With the exception of a couple of days, I haven’t stopped wearing open-toes shoes since I arrived in South Asia in February, escaping the cold, cold climes of Western Europe and North Africa. A serious heatwave has hit Europe and other parts of the world and everyone is whining about the heat. After having spent time in the country of my birth, the city of Antwerp just south of the border, and my beloved London Town, l moved south to Malta. I reasoned, that in addition to meeting up with some lovely folks I hadn’t seen for almost 18 months, a sunny, hot and rainless summer and a more chilled way of life would be guaranteed. As the heatwave seems to prolong itself, I initially felt rather daft for wanting to spend a good part of summer on the Rock, as it’s full-on summer EVERYWHERE in Europe.
A Footie World Cup Came and Went
We were entertained by a World Cup football with some exciting performances and many freak exits. As the Boys of Orange weren’t playing, I could enjoy the circus as a rather neutral spectator and enjoy World Cup fever in Belgium and London. Although Malta is never competing, it’s incredibly difficult to escape the World Cup on this island, as matches are displayed in pretty much every bar, restaurant or café, whether indoors or outside. There are also a few so-called fan zones, where spectators can gather to watch matches on big screens while getting pissed and being annoyed by Malta’s notoriously bad DJs during half time. During the final, the whole of Europe except ‘la douce France’ wanted Croatia to win, which they didn’t and now some Frenchies have another reason to feel unrightly utterly superior in general rather than just in terms of football.
Not all Heat is created Equal
People in Malta are whining about the heat too, although it seems a normal Maltese summer to me. The big summer difference between the Rock and Western Europe, is that the island nation is far better equipped to deal with the heat, as aircon is ubiquitous and every dwelling has at least one big fan. It’s in winter when you might be suffering in Malta; if you can’t be arsed to invest in a decent gas or oil heater or spend a fortune on running electric heaters, time spend indoors can be cold, cold, cold to the bone. It’s the world upside down in Western Europe. My experience in London is, that Brits can’t build decent houses, that keep you warm in winter and/or relatively cool during a hot summer. Compared to that lot, ‘we’ Dutchies can build decent dwellings, that keep you warm in winter. There are too many rules and regulations in place to fuck that up. We don’t do aircons, as we don’t need them and, unlike in Malta, where you NEED a fan in summer, Dutchies don’t do fans. If a heatwave strikes, you don’t seem to be able to buy some sort of cooling device, as the few fans and portable aircon systems available are sold out in an instant.
As I am receiving and sharing a lot of love on the island and enjoying a chilled lifestyle, I feel I did make the right choice to spend a few weeks here. Throughout the years I have learnt, that travelling or temporarily residing in a place is totally different from actually living there. An although I’m currently having a ball, I have no appetite for becoming a Rock Resident once more.