And here is where I make you look at the 4 hour slide show of my vacation. Settle in!
Ha! Here I am picking up a starfish from the ocean and hahahahahaha here I am out at dinner. Oh my! Here is a picture of my dinner. Oh. Oh. Oh and you’re gonna love this one. It is me, with the sunset behind me. AND WAIT UNTIL I TELL YOU THE STORY BEHIND THIS ONE… Kidding (sort of.)
Last summer I was in Europe bouncing around and Malta was one of the places I visited. I’d have to say that of all the places I have visited & suffered jet lag, diarrhea, and long, hot, bus rides that leave sweat rings under my boobs, Malta is 1 of my top 3 favorite places in the world. It isn’t the most exciting place ever (although there is great night life there) but it is beautiful and I had fun b/c I met so many interesting people. Also, Imma be honest. I like a place that is easy to get around. Malta is small and the bus system is SUPER easy to navigate. You can buy a one week pass for a set price and hop on and off as often as you would like. Once you give in to the fact that you will never be able to pronounce or remember the bus stop names and just start taking pictures of them so you remember which stop to return to, it is a piece of cake.
So Joanna, I’ve heard of Malta. Isn’t that the stuff you drink when your stomach hurts? What you put in a milkshake? A breed of dog?
No. *slaps your forehead* Stop trying to be funny. You just sit there and act interested in my slide show. *rollmyeyesinfinitytimes*
Malta is a country in the Mediterranean Sea just south of Sicily and just east of Africa.
And Joanna, how did you end up there? (You guys, I should totally interview myself more. I am mega good at it.)
The year before I was traveling through Europe and I had a flight from Greece to Bulgaria. I flew Air Malta and I was 1 of maybe 4 passengers that were not a part of their national football team. The plane was over run with football players, coaches, and
balls soccer equipment. Let’s just say that I had a lot of sex in the airplane bathroom by myself it made quite an impression on me. *stops caressing breasts* *wipes drool* Ahem, I decided on that flight that one day I would go to Malta. The very next year I made my way there.
Joanna, pray tell us, accommodations in Malta?
I originally rented a house through Air BnB for 3 nights. It was in a residential area, about a 10 minute, boob & butt sweat inducing, walk to the nearest city, Slimea. I loved loved loved being tucked away in a residential neighborhood. My first evening there a neighbor knocked on the door and dropped off a small plate of cheese, meats, and tomatoes. I had been traveling for over 24 hours at that point and was never so happy to have someone bring me something small to eat in my life. The neighbors were so polite. Every morning when I walked out the door, they were sitting on their doorsteps and every single one of them would say hello to me.
However, 2 things happened that made me find a hostel after only a few days.
1) The house was seriously HUGE. The Brady Bunch and the Duggars could all have fit and there would be no fighting over beds. It was way too big for one person and it sort of creeped me out to be there alone. I’d be in bed at night thinking “who can I call on Skype and convince to stay on there all night and watch me sleep? Who will be the best person in America to save me from the stabby death that is sure to happen b/c obviously the killer is hiding in one of the 15 empty bedrooms. Do I really have to get out of bed to pee? really? Isn’t there a sock or something I can just pee on in the room somewhere? Where is my beach towel exactly? I can just buy a new suitcase tomorrow, right? Can I hold my pee until the murderer quietly leaves? They sneak out the same quiet way they snuck in as soon as the sun comes up, right?” Although, seriously you guys, Malta is perfectly safe. Still it was hard for me to get out of my DC mindset and feel comfortable sleeping with all the windows open (no security & no screens – hello mosquitos, please do get personal with every square inch of skin on my body. Hehehehe, stop it. That tickles! – me pretending the mosquito is the national football team.)
2) I had only planned for 3 days in Malta. When I decided to stay longer the house was already rented out to a family. They wouldn’t agree to me staying there with them despite all the cool tricks I showed them. “Hey Everyone! You can just pee in your suitcase at night so the murderer doesn’t get you!”
I found myself walking around one day, looking for a place to stay, when I stumbled upon Boho Hostel. I was enjoying Malta before, enough that I wanted to stay at least another day, but Boho Hostel made me fall in love with Malta and stay for an entire week. The hostel owner, Penny, was so knowledgeable when me (and my boob sweat) wandered in off the street inquiring about a room. I wanted to stay there immediately. Also, it didn’t hurt that I only paid $16/night or something ridiculous like that (and it included breakfast!) Granted I was in a room with 3 bunk beds and 5 other women but truth be told, they MADE that trip for me. I loved loved loved becoming friends with them.
Now, get the rotten fruit ready to fling at me since I know my next statement will shred your heart. I am not going to give you the detailed, 4 hour slide show of “oh my God ALL THE THINGS” I did during my week in Malta. I can hear your disappointment. I can. But listen, dear dear readers, I have pasta and a Cherry Coke with my name on it in the other room, so I need to get this written. Priorities.
What I’d like you to know from my week there was that I found the the people of Malta to be polite & private. Everyone speaks English. Their history is so rich, I don’t think you would ever run out of historical (and beautiful) places to visit. The food is amazing and because you can basically cross the island in a short amount of time, even crowded bus rides are tolerable. Also, being an American there is sort of fun. I didn’t meet one other American and most of the other tourists enjoyed practicing their English with me. I loved that part!
One day I was sitting at a cafe, drinking coffee and mentally writing the
letter facebook update to inform everyone that I wasn’t ever coming home, when the waiter came over and struck up a conversation with me.
Him: Are you American?
Him: You are the most calm American I have ever seen.
Me: *Excited that there was another American somewhere around!* Oh? There are other Americans here? I haven’t met one yet!
Him: No, no, he replied. Not here! I just meant compared to the ones I see on TV.
For some reason the Die Hard movies immediately came to mind. I suppose compared to Bruce Willis I am rather mild mannered. If I wasn’t so self conscious about the sweat pooling between my ass and the plastic chair on which I was sitting, I probably would have stood up and flipped over some tables just to prove my Americanness.
I met the most amazing people at Boho. People that I still chat with and hope to host here in the US whenever they make their way across the ocean. There were the boys from Spain that did not wear shirts the entire time I was there. I don’t even think they packed any. I am not kidding.
The most incredible group of ladies (and my roommates) from Bassano del Grappa, Italy. These ladies made my trip! They yelled “WASHINGTON!!!!” any time I walked in or out of the room. They had the most amazing energy. Every day they went rock climbing or scuba diving or on some adventure. One day while we were all walking around Paceville, two of them decided it was the best time to get new tattoos, so they did! Like, oh yeah, I like this bracelet, Imma buy it. Except they were tattoos and, hey, by the way, they are permanent. No biggie.
Also in the above photo is my new friend from Manchester, England. She is in the black dress and I am very proud to say, I understood about 85% of what came out of her mouth. At times I couldn’t believe we were both speaking English. There was one time we went to lunch and I had to translate her English into… errrr… English so the waitress could take her order. She just laughed and laughed as she said “wa’er, wa’er, WA’ER” … trying so hard to get the waitress to bring her a glass of water.
My Manchester friend also posed perfectly for me so I could get this picture of a grown man in a diaper on a boat. Let me tell you, if that isn’t a good friend, I don’t know what is.
Later she let me do it a second time to sneak a picture of the diaper guy in 20 years.
Of course there were many many others that I met in Malta. I could write so much more about them! I meet the best people while traveling. What about you? Have a travel story or a story about a new friend that you met while traveling that you want to share. A comment about this post? TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT! There is a comment section below that is dying for your thoughts. I am not but THAT COMMENT section is.