First 24 hours in Malta

Actually, it’s only been 16 hours so far, and I decided this morning I’m in not great shape and don’t have the energy to write anything, but I don’t want to lose sight of these precious moments in the fog of deep jet lag, exhaustion and the onslaught to the senses of all things new… that if I capture a bit of it now, however badly, I’ll be glad of it later. So here goes…

Three international flights, two different airlines, one oversized piece of fragile baggage (his huge bicycle bag needs it’s own check-in as well us using up the bulk of his weight allowance), two suitcases to live out of for the foreseeable future, two Smart Crutches, special assistance in four cities, a 30 odd hour journey from door to door, all our valuables in way too much hand luggage (because everything else we own is in a shipping container somewhere), a six-hour time zone difference and swapping from the southern to northern hemispheres, and I’m exhausted thinking about it never mind enduring it.

“How was the flight?” they all ask kindly.

“Um…. considering all the above, it went really well, and by really well I mean we survived it!”

There were hiccups and nightmares and all the usual stuff, but by 8pm last night we had all our luggage, which was intact (I think, we haven’t unpacked the bicycle yet), and we were both in one piece 🙂 We spent the next 2 hours unpacking the essentials, getting a local SIM card, taking all the big pills (for pain and for sleeping) and crashed in a rather crappy bed in a rather crappy Air BnB which we’d chosen because it had enormously positive reviews online. But the “easy parking” is nonexistent, the host was grumpy (when we told him he’d given us the wrong phone number his response was I know … and the welcome pack consisted of a bottle of water).

(our apartment window/balcony and looking down, left, then right…

But a bed was better than any plane seat, we flew with Qatar for the first time and they were AMAZING on every level, the last leg was with Alitalia and we literally laughed the whole way they’re so bad (didn’t they go out of business recently??) and we’re thankful it was only a 90 minute flight from Rome. The airport here was lovely, quaint, and so helpful, till the mob of Gap Year students turned up and literally used their bulk (of both numbers and backpacks bigger than them) to push through queues, (yes, even pushing in front of the disabled people!!!) and when I spoke up they snarled, told us where to go, and pushed harder… I’ve never experienced them before, but now I fully understand and I fear I might shoot one before the week is up!

Malta is HOT … way more than I’d expected, and I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with a sore throat and unhappy chest cough. The tourists are horrendous, the parking is unbelievable, the dust and mould and … for the record, HE booked the month’s accommodation in a busy place not me! Tomorrow we have appointments to look at some properties to rent to store our stuff and build a nest (out in the countryside!), but in the meantime, I’m calling a few days off, have made myself a tiny bed nest on the couch, and I’ll see you in a few days when I resurface…

His photos this morning while out hunting and gathering for food a block or two away:

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No, I haven’t lost my love for this place … for there is so much to love! … and look forward to a wonderful 4 weeks!

No brain space to check emails or Facebook, but I’ll return to the land of the living soon so watch this space 🙂

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