10 Ways to Spot the Typical Maltese Abroad
We've all been there: You're just boarding your plane to escape the island for a while, or you're wandering down a lovely street somewhere in the world, when you spot him/her: The Maltese Abroad. He's your stereotypical islander and very easy to spot, thanks to the characteristic behaviour the moment he waves Malta goodbye. See if you can spot yourself or someone you know in these 10 signs below - I know I've done and lived through a fair few!
1. Remembering that no one can understand you
Of the 371,000 people who speak Maltese, only around 71,000 of them live abroad, which means that the chances of anyone understanding what you're saying are pretty slim. For most, it also means that you can forget social etiquette and literally think out loud without worrying about offending anyone. You think that those kids on the beach are behaving like pests? Say it. You think that guy over there looks hot? Preach it! Only your mates can understand you - it's one perk of speaking one of the rarest languages of the world ;)
2. Having to explain where Malta is every. single. time.
"You're from Malta? Where is that?" - is the single commonest thing you will be asked when you're a Maltese abroad. It's a tiny, lovely nation state in the middle of the Mediterranean guys. No it's not part of Italy, no it's not in the US, and yes, we have our own government and language. Not that hard.
3. "So does that make you a Malteser?"
I bet you think you're the first one to come up with this joke, right? Wrong.
4. All of the Souvenirs
A magnet for Nanna, some liquer for Uncle Johnny, chocolates for work, something cute for your sister, the list goes on, and on, and on. Did you lose your Maltese travel companion? You can probably find him in the closest souvenir shop or the Duty Free area at the airport. You're welcome.
5. Where's the closest Primark please?
If there's one thing the Maltese like to do when they go abroad, it's shopping. What's better than shopping? Shopping on the cheap. Rest assured that your typical Maltese will be well prepared for this venture: empty luggage ready to be filled to the brim, map in hand to get to the nearest outlet, going through racks faster than an Olympian athlete. Shopping is pretty much the national sport, and boy do we love it.
6. Where's the buffet again?
All our talk of diet and salads fly out of the window the moment we go on holiday. While some will be interested in trying local delicacies, most Maltese will be more interested in the triple-course-breakfast-buffet in the morning, and learning that half-board accommodation means no free lunch is a heartbreaking disappointment to most. Hey, value for money, right?
7. Oh look, trains!
This happens to every single Maltese person travelling for the first time. Not having any transportation system other than buses, seeing a train or a metro system for the first time usually leaves us in awe of these big machines.
8. Realizing that the world is huge
It's always a culture shock when you step out of Malta. From a nation-state of 420,000 people to visiting a city that's twice as large as your whole country, you can't blame the Maltese for being slightly confused at first.
9. Oh look, another Maltese person!
I don't know how this happens, but in 99% of the countries and cities I've been to, I always stumble across another fellow Maltese. The chances are so slim, but it happens almost every single time. Depending on your mood, you usually hurry past them, or call out in Maltese and start a cheery loud chat (the Typical Maltese will probably do the latter).
10. It's nice, but Malta's better
Sprawling landscapes, snow-capped mountains, crystalline beaches and cosmopolitan cities; the world is vast and breathtaking, but the moment your Typical Maltese goes back home and starts describing his holiday, he always ends with the famous last words: "It's not as good as Malta though". National pride and patriotism is incredibly strong, and whatever you show them and whatever they'll experience, nothing can just compare to home. *Sigh*
So, what do you think? Are you a walking, talking stereotype or have you despaired and ran far away when you spotted the Typical Maltese abroad? Let me know in the comments below!
And remember, take life with a pinch of salt ;)