November 2014

1st November

I made my laundry, made a withdrawal from my account for paying my rent and was shopping at the Gala. I bought for 76 EUR, that is unusual for me, so it was not only expensive, but heavy. I decided to ask for home delivery next time. Worked after this.

 

2nd November

I relaxed all the time before going to work, unfortunately I didn’t anything else: no Maltese, no blog, nothing, but paid my rent.

At work it is as usual, but it was the last day for the colleague, I like best. He is Tamil like my daughter in law. He has got a better work: The same kind of work like we have now but twice as much a salary. If I understood him right, it is a company at the airport. They employ Swedish people, too. Maybe I can get a job there, too. Halftime would be enough for me ;-).

 

3rd November

I went to St. James Hospital for paying my debts – from the surgery last month. In the afternoon I went working.

 

4th November

I followed the Lifelong Learning Center on the trip to Melliah for the WWII-shelters. I had to wake up at 7 o’clock. The guide (an employee from the school) was only speaking Maltese and did not change language when I asked for it. Just before we were for lunch she apologized. I think someone told her. In the shelters there were a kind and nice woman from Mosta who translated for me because the guide was talking Maltese, too and for it was only me, who could not understand Maltese he was not willing to explain in both languages. We also visited the Parish Church of Melliah, who is dedicated to the Birth of Our Lady and it’s sanctuary and “Our Lady of the Grotto”. Furthermore we looked at the surroundings, which are special here.

 

 

At the end we took a lunch break at the Maritim Antonine Hotel. That lunch was like an expanded English breakfast. It was tasty anyway. I had nice company at the table even they spoke Maltese most of the time. I came back in time for going to work, but I was tired in the evening. I was not so effective this day of course.

 

5th November

I have had my alarm clock at 6:30, but was to tired to leave my bed. I’m drinking my coffee now. I have to try to make my homework in Maltese before going to the course. I hope I will make it.

At 1pm I have an appointment with my HR because one did not accept my side contract. I will see, maybe I will continue to work full time, but I have to ask my former colleague about his new company. Maybe they are looking for people with Swedish language skills.

I was looking for the weather reports at the harbour for the upcoming days? I was awaiting couch surfers Saturday night. Their ferry should be in the harbour 10:30pm, if it is westerly wind, I learned, it will be problems to come in. If I take a couple of hours of to meet them and they would not arrive in time, it would be a pity.

 

6th November

For the first time I did not answer David’s emails the same day.

 

7th November

I was at the Johnsons’ store again, buying a warm cover because it is getting cold. It is still 16 to 18 degrees daytime and 10 and more degrees night time but by the lack of heatings makes it feeling cold, especially in-house.

I had to change my plans for that day, because I had to offer my couch for an “emergency couch request” because Anthony, a host on Gozo were asking me for a girl he hosted, but he had to go by plan to Sri Lanka. She is a nice girl from Hong Kong. Because it is dark already at 5pm, we were at home around 6pm. We listened to Maltese music and she was interested in seeing my photographs from Malta, Sweden and the rest of Europe I have been, though I did show her. We have had a nice evening. We have got very tired after the most of the photographs.

 

8th November

Shopping again at the Gala center. I saw where my team leader Kathi is living, because she was on her balcony together with her little son.

My CS and me went to Mdina and Rabat. We planed to walk around these both towns, but the weather was to bad.

I announced my next Sweden visit to my children, so they are prepared and will welcome me. – No email from David.

 

9th November

The CS left this day. David were answering my mails. He did not feel well and the work with the crib made it worse, because it is still a lot of work to do.

Two more CS-girls arrived that evening, they were coming by ferry from Sicily, but are Portuguese and Brazilian. The ferry was really late and they did not read the email I sent them earlier that day, so someone from the harbour called me and asked if I won’t meet them. I asked my guests to take a taxi because it was a long way to go from the closest bus stop. There is a bus to the terminal, but the last one around 8:30pm. Unfortunately the taxi driver tog 20 Euro, did not find my place and took even another passenger before he left them in my street.

 

10th November

In our Maltese lesson, we learned more numbers – now I can send you mija (100), elf (1000) and also that it is miljun, if there is a subject behind, kind of things – and all the numbers between, but I don’t really know how to make simple sentences.

David asked me to meet at my home and he offered to cook a meal for me one of the upcoming days at the weekend.

 

11th November

Made a withdrawal of 10 Euro at the Banif ATM in Msida, just to have some cash. I have to be careful with my money because my daughter will come soon and I will need a lot for giving her a good vacation as possible.

I was up early today because my couch surfers – they want to go to Gozo, but they were slow and did not leave before 9 o’clock. I hoped the ferry will be on duty but the wind. They felt cold here, but I showed them, that it’s only 14 degrees in Portugal and we have 20 :-). Also we were on the roof and felt the weather. It didn’t feel cold.

This was my answer: “Thank you for asking me about the weekend. It’s a great idea. If you can cope with my daughter and her boyfriend, we can make it and they can taste genuine Maltese food – no innards, please. I can share the costs with you. I’m on vacation leave 14th until 22nd, from 19th until 21st we will be on Gozo. So, my weekend is longer than usual, don’t need to go to work on Sunday.

I also helped my couch surfers to get a bus to the airport, that means: I followed them to Valletta and was waiting together with them until the right bus arrived.

 

12th November

David told me, that he was in such a bad condition, so he had to go to a hospital and to stay there. He will not meet with us at the weekend.

During the Maltese lessons we did get two more irregular verbs and the the ordinal numbers like the first, the second … Also we checked the homework and have got new ones.

 

13th November

The first time I paid by card at the “All in one”-shop – the convenience shop near my employer, which is open daily until 0:30 am. I have forgotten to take money with me, I was withdrawing that day at an ATM of the BOV – the Banif ATM is not existing anymore.

I saved the music from my two Maltese CD’s on my laptop.

 

14th November

I was writing my blog and tried to answer some emails, but time was not enough for it. Afterwards I was waiting for my daughter Maria and her boyfriend Johan at the airport. They will spend some days with me on Malta. Their plan arrived in time, but it took a while before they were at the meeting point because it was a big plane with lots of passengers. I also met my HR colleague at the airport. She was waiting for her brother, coming from Germany. That plane was late, but he came to the meeting point earlier than my daughter.

David is still at the hospital.

 

15th November

After a late and long breakfast we went to the health store in St. Julian’s, because my daughter became a vegan and we have to look for vegan products. I was only prepared for vegetarian meals. Furthermore we went to the Bay Street Shopping Centre because Johan was looking for the liquid for his e-pipe, but it was to expensive. It is much more usual in Sweden with e-pipes already and the liquids are much cheaper there. Though he did not buy any.

Disappointed were we going by bus to Valletta and were lucky because we could attend the salute at the Upper Bakkara Garden and it was possible to see St. John’s Cathedral from the inside. Johan is interested in history and art, my daughter only in street art. The young people are not used to a lot of walking though we took the Fun Train for continueing the sightseeing of Valletta. We saw the Bakkara gardens (again) from that train and other places – almost the most important, but we could not get out of the train for staying at some place, but for photographs. It was the last ride, though it was no “hop on – hop off” possibility at all.

 

16th November

We made a “must do” and went to the Marsaxlokk market and afterwards to the Blue Grotto. It is only possible to see the area by small boats. All of us joined the trip. At this place we were also eating something – and especially drinking, because it was still quite warm and my guests were very thirsty all the time.

Furthermore we tried to see the Hagar Qim Temple and were continuing by bus – it was only two bus stops from there. We saw, that there were more temples around, but tried with the named one. It was 10 EUR in admission fee for adults, for 60+ citizens it was only 5 EUR. I felt, that my guests will not appreciate it enough (I paid all the admission fees for them during their stay) and we decided not to visit this place. I will go there another time.

When we were waiting for the bus at the Blue Grotto bus stop, we were talking about, that one cannot know Malta without using the public transport. At home we made a program for the next days and Maria told me, that she not only will see something, but do and would like to take a ride on a horseback as well as she would like to try scuba diving. Therefore I tried to make it coming true.

 

17th November

In the morning I went to my Maltese course, afterwards we were going by bus to Qawra and to the National Aquarium of Malta. The weather was not so nice this day and the aquarium was therefore a god choice. It was really interesting and both Maria and Johan liked it. The “kids” took time off and were going back to St. Julian’s by their own. I stoped at the Malta Marina Park and asked for the prices for the “swimming with dolphins”. Even it is not main season, it is very expensive. The price is 90 EUR each. We postponed it for another time.

 

18th November

This day we were going to Mdina and Rabat. We started in Mdina and did take the usual round, looked at Mdina Glass and in other shops selling hand craft. Finally we stayed at a nice restaurant for lunch with a court yard. We were the first guests and after us there were coming lots of people, some were just taking a cup of coffee, other took a lunch like us. The place got totally occupied. Unfortunately I do not remember the name. It was on the main road and coming from the view point on the left hand side.

This afternoon we visited Rabat and the St. Agatha’s catacombs inclusive the museum and the WWII shelters. We went home by bus and my daughter and her boyfriend were going to a pub in Sliema or St. Julian’s.

 

19th November

We were going to Gozo, the second island of Malta. When we arrived at the ferry terminal in Gozo there were soon a bus but so many people so we took a taxi (for only 5 EUR) to the capital of Gozo: Victoria, also called Rabat. Due to the turbulent history of Malta places often have two names. In Victoria I filled my prepaid cellular phone card – I had to do it at a Melitta shop, because I locked me out in the morning from the account be typing the wrong password to many times. The most buses to the country side are only for once an hour, therefore we had to wait for around 45 minutes. Also it was hard to contact the host. I booked an apartment in Zebbug with two bedrooms by airbnb, because I could not find a host on Gozo, taking us three for a couple of nights. I have got the number for the cellular phone, but that was not working. Fortunately I could check my emails and also found a landline number and called when we where in Zebbug – in the right street, because we could not really found the house. The owner of the house told us, he will come out and wait for us, but no one came out of one of the houses. We went down to the seaside – the last house on the street and asked there for the apartments, because it was written on the advertising for this apartment house, that it is named “Sea View” and this, because it has a sea view. Finally we got in touch with the owner and could come into the apartment.

It was very chilly inside and not cozy at all. I was disappointed, especially because the owner was not as nice at the references told. Also the other two days we were there, it was not changing. They did not care about us, just asked once, when we will leave and when we tried to give back the key nobody where there and then the wife of the owner saw us and just told us, to leave the key in the door. There were no question if we have had a nice stay, how we liked the place or something like that.

This afternoon Maria and me were going by bus to Qala for riding. I could manage that we could make this coming true on Gozo, we did not have time on Malta and because it was off season, there were not so many possibilities at all. We had booked an hour, but got one and a half for the same price (15 EUR/each). The coach were very nice and the horses very kind. I had some problems to climb the horse – it was a very high one – but I managed it. The coach were holding my horse at the halter because it was my first time on a horseback. Maria was allowed to trot with her horse behind me by her one. The horses only used steps because I was an beginner. Anyway the landscape was not good for trot or gallop. There were some difficult parts, that me as well as Maria were surprised that he did take with me. I liked the riding very much and would like to do it again.

When we were back in Victoria we bought some food and a pair of shoes each. We tried to enjoy the evening at the apartment, but were early to bed. By the way Johan were staying in the apartment and reading, when we were to Qala.

 

20th November

We visited the crafts village of Gozo. I was a little quizzically if they would enjoy it, but they did. From the crafts village there was a direct bus to Dwejra and the “Azur Window”. That was perfect, so we continued that way and were visiting that place as well as the inlands sea. Maria and me where going by boat from the inlands sea to the “Azur Window” at the coast line, but Johan did not follow us because the small boat. We stayed close to that place for a lunch and left before the sunset – both were not interested in it. We were going back to Victoria and took a walk to the Citadella. Unfortunately there were construction works at that time, but we had a great view from the upper part and the youngsters liked the canon. In addition to that there were a lot of cats at that place and Maria took a lot of pictures of them. We were shopping some food at Dukes like the day before and going back by bus to Zebbug.

 

21st November

This day we left Gozo, but not without any complications. There were road works in Zebbug, so the bus were not coming to the bus stop we were waiting. We did not know anything about it. After a while a Maltese woman told us and we were walking to the market place of Zebbug for catching a bus. Because there is only one an hour we had to wait for a long time. When the bus finally came it was going the usual route. Anyway there were no bench, nothing to sit on the other bus stop but at the market place it was. When we came to the ferry station in Cirkewwa we went straight to the boats for Comino and were lucky because it was a quite big one leaving only a quarter of an hour later. Comino is the third island of Malta and the tiniest one, where people are living. There are som smaller islands, too, but no one is living there.

We stayed on the island of Comino for around two hours and walking around. Because we had our suitcases with us – even it were the small once – I stayed with all the luggage on a place close to the harbour though Maria and Johan could explore more of the island. In the “Blue Lagoon” people were swimming, but not us!

 

22nd November

This day Maria and Johan had to go home to Sweden. Time was going by too fast. I would have liked to have them with me for a longer while, but this is life.

 

23rd November

I tidied my flat – there were a lot to do after three people have been living in the flat for a whole week. I also made the laundry.

When I was back at work this day my team leader did not recognize that I was back from my vacation leave – when I told her, she apologized.

 

24th November

I decided to quit the Maltese course because the way the teacher is organizing the lessons. He teach us so much grammar, but we neither have any possibilities to make own sentences nor to speak this language. It is not my way to learn! Because I have the book I will try to learn the language by my own. I know I never will be perfect and sound like a Maltese, but it is just for understanding when someone ask me the usual questions in a queue or when I am in a shop and people do not recognize that I am foreign. I postponed that to 2015 and I have to make some other things before starting with it again.

 

25th and 26th November

Nothing special happened.

 

27th November

I finally cleaned my windows. I was up in time and asked my landlord for taking off the windows so I could clean them. He was very willing and helpful and told me to put them into the bath tube for the process, so I did and gave them a shower. I think the frames are in plastic. This way they were easily cleaned.

David felt better again and told me he will come around noon the following day.

 

28th November

David cooked a dinner for me with minced chicken breast. He was together with me from noon until 5pm.

 

29th November

I was to the supermarket close to me and the health store in Birkirkara for buying food and nuts. When I was at the bus stop “Kullegg”, I saw that GDS and Johnsons had cribs for sale – but that were small onces. I also took pictures of the Christmas Lights in Msida.

 

 

30th November

I planned earlier to go to the market in Floriana this day, but I awake late and did not do it. I was just to work.

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