Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

It's different now

I wrote here about the change to the bus service in Malta, that is not the only thing that has changed in the time I have been going there.   The first time I went to Malta was about 25 years ago, I went for a couple of weeks in the middle of summer with a friend.   It was very hot, too hot, everyone spoke English pretty much all the time, (as I remember it I only heard Maltese spoken by some old fishermen in a cheap bar) and there were still many signs of the British military presence and even of the pummelling the Island took during the war.
Each time I have been back the Islands have become a little more developed, the bomb sites are now long gone, the old submarine pens are now a trendy marina, some of the barracks have been turned into apartments or hotels but many demolished.   There are still some of the old forts and other signs of the British connection, they drive on the left, and English is still widely spoken, indeed apart from the buses this was the main change I noticed this year, I heard a lot more Maltese being spoken.  
I remember being told a few years ago that many people looked down on anyone speaking Maltese as being of low status, that seems to have changed, one night we attended a concert starting a festival, all the announcements were in Maltese, and I could hear all the local dignitaries conversing together in Maltese.   I suspect that this is part of an ever growing sense of nationhood, and pride in the nation.   For the visitor it certainly adds to the idea that you are abroad, not just in a sunnier area of England.
 
One day while we were there we took a boat trip around the Islands, these are just a few of the photos I took on that trip I hope it shows some of why I am so keen on the place.
 
 
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