Things I Love About Malta

13 Mar

Malta for Elanguest

(A guest post by the lovely Stephanie Spicer.)

Hi! My name is Stephanie. I’m from the United States, and I moved to Malta last year to work at an English school in St. Julian’s. Sometimes people are surprised to hear that. You lived in America and you moved to Malta? I’ve always loved my own country, but I’ve also found so many things to love about this little island in the sea.

The Big Trade

I come from the forest. I’m used to seeing green all around me. Now, whenever I stand with my face to seaward, all I see is BLUE! (Actually, blue is my favorite colour, so it’s not a bad trade.) I love to see ships on the horizon from my living room window. I love the colourful luzzus resting in the bay. I love the crashing and smashing of the waves against the bastions when the wind is high. I love seeing sea creatures that I’ve never seen before. I love the way the water feels when it holds you in its comforting coolness after a long, hot day in summer.

From the New World to the Old

I come from a new country. We don’t have a very visible ancient history. In Malta, there are old things all around you, whispering echoes of the past into your ears wherever you go. I love the fortresses of Valletta, Birgu, Isla, and Bormla. I love their story, of knights and battles and reckless bravery. I love to think about the fact that people have been living, walking, trading, sailing here for thousands of years. I love that I can touch the oldest known manmade structures in the world.

A New Latitude

When I lived in the States, I had my own business selling organically-grown plants and trees. I’ve always been enchanted by the magic of growing things, and used to daydream about having a glass house someday, where I could grow tropical plants. I didn’t get my glass house, but now I live where it never freezes! I love growing a garden on my little balcony. I love my lemon tree—I always wanted one! I love the oleander planted in the boulevards. I love the quirky space-age-looking flowers of the agave. I love to see the almond trees in bloom.

A Place of Story

I love stories. It is amazing to live in a place that is mentioned in the ancient epics. I love that Malta is immortalised in the Bible, and Gozo by Homer’s great pen. I love, love, love the National Library! I can’t read Latin, but just standing in that immense room, filled from floor to ceiling with leather-bound tomes, makes me feel like Belle in Beast’s library. I love that I can find books in so many languages here. I love that the story of Malta is the story of so many lands.

The Expatriate Life

Just before I came here, I read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. I brought along with me Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Last Christmas, my sister gave me Villette by Charlotte Brontë. Sometimes we just happen to read the right books at the right time. I’ve found that so many of the world’s greatest writers lived as strangers in foreign lands, and that they found their home, not in a place or nationality, but in a lifelong discovery of the world. I love to think that I have a chance to do what they did, and find what they found.

Stephanie Spicer works at Elanguest English Language School in St. Julian’s. 

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One Response to “Things I Love About Malta”

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  1. Things I Love Thursday | Claire's (online) Chronicles - March 14, 2013

    […] Happy collaborations […]

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