A Maltese passion for politics with some fish

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June 4th 2017
Published: June 5th 2017
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'There's a fish market on a Sunday market' they said, 'we spent over two hours there' they said. I'd love to find out who they are and why they made us drive almost as far as you can on Malta without driving into the sea. I've been to the fish market in Seattle where they're chucking huge whale size cod (well almost....) all over the shop. Now that's interesting.

Lining up a few fish in front of you on a market stall isn't. Tagging it onto a tat market with a few fruit and veg stalls isn't exactly a tourist mecca. Fine for the locals I'm sure with a nice array of fruit and veg stalls as well but, and you may have guessed this already, I won't be rushing back...

Lovely little bay though and the boat trip round the harbour was great and only €4. There are lots of colourful boats bobbing around which do make it worth visiting Marsaxlokk. Just don't expect to be amazed by the fish, food and tat market. Claire bought a bottle of wine which cost €1.50 so I expect her to be blind or at least lose a liver soon.

Time then to head to the capital of this fair isle, Valletta on a very important day. Yesterday there was an election and the results were out today which resulted in a win for their Labour Party. Let's hope this is a signifier for our election back home on Thursday!

Maybe the Labour Party here is their equivalent of our nasty party so it's actually the slave labour party....we dunno, so we can't celebrate the victory of a party who may actually be right wing.

Judging by their supporters I doubt they are as they seemed like your average Joe rather than Tories. And boy do they celebrate. Part of the reason we went to Valletta today was to see what happened after a Maltese election as we were promised bouyant celebrations.

I wish people back home were this passionate about politics and appreciated that we live in a democracy and didn't simply lap up whatever lies our predominantly right wing press tell them. The streets were awash with flags, floats carrying dancing supporters, air horns, people dancing, supportive t-shirts and car horns blazing whilst carrying people hanging out of the windows and even sat in the boots of cars being driven round.

It's another world from the awful apathy back home.

There were people jumping up and down on the bonnets of their own cars, a stage set up for people to just go along and sing and dance, flares being set off, etc. There were people of all ages and they were all having a good time. It made me wonder where the losing supporters were though and what would have been different if they had won?

If they are the equivalent of our Tories though they're probably drowning their sorrows in champage bathing in caviar whilst trying to work out how to get rid of all these terrible poor, old and disabled people.

We escaped all this fervour for a while and went into the Malta Experience. Claire has fond memories of this so we didn't baulk at paying €16 each. I wish we had though. We sat in a cinema and were shown a film charting Malta's history which lasted about 40mins but felt like three days. We both fell asleep through some of it as it was put together in such a dull way that even Sir David Jacobi narrating couldn't raise much enthusiasm.

Our ticket price did include a guided tour round the Sacra Infermeria which was very good and interesting but didn't warrant the €16 each we had forked out. We even forgot to collect the free chocolate bar our ticket entitled us to we were in such a rush to get away. Lesson learnt.

We had heard that the new Prime Minister may put in an appearance today but, when we asked in a shop, we found out he wouldn't be doing that until tomorrow. The town centre was very quiet with most shops and resturants closed, either because it was Sunday or because people were out celebrating or commiserating. We found a bar that had stopped doing food but had a drink anyway.

So then we decided to head back to the coast for another dip in the sea, not realising that this 10km trip would take over 90 minutes, and most of that was trying to get out of Valletta. The roads were chock-a-block with cars beeping, floats, police trying to get cars through and people walking in front of cars. People do that generally here but today was a constant battle not to run anyone over or crash. Cars are usually all over the place and swap lanes and pull out without looking but, when their horns are blazing and they're waving flags things get even more hair raising than usual.

Not surprisingly Claire let me drive this bit. She jumps a mile at a loud noise at the best of times so when horns are being beeped constantly, music is blaring and people are firing flares from their cars she wouldn't be happy in the driver's seat. It's easier to expect them to do something stupid and then do the same. If there's a gap to pull out at a roundabout, wait until something is coming n.b. you should also do this when walking across roads too as it will confuse drivers if you don't.

So anyway, it took a long time to get through the traffic but it is great to see people so passionate about politics. Google maps carried on its comedy directions too which didn't help-wish we'd brought our satnav with us! A few ambulances had to get through the almost static traffic as well which proved tricky. One of them came very close to our car....but the car actually tailgating an ambulance (!!!!) came even closer.

So it was too late to swim by the time we got back so we nipped near our apartment to book a boat trip for tomorrow before looking in my guide book for somewhere to eat.

Maltese of course. None of this foreign rubbish. Google maps made us miss the restaurant we were headed for but we found a super little restaurant anyhows. I had aljotta for starters, a Maltese fish soup which was lovely and had loads of fish in it. For mains I had bragioli translated as beef olives which, thankfully, has no olives in it. It's minced beef rolled up in parma ham in a tasty sauce and it's delicious. It's name is in one of the photos. It wasn't too expensive either so we're actually glad google maps is so crap....sometimes....most of the time I could ring its bloody neck!!

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