Assisted suicide in Malta
The next stop is hell
If for some reason you have a death wish or want to go where assisted suicide is legal then go to Malta. All the bus drivers are trained assassins and if they don’t get you then the pyromaniacs will. I am not kidding here. The people of Malta are like suicidal lemmings and they actively encourage you to join in with their pursuits.
Buy a ticket for assisted suicide
Gone are the beautiful old
Assisted suicide is 1.50 euros a day and they even have lampposts every 1000m advertising where they do it. They call them bus stops but be in no doubt that if you pay to get on you are never get off again, alive. The busses don’t have an accelerator pedal, only a maximum warp speed and a throw you through the windscreen brake pedal. Both are used to excess. The way they tease you into thinking you may survive is to cram the busses with 6,004 people so you cannot move and then hang plastic tabs from the ceiling for you to swing on. If you do survive long enough to reach your stop you have no hope of getting off. In fact getting on a bus means that you abandon all hope utterly and completely. You may be able to reach a stop button if you can prise a little finger free but glance at the demonic eyes of the driver in his rear view mirror and you will see them on fire and laughing hysterically. There is only one door at the front and the driver will stop for 0.38 seconds in which time you have to push past 5,989 people to get to the front and get off. Forget it. Just know you are going to be on that bus for life which as I explained isn’t long.
Shock and Awe
If public transport is not for you the pyromaniac assassins of Malta will still get you anyway. You would think a small island that was bombed relentlessly during the Second World War would never want to hear another explosion again. You would be so wrong.
Bunker busting bombs
Shock on the outside, Awe in the middle
The Maltese got so used to it they carry the tradition of shock and awe on by continually launching cluster bombs into the sky. When I say sky I use the word sparingly. The tubes the mortars are set off from are huge but have a very bad habit of falling over spewing their contents into the nearest hard (or soft) object they find. You will see people lighting the tubes but not before they build themselves a reinforced concrete shelter to run and hide in. We saw a contingent of American and NATO five star generals come to watch these bunker busters in action. Unfortunately they left by bus so it is doubtful they ever got back to report their findings. These so call fireworks go off with a sonic boom that can shake your tooth fillings loose and empty your bowels instantly. Do not worry too much though as if you manage to ever get a seat on a bus they are all designed in brown.
To further add to the people of Malta’s desire for explosions they also have a cannon salute across Grand Harbour every day. They used to love shooting birds as well. So successful were they at this that you won’t find one bird left on Malta.
What is Malta really like?
Grand Harbour, Malta
So why risk your life by going to Malta. Why, because it is one of the most amazing small Islands we have ever visited. It is how I would imagine England to be 50 years ago only a little more so. The locals are very friendly helping us where they could. We even got invited for tea by an elderly couple who we stopped to ask directions of (I kid you not). They all speak Maltese and you have no chance of understanding that language but they all speak English as well. The history and architecture of the islands is truly jaw dropping. The scale and condition of their forts and citadels is second to none. Malta is the biggest of three islands that people refer to as Malta but there are also two other smaller inhabited islands call Camino and Gozo.
Gozo was our favourite of the three with it amazing citadel in the centre of the Island and it should not be missed. They had cordoned off part of the island as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were there filming. Those two do seem to follow us around for some reason. The old part of the capital of Malta, Valletta is again stunning with its huge wall protecting the inner city. It towers over Grand harbour giving views of the three cities that make up Valletta. The history of the Knights of St John is everywhere and is an amazing story in itself, the way a small group of monks defended Malta against hordes of invaders that vastly outnumbered them.
Sailing in Malta
Moonlight in Malta
Being a small Island Malta loves its boats and sailing. Every weekend you see sail boat after sail boat streaming out of the harbours to go find one of the numerous bays to anchor and swim in. They also cater to the ever growing younger generation with night clubs and numerous party boats. These boats can be heard everywhere pumping out a million kilowatts of house and garage music so those aboard can get drunk and deaf at the same time. On more than one occasion we were anchored in some remote peaceful bay overnight when one turned up. The constant pounding of the base was all we needed to go find an assisted suicide bus stop or throw ourselves prostrate on a firework mortar.
War relations in Malta
My own relation, Harold Lindsay, served throughout the war on submarines based in Malta only a stone’s throw from where we left our boat, Cygnus III. We know he served on HMS Umbra for a time and was a modest man never mentioning anything about the war. It was only after his death we found he had been to Buckingham Palace and was awarded a medal by the Queen.
Did we like Malta? Too right we did, we absolutely loved it and next year we will be paying another visit to this strange and wonderful island called Malta but we won’t be using the busses.