrations.
Also note that no country is perfect. Let me give you something to cheer about. At least you’re not paying (or I hope you’re not) crazy taxes as I do and then end the day reading on the evening standard about how us evil foreigners are abusing the welfare benefits and how the evil southern nations are allowing immigrants to reach Britain instead of nannying themselves (the millions of immigrants coming from former colonies) etc. That’s what is currently happening in good old tolerant Britain.
Finally let me give you a hint. England will not go bankrupt if I leave the country and rest assured that the same thing will not happen to Malta if you do the same.
Interesting , comparing an economy depending mainly (if not only) on outside income with the economy of England. Don’t you think that the customer service in catering outlets and cheating in grocery stores mentioned above isn’t kicking out foreign cash. I ain’t no fortune teller , but i can GUARANTEE you that if these 2 things were taken care of a coupe of decades ago Malta would have been BOOMING at the moment (times 3 compared for what it is at the moment)…
And here we go: ” if u dont like, leave” 🙂 most common phrase 😀 Malta is a tourist place, what it will does if all “foreigners” leave ? Perfect answer for everything… we dont need to improve behavior, driving skills or respect of enviroment… were at home here so we can do whatever we want… perfect way of thinking….
Oh my word that is such a sad sad thing to read. If you love your country, how can you think like that? As someone said in this thread, for such a ‘patriotic’ nation, you have a strange way of looking after your country. Very sad. But thanks for the comment.
I will never condone horrible customer service and cheating. In matter of fact I criticized it in numerous occasions including on this very blog. What I am saying is completely different though. I don’t think that England’s economy depends on me as much as I don’t think that Malta’s economy depends on Rhi. If I can get a better life elsewhere I would leave England without any regrets or thoughts and my advice to Rhi is to do the same thing. Life is too short for that
Also kindly note that the Maltese economy is booming at the moment. Malta provide a high standard of living, a relatively low unemployment rate and crime rate. Its also a beautiful island. Its a bit too noisy and overpopulated for my tastes by its a great place to live. I assure you the hordes of Expats coming to Malta are not coming here for our pastizzi that’s for sure.
Honestly I think that in terms of Malta it would be better off with less of a booming economy especially if that means less people around. Its already too overpopulated as it is.
Having read as far as this, I feel I really need to comment. I am English, married to a Maltese for 40 years,the last 10 (like prabs) in Malta. I fully concur with the original blog, as all of these things have happened to me over my time here. I love Malta and it was my decision to migrate from London. Where, yes there have been some derrogatory comments, and some of them very true also.
On saying this I try to ignore the negatives of this beautiful Island and concentrate on the positive. Where possible I try to encourage others to do the same, as it is only a minority of people in any country who are derogatory and rude. I do not have to speak with them every day and where possible, try to avoid them. Come on, we can all live together we are after all intelligent human beings.
Thanks for the blog Prabs, well written.
You’re spot on with this blog. The “YES” thing drives me nuts and I always reply with “Yes” myself only to get a dumbfounded look from the aggressor. Racism is rampant although it is denied.
Your article made my day, thank you for posting. I always felt i m the only one noticing these things … Well done. All the best !
Thanks Ana. After the barrage of abuse (mainly from the mimority) I need to hear that.
I am Maltese born and bred, and I was nodding my head at each point (and cringing!) and I feel even worse reading some of these comments. Unfortunately many people will always spring to the attack when someone points out their errors and that is why we are still so ‘backwards’ in some respects.
Yes it is terribly sad. Thank you for your polite feedback Louise.
I think wherever you go you will find small minded people. Reading this, I have witnessed every single one and I’m the UK. Try not to let the bigots get you down – its them that are the problem, not you! #momsterslink
Exactly! You can run into rude people anywhere. Reading your rant I understand the frustration with rude and arrogant drivers who drive wrong way etc. It is very annoying! But other than that staff at my supermarket are super polite with locals and tourists alike and in general with good planning I don’t have any other problems living here. I think the issue is that Malta is so densely populated the arrival of so many EU nationals & migrants has put a strain on us! To be honest you do sound slightly patronizing Prabs but you have every right to complain! Bad days happen. Hope the good ones compensate!
I literally have NO idea how I sound patronising if you actually read the intro or the other posts I’ve linked to. Honestly, that is mind boggling but you’re entitled to your opinion. To be fair, with almost 8000 people having read it, there will all sorts of feedback and obviously that’s a risk I take on as a blogger.
Perhaps it’s the combination of your rant & other expats chiming in to complain about people’s manners that make it sound patronizing, I understand certain things are annoying, I just wish people would not generalize.
26 years ago I left my native country, Scotland to give my children the chance to learn their mother’s culture in Malta, their mother’s homeland. I was very happy at first as it was like joining an extended family. How its changed, getting verbal abuse, told to mind my own business and go home, even though I am a 14 yr Maltese citizen now. Nobody seems to care about anyone but themselves anymore. Malta seems to have lost its soul. If St Paul were to come here today he’d take the next ferry out!
If St.Paul were to land here today, he would be accused of trying to change our culture, that he came to steal our jobs and told to go back home. 🙂
St Paul was grateful for Maltese hospitality and when he couldn’t stick to the place any more he left for Rome. He seem to understand the place more than everyone since he never wrote letters to the Maltese to complain about the place or its people. BTW once in Rome he probably learnt that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. In matter of fact he ended up losing his head there.
Food for thought to everyone :p
Ah yeah its meant to be a joke
Carlos, not that this has anything to do with the blogg,but St. Paul was a prisoner here on his way to judgement in Rome. The fact that he converted us to Christianity speaks volumes of what he thought of our culture. Just saying. 🙂
What’s stopping you?
Besides Paul Blessed the Maltese not curse them as some here do!
Well spoken. I am observing this for 15 years now and like you I am seeing it getting worse. A mentality with an enormous chip on its shoulder while delivering the same arrogance they are so afraid of. The same contradiction is this overblown pride in a perfect nation while doing nothing to preserve or enhance it.
Moan and groan. It’s not nice to generalize. Sounds rather arrogant. Sigh. If expats are unhappy I don’t get it, nobody forces you to be here!
Well Erika, I am Maltese and I am not surprised that your comment “if you do not like it then leave” is typical of a nation incapable or unwilling to grow up.
We are probably the youngest nation in Europe and we act like adolescents with no thoughts for others.
Thank you! I was quite taken back by the comments of certain people such as Erika which do not display any form of constructive debate etc so I appreciate you commenting. Sadly I think it’s a case of preaching to the converted and the ones who need to change never will. Dreadfully sad as I was not trying to be disrepectful. Thanks again
Spot on on all (or most of the above), but, a couple of things to note 🙂
1. some of us are not like that … although true, one lousy Neanderthal is all it takes to screw your morning …
2. all of these irritating (and sometimes hurtful) traits actually irritate (and hurt) every one …. Maltese born and expats (I also dislike the word “foreigner”) alike
So, its good to point such traits out like that – they’re obvious, in all fairness, but it helps to bring them more often to the light of day …
In order to see the light of the day, one would need to take his/her head out from their ass! Have you taken a good look at your beloved England? Does one really have to point out the regression that is devouring it? Some of you are running away from your beloved countries, coming over here and bring your Political Correctness (that ruined your countries) and ruin it for us over here! Please give us all a break take your Colonial hands off of our Island!
Basic manners, general civility towards one another/nature/environment etc is not Political Correctness David. They’re called being a decent human being. And who on earth has ‘colonial’ hands? You’re talking to an Indian person who’s own country of origin was colonised for goodness sake! Please stick to the points in the post rather than going off about all sorts of other irrelevant issues. Thanks.
Basic Manners??? I suppose if we had to mention Abortion we would be stepping on some Political Correct toes! Whoever wrote this article mentioned London/Paris and if you are not her you sure are defending her discrediting of Malta and the Maltese!
Thanks for commenting anyway.
David, you, on your own managed to highlight the immaturity of Maltese and their lack to accept criticism.
May I point out to you that no political correctness ruined any country. That the UK has a tradition of political humor, satire and a general attitude to take the piss not only out of themselves but of all the political class, attitudes that are not appreciated on the island because of the breast big chip on our shoulder.
If you even bothered to read the blogg and the other links provided an obtuse person would be able to see that the bloggs are written out of live for a country she loves and not out of any sense of impropriety.
Also kindly note that most of these ‘Arabs’ would want to join their families in Britain and France but they cannot because the tolerant Europeans refuse to accept them. Its ok for these nations to colonize countries, make profit by selling them weapons and exploit their resources but its not ok for them to accept immigrants.
I also noticed that you lived in Britain and France. Surely you’re better off in term of xenophobia than those two country who have xenophobic papers like the Daily Mail constantly banging against foreigners and leaders of powerful parties like Le Pen and Farage doing practically the same thing.
You are missing the point and by your comment proving the author’s point.
“I know no country is perfect. Every country has its negative aspects”.
You might be very well right about the situation in the in your reply mentioned countries.
However, this particular article is about Malta.
And I am not sure if it is common knowledge but during WW2 Malta was Hell On Earth’s summer residence.
This sheds some light on MT’s ‘late’ development… literally everything was destroyed, and then the British left and the Maltese with any sense in their minds left to Australia and Canada. The rest of the people had to rebuild a country…
Amazing job so far in doing that and our utmost respect and gratitude for that and MT’s role in WW2.
The mentioned points of critique are meant to highlight what has been done so far, to show the deserved, approved and applicable compliments, as well as to point out that the job is not done yet. Something we (all living here) should take to heart and turn into action.
Thank you Dennis. There you go.
Well you seem to omit some details. How Malta was one of the poorest colonies in Europe. In matter of fact the British crown had to mint a coin for them. The riots that happen during the 1920s which caused the death of four Maltese people. Not to forget the British plans to sack hundreds of people from the Malta shipbuilding soon after war and refused to let the Maltese to tap fully to the Marshall Aid and were given pocket money instead (30m pounds) to restore the most bombed country during the War. Its a miracle that such small country, with no natural resources was able to build such a prosperous economy and they did it without having to colonize or wage war with anyone. No wonder why the Maltese are proud of their history and so suspicious towards foreigners. Their history and their present (especially considering what’s going on with the immigration problem) doesn’t inspire any reason for changing their views
I share your views that each culture should strive to become better. However I also believe that harsh criticism is not how to achieve that and that societies should be evolve at their own pace. Malta is heading towards that direction. 30 years ago it was unheard off that the Maltese would accept divorce. Not only we had voted it in, now we have also accepted gay marriage.
What frustrates me is the unfair criticism coming from Expats on certain issues were their country is worse off than ours. Take xenophobia as an example. I often wonder how British expats can teach us anything on that regard when they have newspapers constantly criticising ‘foreigners’ and politicians who keep banging on that same tune. Don’t they know that UKIP is nowadays the third most voted party in Britain? We’re talking here about a party whose leader BLAMED foreigners for clogging the M4. Till this very day Britain had opted out from accepting a fair share of immigrants despite being perfectly aware whose the ones responsible for wrecking Africa. Imagine the uproar in Malta if our politicians did the same thing.
Do I detect bitterness ? Why not take note of the previous reply to your last post…….Yes we all know that lots of countries, if not all of them, have problems.
The point is Malta DOES have problems, some of which are being pointed out by a person who has lived there, and probably paid taxes for ten years.
How long do you have to live in Malta before you are treated like a second class citizen ?……..the answer should be…one second.
Just remember ” no man is an island” even if Malta is !
Erm sorry that should read ” how long do u have to be treated like a second class citizen……..not one second”
Sorry brain curled up and died after hearing how much Carlos hates England (thank god he doesn’t hate Britain)
You sound very Anti-British Carlos .
That’s cos you guys sound anti-Maltese, someone’s bound to get defensive…
Again READ my actual words. Not “anti” Maltese. Just one human being imploring a nation to look inside themselves and re-evaluate how they treat other humans/environment/etc. If I was anti Maltese how are some of my best friends here Maltese?! Do you not think I like this island and that THAT is why all this hurts so much? If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t even waste my time writing about it. Wishing you a good weekend. I really must get on and see to my family/house now! Thanks for being part of the debate.
I would remind Carlos, that without the many visitors and ExPats, Malta would not be financially viable. I visited Malta three times last year, and was looking to live there, but had to give up, as I was given false information via the web site of many rental agents, who wasted my time by advertising flats at the price I could afford, only to try and rent me much dearer ones, because they were advertising flats that did not exist. In England we call these ‘ come ons’, or in modern speech ‘Scams. I would love to live in Malta, but am afraid I will have to return to Spain, where I am welcomed with open arms. Yours Truly, Peter J Newbey.
Prabs, I am Maltese and no kid at 60 years of age, your comments are fair and on the dot.
It matters not that these things can and do happen elsewhere, what is important is that these attitudes and behaviour are happening in Malta.
It’s typical of us Maltese to use the argument that it happens elsewhere when we are critized, which shows a certain amount of immaturity at how to accept criticism as a positive to improve.
This is the common mentality in Malta. When you dare to criticise any aspect of Maltese life/culture you are either told to go back to your own country or someone will start to point the finger at other countries. It doesn’t matter that the Maltese have problems with manners, don’t dare to tell them or you might upset them. Dear dear.
Carlos kindly note that France is among the European nations that has accepted a high number of migrant/refugees. Germany took in 200,000 last year and is expecting to take in 400,000 this year.
The electorates of both the UK and France have not given a very strong support to Farage, not sure about Le Pen.
Aparty from that, what does xenophobia got to do with a blogg regarding issues Maltese themselves have been publicly complaining about for many years now, both on social media as well as on epaoets on line comments.
Lovely post as always Prabs. Though some things are not just Malta alone to claim. Some of it is worldwide and about respect. We need to make sure we reach our children respect and manners because otherwise more and more people will slip down this rude road leading to more unhappy people xxx thanks for linking x
Oh dear, it would seem the horrible side of human nature is at play not only in Malta but many other countries as well. I wonder if part of the attitude towards you is also because you are a woman and the possibility that that is the case makes my heart heavy. The best revenge is a happier life and to do that is to be friendly, polite and caring as much as you can. If all fails just chuck a massive tantrum and drive head on into the car going the wrong way – that will fuck em! Mel xx #momsterslink ps. sorry about the swear word but feel it is warranted and you havent lost me as a reader! M xx
As an expat myself if you feel that a country disrespects you than don’t waste energy and move elsewhere. I wouldn’t live in a country that doesn’t respect me at all
Sorry taking some time to get through all the comments. Only just saw this but have approved all your others I think.
I can’t believe what you are going through! How awful to feel so unwelcome. My heart breaks for you (not Malta). I trust you have found some wonderful people that take the edge off the garbage–figuratively and literally.
Thanks for the invitation to link up.
Thanks Hun xx
You have got to laugh, Honey!
Oh my goodness you’re having a bad time on our rock and the heat doesn’t help neither!.
As a consolation but unfortunately not a solution so do I as a pure maltese feel exactly the same.
An island mentality is hard to change but I try with a smile and a pleasant positive tone to educate. ….
Have a jolly weekend and a long Aperol Spritz!
Hi no honestly we don’t have a bad life here. I don’t want it to sound that way. It’s just these things have piled up over ten years. Thanks for the lovely comment.
You’re absolutely right and you’re not alone.
Thank you. I WISH the haters could understand it.
I’d say the majority of locals with anything between their ears share your feelings. Our mistake is to wait for national elections to sweep away what is wrong and think we can solve all problems by passing the buck to politicians.
Like every other country in the world, Malta has its good, its bad and its ugly. What I don’t understand is why anyone would want to portray only the ugly. If you have really lived here for 10 years and have really spent time with Maltese people you would know that most of us are kind, generous and friendly human beings who wouldn’t hurt an ant never mind another person. Whilst I’m not denying that the things you mentioned do happen, it is far from being the norm of the day and if it is then all I can say is that perhaps you are hanging round the wrong crowd/place. Then again, constant criticism does tend to bug people so perhaps you need to be a little bit more balanced in your arguments as too much negativity will only bring on more negativity. Yes, there are things that can be improved but which place on earth is perfect and the reality is that we are not this monstrous nation you are making us out to be.
Hi Josianne. Thanks for your response. I’m sorry if you feel you were painted as a monstrous nation…not my intention at all. Please do go back to what I said in the second paragraph about some of Malta’s good points or indeed the first line of the third paragraph: no country is perfect… I’ve spent the weekend being contacted by ‘sympathisers’ who questioned whether people really absorbed the words I used in this article because I assure I’m a measured careful writer who would NEVER knowingly offend, you have my word. I do appreciate your courtesy however which a minority of your fellow countrymen/women have not shown so I do thank you for that.
You can always leave. You will give us more space and you will not be missed. Malta was so much nicer without all these foreigners.
I have published your comment, obviously not because I agree with it, but because with every word you have written, you have displayed the very rudeness and appalling ignorance I was highlighting in the first place. So thank you. Well done!
Omg so what you gone do u will Dai for hunger and you will be worshiping the fat lady. Again and you will eat snails
That’s exactly answer when you acting like Maltese I was in Malta nearly ten years every day I wake up I wake up happy but as soon I leave my apartment I start stress out for all that heart feeling and for some reason I can’t go back home am in like prison live
Well done JCurmi, with people like you, we have no way of imroving our situation and start acting like a more civilized country. You just confirmed that she’s right on her points
Typical answer of the Neanderthal. ‘You can always leave.’ This is the answer when the brainless have no argument.
Actually I (as a born Maltese) prefer to have reasonable foreigners living amongst us rather than someone as stupid as you!
Rude, ignorant and no doubt narrowminded…..
It is sad to read some of the harsh comments from locals. Why this hostile response?
I will probably stir up more hatred (Especially you JCurmi) by telling what I believe is the problem.
Educational – In societies with better education (North Europe) you have better infra-structures, safe justice systems, non-corrupt governments & better leadership. Malta doesn’t have this.
Economical – Malta’s GDP rates among the lowest in EURO zone despite the fact the country have attracted foreign businesses by under cutting taxes as well as selling passports.
Average wages in Malta is only a third to a fourth of those in Northern Europe.
Malta has no export of importance and is in deep need of foreign cash that buys property and services.
I can understand that some Maltese get upset about this and even jealous but telling expats to leave isn’t very clever. Without expats the Maltese will have to emigrate like they did in the past due to lack of jobs and bad economy.
As an EU citizen I feel that North Europeans or any Europeans have the right to express frustration over stupidity no matter where in the EU.
Malta will become a better place first when the majority of the population understands it’s better to listen and learn instead of criticizing expats.
It is nothing wrong or shameful to adapt ideas from the north.
“US” is better than “WE and THEM”
Thank you for the comment. I did not say anything about stupidity. I am upset mainly about the lack of humanity and civility and it’s amazing as you rightly point out what a hostile – and ironically inhumane and uncivil response – my post drew. However it was in the minority. I agree with the suggestion that people listen and learn instead of criticising expats.
Dear Al, I would like you to explain what you meant by
“Educational – In societies with better education (North Europe) you have better infra-structures, safe justice systems, non-corrupt governments & better leadership. Malta doesn’t have this.” ?????
The Maltese standard of education is way higher than most of North European countries especially England and I am proud to say that I am a testimony to that. Having left school at the age of 13 because of unfortunate circumstances and never had the opportunity to return I decided to do something about it. I applied for a University level course ( in the UK) without the necessary qualifications and was given a chance to do an exam to determine if I am able to go through with the 2 year course to achieve a diploma. I passed with flying colours and went on to achieve distinctions and merits in all subjects. I am saying this not to boast about how intelligent I am but to say how thankful I am for the high level of education that I received in a state school in Malta up to the age of 13. So please get your facts right before you think you know so much about Malta.
Also as to the corruption of our government, yet again you are mistaken. If our government was corrupt, will not accept all the problems that the EU is throwing at us especially with the issue of the illegal immigrants but decide on their own what to do to eliminate the problem like they do in all the 3rd world countries.
This is what I talk about when I say that the North Europeans think that they know it all and that somehow they are superior to the Maltese. That is why we are fed up and frustrated with your arrogance.
Wow, she is really smart 😉
Another one who sounds very condescending! As a local I’m upset that certain streets are so dirty, and now I’m upset there are expats who think like this, rather than offering useful suggestions. Just great!
Erika…we try to offer useful suggestions and get told if we don’t like it leave! My goodness…judging from your comments, I can’t win either way. I love Malta. It is because I care about your gorgeous island that these issues (and I only mentioned a few) hurt so much not to mention the awful reaction from certain people (thankfully a minority I’m relieved to notice because most people actually sympathised with and understood what I was saying). If I didn’t care about Malta I would not have used the words that I did in the title for instance. Thank you contributing to the debate anyway. I appreciate you voicing your opinion even if I found it aggressive. We are all different. Thanks again.
Are you serious? “you can always leave” what if you decided to settle down in another country and someone is rude to you based solely on the fact that you weren’t born and bred there? Do you think that just because you might have lived here all your life that you have more of a right to be here than anyone who hasn’t? I think its very ignorant of you to say that. First of all the world belongs to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or background, secondly rude behaviour isn’t tolerated anywhere in the world so why should malta be an exception to that rule? “Malta was so much nicer without all these foreigners” do tell how “foreigners” took something away from malta? Did they destroy our beaches and pollute our sea? The maltese didn’t need any help with that our own population did that. All that can come from “foreigners” settling down in malta is more diversity of culture which is a good thing because we can all learn something from one another. I don’t know when or how you were educated Mr. Curmi but I think you need to revisit certain life lesson we teach children in primary school things like tolerance or sharing for instance? Everyone has a right to speak their mind but please do think, be considerate and give your opinion in an educated well mannered way next time for your own sake as well because your ignorance is showing through and you are giving maltese people a bad name when we aren’t all as uneducated and unmannered as you.
Thank you Savannah. I think most people echo your sentiment. Well said.
There is a lot of truth in this BUT generally it refers to the older generation (pre Independence) Maltese than the modern (post EU) generation and folks that are from the villagers. You would find the same in the UK to be honest. What is not acceptable is the level of rubbish on the streets everywhere and not having a proper system of storage/collection – just people throwing bags of food etc down anywhere they want and a truck picking them up at 50mph and leaving half of the contents strewn all over the street. In fact, the website littlerock would have been more aptly titled litterrock. If gov.mt can’t afford to keep the streets clean ask the EU for more money under a vermin and insanitary distress request.
litterock. Yes indeed. A few people on here have said it’s the tourists littering! It may well be but I have lived here for 10 years. I know what I have seen with my own eyes and it was not tourists littering. Thanks for your comments. And yes I agree, it is mainly the older generation who are resistant to change and totally defensive about this sort of article.