Arrival in Malta

We have moved to Malta this Winter. Malta is a small island south of Italy. People speak English and Maltese and Malta joined the European Union in 2004. I resume my expat diary in Malta.

When I get off the plane, I am first amazed by the beautiful weather. We move directly from Winter to sunshine and mild temperature. But we have not time to dwell on weather. We get our luggage back, ask a map of the island to the visitor centre and get on a bus that has had its days. We begin to argue with the driver because we don’t understand the fare. The bus driver grumbles in Maltese and we tell ourselves that we’re off to a great start.
We must take another bus to go to the hotel but this time it is worse, the driver of the second bus wants us to pay a baggage supplement. We find it strange and go to the information booth of the bus company where we are told that it is normal and that if we took a taxi, it would be more expensive.
However we find beyond understanding that the price of the baggage supplement seems to be arbitrarily decided by each bus driver. We resign finally ourselves to pay the extra for our luggage. Above all we understand that Malta is going to be a new disorientation compared to France and Canda.

Old Maltese bus

Old Maltese bus

The bus goes along the sea while we snap out of it. Houses look like nothing I know. We arrive at the hotel in Sliema and set down our suitcases. We go to the mini market around the corner to get something to eat and finally we go for a stroll along the seaside.

Our second day in Malta is spent sorting out bank problems. We have not taken enough cash because we thought we could use our debit card to withdraw money but it doesn’t work. In the end the deadlock is broken and we are able to withdraw money.

That day, we find a bigger supermarket where we buy some food. It’s a small supermarked compared with French or Canadian supermarket but for Malta where everything is small, it’s a big supermarket. The aisles are narrow in the 3 storey supermarket. It is called GS but belongs to the French group Carrefour and we recognize some Carrefour products that we used to find in France. There are also some differences: there are a lot of Italian and British products, few organic products, there is a large charcuterie department, some labels in Italian are not translated…

Then we start looking for an apartment.

Read what happens next here: Looking for a place to live in Malta

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