My roommate Kate (from Slovakia) & I
I've come to the conclusion that living in Lija is like living in a giant Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I've never seen so many bathroom design stores in my life. There is a 3 square block area of the town solely dedicated to these types of stores. These aren't your average run of the mill bathroom fixture stores either. Most of them are multi-story and stylishly decorated. Malta must have some of the trendiest bathrooms in the world. Which I actually wouldn't find surprising. Malta seems to have realized that much of the world doesn't pay attention to them. They are kind of like the forgotten middle child of Europe. No one notices their existence until something big happens like say Libyan pilots defecting to Malta followed by the appearance of possible Libyan war ships off of the coast. This has pretty much allowed the country to do things their own way. For example, at the local super market if you buy two bottles of ketchup you get a stuffed bunny. Why? I haven't figured that out yet. More and more I find myself saying "Malta, why not?" whenever I see something odd. Another good example would be this morning when
Outfits courtesy of the 25cent store
I saw a brass band, in costume, performing at a bus stop in Msida. Randomness has somehow become a theme in Malta.
The University seems to go about in the same manner. Professors tend to cancel class last minute or without any real reason. That doesn't mean they aren't good at what they do though. My Media & Int'l Relations/Political Communication professor is one of the most interesting professors I've had in awhile. She is a former news journalist so not only does she know what she's talking about and have a passion for it she also has a new story or two for us every week. Not to mention with everything that is happening in Northern Africa & the Middle East I couldn't be taking these two classes at a better time.
You also never know what you are going to stumble upon here in Malta. Since the country seems to shut down on Sundays there isn't much else to do but wander around. Last week me and a couple of friends decided to explore Lija. We found a beautiful garden with exotic birds, fountains, and "gifts" from foreign countries. There was also this old, historic looking
building. Naturally we decided we had to explore it and find out what it was. After about ten minutes we realized that it wasn't just any old house or historic site. It was in fact the official residence of the Maltese president. I'm going to admit that we were more than a little shocked when we realized where exactly we were. We had wandered into the courtyard, art exhibit, and chapel of the President. Honestly it probably wouldn't have been that hard to get into the actual home itself seeing as there were only two guards just kind of wandering around. Sometimes the randomness of Malta can be pretty cool.
Now that everyone here at the Residence (or the compound as I like to call it) has started class and gotten settled in we have begun to plan future trips. Next weekend a couple of us are spending a weekend at a villa in Gozo to celebrate Carnival. In March there is a Venice trip which I have somehow being the key planner of. But the really big trip will be during our two week Spring/Easter Break. I'm planning on spending the majority of the two weeks in Morocco
with two of my friends, Sarah & Cedric, with one night in Barcelona. I can't be more excited. Tomorrow we are going to begin looking at hostels and maybe try and find a company that can take us camping in the Sahara. I'm assuming some people are probably wondering "why Morocco?" Well when am I ever going to be able to get there so easily and for so cheap? Also the other places people seem to be headed to for the break are cities that could be done over a long weekend. While I would love to go to Germany, Spain, or Portugal, I'm sure there will be many chances to head there through out the next five months.
I'll end my rants and raves there. Much Love P.S. I am in direr need of new recipes. If anyone has any that can be done using a stove from the 1970's please send them my way
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