I’ve officially been in Malta for a month. I’ve been here for 35 days, making it not only the longest I’ve been out of the country, but the longest I’ve been in another country at one time. Here are a few of the things I’ve done during the past month:
- Moved into a house with new roommates
- Received an official student ID for the bus
- Become familiar with the bus system and schedule
- Develop preferences for favorite brands in the grocery store
- Begin the process to become an official resident of Malta
- Start and complete my first course of graduate school
- Visit all three of the major Maltese islands and see the most popular tourist spots
- Developed a routine for communicating with friends and family at home
I’ve done so much more than these things, but this list gives really good insight into exactly how I’ve adjusted to life here and began the process of not just being here or visiting here, but living here.
Life in Malta means getting excited when you hear accents other than European. I asked a woman on the bus where her family was from because they were clearly not Maltese, and she responded “America” and was then shocked to find that I am in fact American as well. This means she thought I was European. This means I have transitioned from tourist/visitor to resident. This means that I have assimilated into life here.
These thoughts were reaffirmed for me a few days later when, again on the bus, a lady and her husband asked me which stop they should get off based on where their hotel was. This interaction was a little more difficult than the first because these people did in fact not speak English but could really only tell me the name of their stop in a questioning tone. Despite the barriers, I accurately gave them information and they successfully made it to their destination (I’m assuming they made it there after they left the bus).
Life in Malta means spending the weekends and every free day off of school at the beach right across the street from your house
Life in Malta means that if you every were to get tired of going to the beach, you could spend your weekends here
Life in Malta means waking up to views like this
And going to sleep with views like this
Life in Malta means climbing four flights of stairs to hang your clothes to dry on your rooftop terrace
Life in Malta means spending your class field trips in places like this
And when you actually do go to school, it looks like this
Malta is cool, school is fun, and I’m learning stuff. I’d say the first month has been a success. As the Maltese say, ciao ciao.