October 2015

1st October

I did not sleep that night, because I was afraid that I will not awake in time for the blood proof at Mater Dei hospital. It is for the surgery the 12th. They need to make it such a long time in advance. I have to be there 7:15am and I hope, that I will be able to catch my flight at 11 o’clock. Anyway I already have to leave at Mater Dei at 8:30am if I will make it.

Surprise, surprise! This day was the first time on Malta some Maltese did change the usual procedure. They nurse told me, that I should be there for the whole morning and see more than one doctor, but he decided to only make the first questioning and an assistant to him – or maybe it was another nurse, made a call, postponing the rest of the procedure for the 6th Oct and I did have the date of the surgery secured! Anyway I was not sure if it will work, maybe they will postpone the surgery for the 18th October, which would make all my plans for travelling home to Sweden impossible.

I went to the bus stop for the X2 at Mater Dei / University and was waiting for the bus, which was coming very late – but I still have had lots of time at the airport. About my trip to Istanbul, read here please: Istanbul

2nd October

It was my second day in Istanbul. More about my travel to Istanbul you can read here: Istanbul

3rd October

I was still in Istanbul and enjoyed it. More about my travel to Istanbul you can read here: Istanbul

4th October

My last hours in Istanbul came: More about my travel to Istanbul you can read here: Istanbul

Back in Malta I stayed at the airport, because one hour later friends of mine will arrive by plane. They came with a Lufthansa-flight from Munich, that means they had changed flight, because they are living in Hamburg. They are one of my friends I have got by the Pirate Party.

First of all, we were very happy for meeting each other. We were going by bus X2 to the bus stop: Qroqq, nearby the university as well as my home. On the way home we hade to buy some food at the convenience shop, which is open 7 days a week from 7am until 0:30am, because this day was a sunday. Anna cooked a meal for us later this day, but before I had to go to work. The last week of working had started for me. Before the meal we were talking a lot about Malta und I gave my friends some tips about the island and my keys.

I was very tired at work, my eyelids fell down several times even I have been drinking a lot of coffee. I think I made both quantitatively and qualitatively a bad work this day. I apologize for that ;-). When I came home, my friends were already sleeping – they have had a long day, too.

5th October

My friends and I were up around 10am, had breakfast together and were asking me about the shores. We went to the supermarket together, though they later will find it by their own. In addition to that I explained them the way for the bus stop Kullegg, because they decided to go to Marfa by bus for Amir or Paradise Bay. I bought some food and went home, copied my list of surgeries I already have had during my lifetime and booked the bus from Hamburg to Malmo (for only 25 EUR). I cannot get it cheaper by car sharing like “Mitfahrgelegenheit”). Afterwards I had a meal (the last chicken breast from the freeze and some spoons of the humus I made before going to Istanbul). Then I went to work.

I had to be careful about the time to start at work, because my watch was not exactly yet, because I had to switch it back from local time in Istanbul, that meant, to put it back one hour. My favorite co-workers were there and I was happy about it. We talked a little about my trip for Istanbul. One of them also told me about her health. She was checking at the Internet a lot to find out as much as possible about thyroid disease, because her doctor found out, that she has a hyperfunction of it, too.

Coming home this night my friend Michael was still awake using his device. I was to bed and tried to sleep immediately, but it took around an hour. I am not used to, to fall asleep directly after my late shift. I tried this night, because I have to be awake at 6am next day for going back to the Mater Dei hospital – for the preparation for my surgery 12th October.

6th October

Fortunately I awoke in time and was ready to go before I had to leave my home. When I was around the computer shop I was thinking about, that I might have forgotten something in my apartment, because I usually forget the one or other thing, when I have a lot to care about. Actually I remember some important thing I should have taken with me and went back.

On the way to the Mater Dei I bought a little bottle of water and some biscuits. Anyway I was in good time at the hospital and used the time, which was left, for writing some lines of my diary. Exactly 8am I was called of the nurse of the POAC (Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic). He took my blood pressure and noticed that as well as he did with the oxygen saturation of the blood.

Now he gave me a little notice, where it was written, that I have to go to the ECG (electro cardia gram) and ENT (Ear Nose Throat-doctor). For the first – at the ECG I had to take a number, but was anyway soon in for the check, which I have got with me. For the second I was at the ENT, where the waiting time was a little longer. After taking a look by holding my tung, he decided, that he cannot see enough. Though he took a sond through my nose and checked my throat and my voice that way. It was for, that I shall not miss my voice by the thyroid sergery. He told me, that all was fine and I have got the report with me, again. Even I had to ask for it, this time.

I had to went back to the POAC, though I did. When I was called, I could not find the room, because there were no sign. Therefore I knocked another door and asked. The first time, they told me to wait. The second time, they brought me there. Now I have been asked some questions again – questions I already had answered! I have got two papers for a blood test. I also was told, that I do not have to eat 8 hours before the surgery. though I asked at which time the surgery will be. I was sent to another room, where I met another nurse. She checked and told me, that I have to be in the waiting area at 7am. Furthermore I had to wait there for a surgeon, who will explain the procedure for me, but the most important was, that I had to sign for that I have got explained and that I have understood the procedure with all the things, which kan happen like my death. She told me as well that it will be made a cut right over my throat and afterwards a drainage will be left, that no blood will be left after the surgery. She also told me, that one nearly not can see the scar afterwards and the surgeon will try to cut, where I have a wrinkle. When I told me colleague about it, she was wondering, where the surgeon will cut me, because she could not see any wrinkles at my throat!

Finally I went to the section for the blood test, where they let me in immediately. In there I just had to queue for a free nurse. It was so different to that time I had to make an ordinary blood test because the hyperfunction of my throat. At last I went for the billing section for my stamp about the NI.

Before leaving the Mater Dei hospital I also collected my CD about the Barium Swallow Meal, which was done before, but I could not get a date for the surgery for the web on my esophagus. Unfortunately they had not seen the peg at the request and I did not get the copies of my files, but the assistant promised to order them for me.

Around noon I was ready to leave the hospital and enjoyed the sunshine. I was to our sub-office, too, asking if it is possible to send big parcels from there, but it is not. Therefore I have to go to the post-office close to Kullegg or to the one in Gzira. The shop owner told me, that the closest post-office is behind the (Msida) church.

I went down the street and continued to a pastizzi- and pizza shop, where I bought a pizza slice, because I just fell for it, but the bottom of the pizza slice where horrible. I had to eat it anyway, because I bought it. From there I went home, bought an ice-cream at the convenience shop at my corner, but continued then for looking for the post-office behind Msida Parish church. There is none. I also asked a post woman I met around there. She told me, that I am right, that the nearest one is on the other side of the Marina.

I still had time left before I had to go to work. Though I went home, checked my Melita-account and was surprised, because there were no money left. All was used by the roaming in Istanbul – already at the first day, when I was there. Now I understood, why I could not connect with the turkish men, who should have shown me the asian side of Istanbul. I switch the roaming off immediately. I will only put it on, when they are no other possibility to get in touch with people I will meet. It was hard to find, too, where to switch it off and on, but at least I found it: Networks –> (tip on it) choose the roaming –> switch it on or off.

I was to work in time again. Some colleagues asked me, when my last working day will be. Max, the Swedish guy from Malmo-Oxie said goodbye. He will leave the company a day earlier than me and go home to Sweden. By the way, he talked a lot with me the last days about where I will go and so on.

At the beginning of my shift I got quite tired, because I was so early up again this morning as well, but after drinking a coffee I became better and I think, I made a good work that day, too.

7th October

I awoke already before 8am, even I thought I will sleep longer this day, because the lack of sleep the day before. It was raining a little in the morning. My friends an I had breakfast together with a good chat. While they started for Marsaxlokk, I was to the ATM and the Camping shop in Pieta. I hoped, the owner will take the gas cartridge, a couch surfer left at my home, but he did not. He told me, that they do not sell this kind of cartridges and therefore he is not able to take it. I thought, that I will put it outside with my bottles on Friday morning. Maybe the garbage collectors will take it, maybe I have to go to the recycling station in Mriehel. It just seems to take too much time for only one cartridge. I am not really sure, that they will collect it there either, because it is not really empty.

On my way home I was in the garn shop close to Msida Parish church to buy a new and longer ribbon for one of my hats. I found one and did sew it, when I came home. Furthermore I was buying an ice-cream, though I had change for the garn shop. The ribbon was only for 15 Cent, they could not change 10 EUR, but I did not have any other change. I have got it for free of that, but that is not my way. I went back after buying the ice-cream and paid for the ribbon. The owner became happy about that.

At least I was to the convenience shop at my corner for buying some cheese and bread as well as three cans of Cisk – for celebrating my retirement with my friends after my last shift at work.

It was a special shift this evening. I took my headphone with me and was listing to music while I was working. It was the first time, I did that in all my working life! I was really happy about leaving my work place and sent a final email to my co-workers with my private email-address, the address of my blog and telling them, that I will burst of happiness ;-).

At the end of the shift a colleague drove me home, because we exchanged my heater against moving boxes of him. He told me before, he will pay for my heater, but he did not. I hope, he will become happy with the heater. One of the boxes was really strong and good, but without handles. The other box had handles, but they were broken, but provided with strong adhesive tape.

Back home I celebrated this final shift with my friends, Cisk and a cheese-platter, they fixed, until 2am.

8th October

It is my first day of freedom and I have no idea to go to my employer leaving my badge and the key for the box. Actually I am still employed until 25th October, even I am on holiday and also will have some days of sick-leave.

I was really sleeping until around 10am, so were my friends. While they left for Comino and Gozo, I was tidying my flat. Afterwards I put all the things on my bed, I will pack. Before I put all the things in one of the boxes I started scanning the memory-items like tickets and did not finish with the box. I had to put my things into the wardrobe again, before going to bed.

9th October

One of my colleagues was googling for a backpack one of my last days at work and told me, that there is a camping shop close to the Mater Dei hospital. Though I took the gas cartridge and my badge as well as the key from my box at work and left for Besedo this morning. When I came there, the HR-manager was inviting for lunch with appetizers and canapes. I was at the right time at the right place and also met some colleagues, I did not have the possibility to say good-bye before. The food was 100% Maltese and fat. Anyway I tried of all of it and was disappointed about the “meatballs” because they were “cheesebolls”. It was a cheap meal because I became really full of it. I thanked the HR-manager with the words “thank you for celebrating my retirement”, but it seems he had not an idea about, that I retired. I even met a colleague, who lives very close to the airport. I was asking her about surfing her couch the night before my flight and she was very keen to help me.

Afterwards I left my badge as well as the key and went in the direction for Mater Dei hospital, but I could not find any camping shop. I checked by Google maps and the Internet, though I found one instead in Birkirkara, close to the Scan Computer shop. I was not in the mood to go there and went home.

I packed that strong box, I have got of my colleague, because I will send a lot of my items home to Sweden. I also am interested in to do that meanwhile my friends are still here, for getting some help to carry them downstairs. First it looked like there will be more space, than I found more things to put in, though I became full. I tried to guess how much this one and the other one, I packed weeks ago, will weight, but had not idea about it. I only thought, they feel heavy, but for me already 15 kg feels heavy.

My friends were coming home from Gozo and feeling tired. After a short chat we all went to sleep.

10th October

It was the last day for my friends on Malta – and with me. We spent all the day together. We did have a late breakfast. Meanwhile my friend took a shower I was to a nearby stationary asking for tape for moving boxes and they had the usual brown one. At home, I taped the boxes very well and ordered an ecab, booked it easily by the Internet, without any necessity to make a call. It worked very well. At noon, the time I booked for, a cab was waiting in front of the door of the house. We were just coming down with the boxes. Actually my friend and his girl were carrying the boxes down, which I am very grateful for.

The boxes had space in the trunk, so all of us were following with the taxi for the post-office, which is open until 12:45 each day, but Sundays. The taxi driver was not sure, where the post-office is and also told us, that in that area is a one-way road, he cannot access from the direction we are coming. Anyway we came to the post-office in time, my friends brought the boxes into the post-office and on the scale the boxes where about 26 kg, too heavy for sending them to Sweden. Luckily it is allowed to send up to 30 kg to Germany, though I asked my friend, if I may send them to their address and they told me: “Of course, no problem.” We made teamwork, while Michael wrote his address on the sheet, I wrote my sender on the other one and then we switched them. When the procedure with the addressing was done – also of the officer at the post-office, I tried to pay with me Maltese Visa-card, but she told me, that it is only possible to pay with cash. Fortunately the next ATM is not so far away, even it was already 12:30. I was back in time and could leave the boxes for the transportation for almost 170 EUR (around 85 EUR each). It was much more expensive than the boxes from Germany. I have got six of them for nearly that price, even each of them was not really so heavy. You see, what good friends are!

From the post-office we continued by bus to Valletta for buying an ice-cream and sightseeing. There were areas my friend have not seen, even they have been in Valletta before. We were to the Bakkara Gardens, the Waterfront and also rounded the city on their outskirts. You really feel how tiny this city is, by rounding it. In the evening I was invited for a dinner by my friends. We walked around a little more, because we got full by the main dish, but would like to eat a dessert. By that we found the city market open, what I never have seen before.

While it became dark, the city filled with people, especially young ones. It seems to start around an age of fourteen and it looked like, their way to enjoy the evening because they are not allowed yet to go to the pubs in Paceville. Even I have been in Valletta several times, I have never seen that crowd of youngsters before.

When we came home we were to bed quite quickly because my friends have to leave at 9 the following day.

11th October

My friends left as planned and I was happy for the time they visited me. I had to prepare for the following day, because it was not only my birthday, but the day of the surgery – the removal of my thyroid gland and I have to be at the hospital at 7am. I took the paper I have got from the hospital and checked, that I have all I need with me, even the toilet-paper! Actually I was very surprised about, that I have to take with me my own towels and my own toilet paper.

I had not been allowed to eat since 11pm, but I was already asleep at that time, though no problem with that. I usually do not eat so late in the evening.

Just before going to sleep I put the alarm clock on 5am and 5:30am, because I need between 25 and 45 min. for the walk to Mater Dei. It depends on in which condition I am.

12th October

This day was a special day for me, because it was not only my birthday – I became 65 years old and a retired person – it also was the day of the big surgery (the removal of my thyroid gland for the carcinoma in it).

I had to take a shower in the morning – that was written on the paper of the hospital, too. I awake by the alarm clock and left my home at 6:10am. I was at the right place in the hospital around 6:45am. As usual at the Mater Dei hospital I had to wait for hours. A nurse also told me, that it is Monday and therefore it might be they will not have a bed for me for the first time, maybe I will have to go to the surgery.

Around 10:30 I had to change my clothes in the toilet – even it was a big one (for people with disabilities) it felt weird. I was brought by a staff member in a wheel chair for the surgery and had to climb on a brits. Than I became the anaesthetic. I fell asleep very quickly. As usual in such situations, but I was surprised, that I did not get a mask with oxygen some minutes before, as I am used to from Sweden. They just gave me the mask, when they started the anaesthetic.

I awake in a real hospital bed without a lot of pain. I felt, of course, not very comfortable, but I really could not call it pain. I was told, that all went very well. I was very happy I could talk even I sound a little different as I am used to – really hoarse. Usually that will not remain. I will see. I do not care how my voice sounds, I just care about, that I still can talk!

The problem I have got was another. I had a lot of tough mucus in my throat and have had the feeling, that I have to swallow all the time, that I am able to breeze. I told that for the helping nurse, the nurse and later on the doctor, but nothing happened, but I have got some oxygen. I was sitting in this wonderful hospital bed (wished I had someone like this in my flat) and could only sleep a couple of hours that night.

During that day they also took a test of my blood for the calcium level, but I have not been told the result. The thing is, that it happens from time to time, that surgeons take more than the thyroid gland, that means also one or both of the parathyroids.

I did not expect that my birthday will be so hard to stand – I thought it will just a lot of sleeping as I am used to after an anaesthetic.

13th October

In the morning the surgeon made the round and was talking with the staff around him about my calcium level. It was fine. He told me, that I will be discharged that day, but he did not tell my nurse.

My bed became clean bed-clothes and I a clean gown as well. I had to wait in my bed for the doctor coming back and giving me the discharge papers. I was reading in the Swedish book “Snabba cash” from Jens Lapidus. I started reading it a long time ago during my rests at work. I have not had the calm before to read all of it.

After a while the assistant doctor came and told me, that all was OK and I had to go home. She gave me a hand out, a summary of the surgery, which I have to give to my doctor. She also told me, that I have to go to my doctor after six weeks for checking if the dose of thyroxine is OK or if I need more or less. The summary was just was I needed to show the doctor in Sweden, when I will come there.

The nurse asked me if someone will meet me and take me home or how I will go home. I told her, that I will take a walk and she was surprised. Though I told her, that I live close to the hospital. She did not asked if I have someone at home, who could help me and I thought, that there will not be any need for help.

Coming home I left my backpack and thought about eating an ice-cream, but I did not leave my flat this day again, I was just on the Internet – writing emails to relatives and friends, that I am fine. Furthermore I started to correct the names of the pictures from my travel to the Iberian Peninsula because I have seen, when a friend of mine wrote a comment, that there were only the name of the camera.

I tried to eat something I had in the fridge, but soon I fell asleep on my couch. I awake when it was dark already, read a little and tried to sleep again, but that was not so easy, because I did not find a good way laying down, the one side of the wound gave me a headache. I think almost one of the stitches has hit a nerve. I took one of the two Panadol (pain killers) I have got and fall asleep quickly.

14th October

I awake around 8am and took my thyroid medicine. I also took a first look on my emails. I did not really have any food at home, though I just took a black coffee with sugar. I really do not like that, I prefer coffee with milk, but I had to do so this day, because I cannot get active without coffee.

I was in need of some food and was only going to the convenience shop. There I bought things like yoghurt and dessert, some soft bread as well. I did not buy real food, because I did not feel hungry, did not feel that I would like to eat. The whole day I was living on yogurt and dessert.

This day I continued to name the pictures from the Iberian peninsula and it took hours and hours. I have got a headache of sitting with my laptop and was going to bed for trying to sleep a little, but I could not. Though I started reading this book I took to the hospital. I have to leave it back to the book shelf at my employers before I leave and thought I might be able to read all of it before that. I really finished the book.

I looked some movies before I tried to fall asleep again, but I did not find a good way to lay on my pillow. Though I tried with a Panadol and actually it helped me to fall asleep.

15th October

After breakfast I took my first shower after my surgery, I was not allowed the day before. It felt great, of course. Anyway I still have that headache and I think I will buy some Panadol (as it is named here – it is a pain-killer based on Paracetamol). I made my laundry before leaving and meanwhile I was waiting for the washing machine to come to en end, I checked my emails – wrote some and started to update my blog. I did only finish until the 13th, than I had to leave, because I will try to get a “Certificate of Conduct” from the Maltese police and the are only open until 3pm.

I went for the bus and saw, that there were a long, long queue in front of the round about close to the church. I anyway tried to catch a bus, because they were still coming from the direction of Sliema. It was no problem at all, but when we were coming close to the church it was getting worse and in the middle of the bridge of the round about, the police had closed the road. We had to leave the bus. No car, no bus was coming through. We hade to walk. There were no cars in our direction, though we could easily walk on the street. When we came around 1 km further, we saw the mess. There was an accident and even a “breakdown truck” was there, it did not happen anything. The policemen were just standing there, looking for the mess. I could not see any other persons. I continued and was walking the back way to Floriana, because the Head Office of the Police should be there, I found on Google maps. Because the street is going up steeply and I am not yet in my best condition I tried to hitch hike, but no car was stopping. I think nobody could be afraid for a woman in my age and they should have understood, that it was a special situation. May be I would try to get help for someone else. But it seemed, nobody had that think thank.

Finally I arrived at the Head Office of the Police, I had to ask and they explained to me, where to go. So I did. There was no queue. First I was waiting, were the sign for it was, but when they did not call me, I was going further to the service opening. Now I was ask what I was there for, told them and left my Maltese Id-card. In no more than two minutes I have had my “Certificate of Conduct” and paid the fee of 2,80 EUR. It is a clean one, of course.

I continued to the tax office for expatriates. Unfortunately its opening hours was not on Thursday afternoons, but the door was open. I went in and found the forms and even a box, to put them in, when they are filled in. I tried to fill in it as well, but had to take it home, because a clerk was coming telling me, that the office was not open for public that day. If I had been a little faster, I could left the form. Now I will send it with a stamp. I have anyway to write a letter till a friend of mine in Malmö. We did not have contact for a couple of years, because her email did not work, but I will try to get in touch with her again.

I still felt unsteady in my legs – I think it was for my “diet”. Being so close to Valletta I walked all the way to the city. I was in a Pharmacy and bought the painkiller. When the assistant told me, that I have to pay 1,76 EUR I did not think it was right, what I have heard – I thought I have got a serious problem with my hearing, especially I asked her a second time and did only understand the low amount, too. She was writing it on the papers bag around the painkiller and now I understood, that I do not have a problem with my hearing ;-).

Suddenly I was craving for a Hamburger. I have not had that feeling for more than a year. I thought, it may be a good meal for me in my situation, because I should be a little careful with food, which is firm. I looked for a restaurant and ended up at the “Café Cordina”, found a nice place and ordered a Chef’s Hamburger – one with bacon and Chester cheese. Actually it was much better than McDonald’s and Burger King’s. It was served with a blended salat with artichokes and more. I planned to have a nice ice-cream as a dessert, but I could not even eat the salat. It was as usual too much for me. When I was sitting there I felt like celebrating my birthday. It was a great feeling.

Around 5pm I continued to try to get rid of the gas container, the one couch surfer left to me and I tried to get rid of before. I was happy to come with the next bus of route 31 and also have got a seat, because all of the waiting people could not come in, there were still problems with the accident in Pieta. I thought the camping shop has to be close to the Scan Computer Shop, but it was not. Fortunately one of the cashiers could tell me, where I had to go. It was in the middle between Mater Dei and the computer shop, but somewhat closer to Mater Dei. I found it with the help of a young men, who just some minutes ago had bought a turtle (a very little one) for his aquarium. He was very kind to explain for me and was walking most of the way with me.

At the camping shop I could leave the gas container, but I did not get any money. That did not matter for me. I was also asking for a travel towel, because I thought it could be good to have a smaller one, too. The shop did not have any and will not get new ones before the first week in November. I was surprised again, how they can earn some money with this kind of organisation.

I walked to the Mater Dei bus stop and took the bus down to Qroqq, from where I was walking home, buying two yogurt, milk for my coffee and soft bread.

At home I took the laundry from the roof, put it in my wardrobe and opened for my landlord, who want to show my flat for two students. Earlier, he told me, he already had a new tenant, but I do not believe so anymore.

When my landlord and the students had left I updated my blog. I also got an email from Michael, that my boxes arrived in Hamburg. I am very happy about that.

16th October

Even I awake of my alarm clock and took the rubbish out, I fell asleep again and did awake not earlier than 10am. I think that is OK, because I cannot fall asleep easily at night. Last night was an especially one. I have had guests in my kitchen, I did not invite. There were some bugs, but I am prepared and I did spray a lot, though in the morning I could not find one of them anymore.

After a late breakfast and taking care about me, I went out for some necessary errands, but first I checked the opening hours. I walked to my HSBC branch in Gzira and asked for how it really work with the “Verified by Visa”, because last time I tried to buy online with my Visa Electron Card, it did not work either. They did not have any answer, because all is OK with my bank account and they have no influence on the Visa-administration. Furthermore I told them, that I do need a print out for the movements on my account. I save it all digital. They checked it up and told me, that they are only sending paper copies once a year as a reminder, that the account is still working.

I continued to the Inlands revenue, where I have been the day before, because I did not fill in the form correct, I have seen. This time I found an officer, too, who made a copy of my id-card, that I could put in the filled form and the attachment in the provided box. That was soon done. It was around 1pm and the polyclinics in Gzira, where I have to go next, was open until 5pm. Therefore I took a walk to Valletta and ate a small pizza in the restaurant at the side of the Café Cordina. I was full of that and even I would have liked to eat a Banana Split, I did not order one.

On my way back to the bus I bought some picture postcards, because I friend of mine ask me to bring some. I also bought one for a Swedish friend I have not seen for years. I could not reach her, because she did change to another Internet provider and for that, another email address. Even she wrote back and gave me her new email, it was not working, she had forgotten the hosts name and what I tried, I did not get an answer of her. She is living in Malmö, though maybe we can meet, when I will be there in the first days of November.

The bus was brimful as usual and I was happy, that I was onboard already in Valletta. At the other stops the bus driver did only stop, when someone will leave. I was going by bus to the stop “Ponsonby” and found the polyclinics very easily. I was lucky this day, there were no people in the waiting room and soon it was my turn. The doctor was kind by filling in my sick certificate until my last working day before retirement. He did not care about my vacation leave, but he did not care something else either. I only had to tell him, that I have had a thyroidectomy and show him my neck. He was not asking, how I feel or if I have some pain. Maybe Maltese doctors are used to, that the patients directly tell him, if they are in pain or if they think, something is wrong with them.

I walked home and bought paper handkerchiefs, yogurt and more on my way at the super market. At home I took a dessert – a creme caramel – as well as my medicine against the mucus in my throat. Afterwards I wrote the postcard for my Swedish friend and prepared for the evening. I also updated my blog before I continued with my Istanbul-report.

On my way to meet two Servas members at the airport, I posted the card for my Swedish friend. I had to wait for a quite long time at the airport even the plane was in time. There were four flights announced from Zürich. I think, there were two planes, unfortunately my guests came in the second one. Karin and Heike are a very positive experience for Servas – nice and open-minded. We were directly going home by bus, but changing in Valletta. This we did of two reasons. For the first, they have heavy luggage – even they are wearing it as backpacks. For the second, I explained the Valletta bus terminal and the bus system for them. I also gave them the free map of Malta and the map of the bus routes, this evening, which I had picked up at the tourist information at the airport before I met them.

At home, I saw by the light in my neighbor’s home, that she is back. I mean the french-asian woman, who was abroad during the summer. She was quick to knock at my door and talking with me. I felt uncomfortable, that I did not have time for my guests, because this woman just talked and talked and talked. Luckily she also tried to talk with me guests after a short while. She was happy that there English was worse than hers ;-).

My Servas guests and me talked a lot more this evening (when my neighbor had left) – about what they will do here, what they already know about Malta etc. It was around 11pm, when we went to bed.

17th October

I already awoke 7:30 and took my thyroid medicine at 8 o’clock this morning. Soon also I paid attention to, that even my guests were awake. They took a cold shower each, even I already had warmed up the water for them. Afterwards we ate breakfast and I helped hem with the settings of their smartphones and gave them the password for the WiFi. Furthermore we talked about how to spend the day.

Two of my colleagues were contacting me for tomorrow. The one, because she offered her help for the cleaning, the other one for getting confirmed, that I will spend the night at her home – so I can easily access the airport the nineteenth. I was happy about that. All is well prepared.

When my guests left my home to explore Valletta and the “Three cities”, I tried to take a warm shower. Unfortunately the electricity was gone, but it was only for a quarter of an hour. Meanwhile I soak my feet for working with one of my toenails. When I used my blue shoes from Germany, I have got the fungal back, I had before. I trashed my shoes immediately when I have seen that, but to get rid of the fungal will take a while.

After taking the shower I first updated my profiles on the community sites like couchsurfing, than my blog, ate something and wrote more about Istanbul.

In the evening I was in Valletta with my guests from Servas. We ate at Eddie’s Café (my guests shared a pizza Maltija – they have got to plates of the waiter! – and I ate a beef olive, but could not eat the salad and french fries. There were already potato on the plate by the meal. Therefore my guests did it the salad and the fries.

Afterwards we walked to the Upper Bakkara Garden and took a look at the harbour and the “Three Cities”. It was already dark and a very nice view. We continued to Floriana, because I liked to show them the Valletta Waterfront. Around 1 km before we saw an Military event, that means, the Maltese Militar – land, sea, flight – advertised themselves with a great show and a music band, playing different songs e.g. “Penny Lane”. There were also vocal artists. We made a joke, that they did this for celebrating me ;-). I also bought a torch, because all I have had were broken. Unfortunately there were no batteries, but I trusted them – anyway, I knew where I bought that torch. At home I put in batteries from a broken torch and I found that this one was brighter and better than all I have had before.

When the Militar packed up their items, we continued to the Valletta Waterfront and all the way home by feet.

18th October

My guests left in the morning.

A colleague of mine came around 11am and helped me a lot with the cleaning of my kitchen and the bathroom. She got the oven really shiny and my landlord happy about that. I thanked her by giving her my printer and some household items. They were too much for me to take with me on the plane and I anyway left a lot of household items to my landlord for free, even he did not deserve it.

My landlord called for me between 2pm and 3pm and gave me the deposit in return. First he asked, when we will have finished, because he was on the way to his mother together with his wife and youngest son. I asked him, if he trust me, though he could pay it back to me before he left. So he did. I also have got the 40 EUR for the chairs. I left the bill to him, too.

When we had finished the cleaning I followed with my colleague to her home in Valletta. We were going by bus, even with the 123 to come as close as possible, because I was carrying the printer and she a big bag with things, she had got.

Back home again I tidied a little more. Furthermore I was visiting my employer the last time, leaving the medical certificate for my sick leave. I also had a little box with me, containing a book for the shelf I had borrowed and finally had read, but I forgot to take the used batteries (most of them from my hearing aids) out of the box as well as I did not tell my colleague, who took the box into the work place, what to do with the items. Furthermore there were the recipes for the Swedish “chockladbollar” on the top.

I was going to leave the waste outdoors, when I met my neighbour Caroll. She took care about the waste, though that they were not outdoors too long. She also took the last empty water bottle, which I had forgotten to put in the waste bag.

Caroll is a great woman, she helped me with my luggage to the bus stop, because I had my backpack, a cabin case, a laptop bag and 2 shopping bags – too much for the flight, but I hoped I will find a way to reduce my luggage before entering the plane. Anyway I entered the bus without help – even when I had to change in Valletta. I can tell you, it was not the easiest, but I was lucky for the calm bus driver and the few people at the buses.

I arrived by bus at 7:15pm at the airport and called a colleague of my living close to it. She arrived around 10 minutes later and took me to her home, because the flight will leave early in the morning and there would not be a possibility to go by public transport to the airport. I left some items to her, e.g. shampoo. Though I reduced my baggage a little.

She offered even home-made apple cake. Later on we ate chips I had got as a present of another colleague. I slept in a bed of one of her kids, but fell asleep very late – around 3am. Unfortunately I did put my alarm clock on for the wrong date.

19th October

God morning Malta and bye-bye!

This was my last hours on the island. I did not awake in time. The 16-year-old daughter of my colleague woke me up at that time we should leave and go to the airport. I thought, I will not get ready fast enough, but all went well, even I did not have time for breakfast.

She was in time for school, but I was last-minute at the airport. I checked in my luggage, but had lots of hand luggage left: my cabin case, laptop bag, little backpack, one shopping bag and my hat. I was lucky, who was allowed to take it all on the plane. The middle seat in my row was not occupied, though there were some extra space. I was very happy about that! – At 7:45 we have got breakfast. Even it was not a good breakfast, it was something to eat.

Resume

Everything has it’s time, so it was with Malta. I have lots of nice memories and I also have some not so nice memories. I liked the sun, of course, and the island did not feel so very tiny, like it actually is. I cannot explain why. I liked the houses built of the yellow stones – as long as they were not mouldy. It is a happy colour. Furthermore I liked the diversity of the islands – the landmarks, the culture, land and sea and all around. Unfortunately I did not come close to the Maltese, even I tried. The worst thing on the island were not the traffic jams or the crowded buses, but the winter without any good heating. Even I bought heaters and had an AC I could warm the flat with, I never felt warm during the two worst month of the year: January and Februari. Maybe I will return to Malta for a holiday when I cannot travel the world anymore. I am still in love with that island like I am in love with Hamburg (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) and a lot of more places in Europe.