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The complete Malta story
Today I will be sharing my complete Malta story/ experience, it's gonna be a long one so get ready then I'll start. First I want to say that everyday was completely different and everyday I was surprised by the Maltese culture and their daily lifestyle because they can live with less and I know now, that we live the luxury life in Holland and that we have nothing to complain. When you live the same life as any other Maltese citizen you don't have another choice and you accept their way of life.
Okay, we arrived at Luqa International Airport Malta on Friday the 13th of April. I was a little nervous because i didn't know what was waiting for us, the only 2 things we knew were : our accommodation and our work place. So there we were in the taxi, talking to the taxi driver on our way to the apartment he told us some Maltese facts about the traffic. A few minutes later we arrived at our accomodation, the place where we would live for almost 3 months. It was a large appartment with a lot of free space, the bathroom was a little shock for us but the rest was ok. Our room was small but big enough for us and a big advantage, we had a balcony! Now the adventure of a lifetime can really begin, let's unpack those suitcases.
We had a few days off before we had to start working at our work placement Studio Moda, so we spend some time in the capital city: Valetta. And of course we couldn't find a decent supermarket so we walked for an hour to the nearest Lidl to get some groceries. Then after those free days we woke up at 8:00 to take the bus to Studio Moda, our work placement. We introduced ourselves and the director showed us around at the store, showroom and office. I have to be honest and tell you that we didn't really do interesting things the first few days, most of the time we worked in the showroom on our laptops studying different brands in the interior industries.
The weekends here are absolutely fantastic, we were so lucky with the weather almost every weekend. There's this little village called Mdina, we fell in love with it the second we walked through the old city walls. Not only is this small village historical and photogenic, it also has the best cake of Malta. On sunday when we had our first officially work week completed we went to the Dingli Cliffs, we took some pictures and it was breathtaking.
And it was monday again, we always had a hard time getting out of bed on mondays (logical right?) the work week has started again and after working in the showroom for a few weeks we moved to the office upstairs with the other employees. It was the best thing to move upstairs to work there with the others because we had real fun and interesting conversations with them. And then after a week of work it was Kingsday, an important day in the Netherlands we spend this day on a boat with other dutch people. The next day we went to a small town named Marsaxlokk the town consists of fish and fishermen and close by the town in the middle of nowhere lies St. Peters Pool. It's a natural pool made of sea water located on a beautiful place in the middle of rugged nature.
This week was fun because we had a lot of days free from work, it's was really friendly that at work they want us to see a lot of beautiful places on Malta and that means that if we wanted a day off it was absolutely possible. We enjoyed these days.
Close to Malta there are two other islands and one of them is Gozo, it has less surface than Malta and less citizens. Gozo has the most amazing nature and cliffs, the coast is just breathtaking and there's a lot of salt extraction. Because Gozo is an island you have to go there by ferry it's about 25 minutes and then you're on the island. The other island close by Malta is called Comino, it's a lot smaller than Gozo and the only interesting thing on Comino is the 'Blue Lagoon' it's the clearest water i've ever seen. The island Comino is a dry but green landscape and the clear blue water makes it look like a real paradise. Of course we took a dive in the Blue Lagoon but the water was to our surprise actually really cold, also the beach was small and there were a lot of people (to many). But it was definitely worth the visit.
So what do we do at work every day? We work at Studio Moda in San Gwann and we go there every day from monday to friday by bus 202 or 203, 9/10 times the buses doesn't show up or they're too late. We have a student card and we can travel as much and as far as we want to, and sure we did. At work we made moodboards, designs for customers, drawings on VectorWorks and Tender documents. I learned about a lot of new brands such as; Kartell, Caimi, Bolon and Vescom. After a workday we came home around 17:00 (depends on the bus most of the time) our roommates were already at home then, we've lived with Spanish, Letvian, Italian, German and French people some were cleaner than others haha. Generally everyone was nice but if you can't communicate things are getting hard to explain.
This weekend I call the 'wild weekend' it might sounds fiercely but trust me it wasn't like that. We just went swimming in a pool in Buggiba illegal. The only reason for that was because we wanted to swim in a pool for once instead of swimming in the sea all the time. Another day we went to the 'Blue Grotto' and no, this isn't the same as the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Grotto is on the edge of Malta by the cliffs, we went there by boat and saw the clear blue water. We sailed around and in the caves for 20 minutes.
In between these beautiful weekends filled with sun and happy moments we had little troubles at home with our roommates. We lived on that moment with two spanish people and one italian guy, they didn't really cleaned their own mess and dishes so the kitchen looked terrible. On one point it was so disgusting the cleaning lady didn't want to clean our appartment anymore and she told Paragon (who fixed our appartment and internships) about the mess. All the roommates were invited for an meeting at the Paragon office but Tessa and I were the only ones who did show up. Eventually the roommates cleaned all of their mess and dishes and the appartment was 'clean' again. So that kind of things happen to unfortunately, I learned that if you want to live with other people you have to be responsible for you own things. Anyway after that intense week we visited Gozo once again for two days, we passed the night at an B&B Rummiena. The first day we walked 30 minutes in hot and sunny weather to a hidden cave with water where we could swim, we finally got there after a 30 minutes walk and it was different than on the pictures but still beautiful. We couldn't really swim because there were jellyfish in the water. We decided that it was a bit too hot that day and we didn't want to walk the whole route back to the B&B so we lifted with a german couple (they had a cabriolet!).
The eating pattern here on Malta is a little bit different then ours in Holland, I can say that we didn't eat very healthy while we were here. The supermarkets are pretty expensive and food from the street is really cheap, (Pies, Ftira, Rice, Pizza, Tortelini, Lasanga) it's around 2 euros. They also eat a lot of cake here and you see cake shops everywhere, in the restaurants you can find different kind of cakes. I wasn't feeling good about this 'bad eating pattern' so I decided to go for a run every night around 19:00 and do some workout exercises on the balcony. And that helped me to stay energetic and happy.
And we're almost there, the end of this story. But not yet just two more weekends to spend. On friday there's Jazz night in Valetta and then everyone gathers together on the stairs at the Bridge bar and the band starts to play. One night we met two women from Ireland and we talked with them the whole evening. The next days we spend on the beach to work on our tan (very important of course) and in the evening we ate healthy salads and dessert after that because otherwise it was getting too healthy.
The last week we went to our internship for three days, we bought a card and cake to say goodbye to everyone and thank them for being so nice and friendly to us. Before we came here and started this adventure we made a bucketlist, we did almost everything. The last days we went to all of our favorite spots and restaurants and just do what we wanted to do. I'm satisfied with my goals that i have achieved here. We've seen the entire island and every hotspot but also the hidden paradises. Ready to go home, back to NL