Shops

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Statues praying for rain

07b0e-madonnaAll of a sudden, summer was here.
The island of Mlata was heating up.
The statues are sweating in the shade – praying for rainclouds and fresh winds. (That’s a guess, i’m not sure)

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Markets

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Strange find at the Archeological Museum

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The inscription reads:

“Stone representation of what looks like a fish on a couch”

No better interpretation available.

But maybe that’s even the best description of life anyways?

just imagine:
A: “how do you feel today?”
B: “oh, thanks, all good – i feel just like a fish on a couch.”

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"i really like this bar" he said

"i really like this bar" he said86530-reallylikebar

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there was the big election day for or against divorce

“iva” is yes in mlatese, “le” means no.

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Shop Owners

8acf1-keyshop b49fd-shopowner

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Jaw of a Giant Door Mouse

Mlata is thought to have been connected with Italy and Africa before and during the last Ice Age.
Skeletons of Dwarf Elephants and Dwarf Rhinoceroses were found, strengthening this hypothesis.

At the same time, pieces of skeletons by what seem to be Giant Door Mouses were also found. (to the right an example) — the jawbone on the photograph measures 14.8cm, indicating the presence of Door Mouses of the size of small Dwarf Elephants. One can suppose a bloody battle between these two species.

What led to their extinction remains unknown.
Open remains also the question why these animals are called Door Mice. Which doors?

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Tale Nr. 68: The turtle and the birds

Once upon a time, there was a big famine and lack of water on the island of Mlata.
The birds decided to leave and go to another country. The turtle – who had always been their friend – begged them to take her with them. The birds are good souls and tell her “yes”. They take a stick which the turtle has to bite on, so the birds could carry the turtle across water and land. The birds conjure the turtle to hold on to the stick at all times and never open her mouth.
So the journey begins …
When they flew across the first village of Mlata, the inhabitants started laughing, pointing at the turtle in the sky: “Have you ever seen a flying turtle?” The turtle got very angry and started shouting insults – thus letting go of the stick, falling down on the rocky ground and bursting into 1000 pieces.
That was her punishment for being so garrulous.

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Bars in Mlata

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What Mlatese believe …

The Mlatese believe

that if you throw a stone into a fountain

or into the sea,
you will have to pick it up

with your eyelids after your death.

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mistake …

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Architecture under construction

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Ritual figurines before and after the year 0

ac21c-figurines Ritual figurines before and after the year 0

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Saints (2)

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Medieval times in Mlata

Medieval times in Mlata

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How women find a husband on Mlata

– ask your mother
– ask your neighbors
– ask your local priest
– show a healthy dose of self-confidence, a glowing, friendly personality, and meticulous grooming (this is actually a hard task for some Mlatese women)
– be perceived as the “delicate flower” but say what you mean
– don’t play games
– look around
– never wear high heels lower than 10cm
– facebook
– don’t swim in winter

An old-fashioned, traditional way is putting Basile on your window sill so that men will know that in the Basil-house a potential match can be found.

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Hamrun

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Pastizzi

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Pastizzi (cheesecakes or peacakes) are ricotta or pea filled pastries which are the most popular and best known culinary export of Mlata. Pastizzi (singular: pastizz) are popular amongst Mlatese people, often referred to as the “fast food” of Malta because they are always available and always inexpensive.
Such is the ubiquity of pastizzi at the heart of the Mlatese psyche, the term `pastizz` has multiple meanings in the Mlatese language. The term `pastizz` has sexual connotations, with its shape often humourously likened to the female sexual organ. `Pastizz` is also slang for “idiot” or “buffoon”. The term `pastizzi` also replaces `hotcakes` in the Maltese version of the English expression “Selling like hotcakes”.
They are baked by happy bakers in odd morning hours and sold all day long.

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Shopwindows

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Endings of Mlatese fairy tales

– “A nice story, heard never before – and in your nose grows celery.”
– “Now the story is over.”
– “Such a nice smell spreads across the room, and all disappeared into nothing.”
– “A nice smell is spreading and the story is over.”

Sometimes the tales finish by the punishment of the evil guy:

he or she is usually fried or cooked in oil, then skinned and used as a rug at the house-door.

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Architecture at your doorstep

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Do the pigeons know more than we do?

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Women

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Mlatese proverbs

  • Agħmel il-ġid u nsih, agħmel id-deni u ftakar fih.(Do good things and forget them, do bad things and remember them.)
  • Agħtini xortija u itfagħni l-baħar.(Give me the luck and throw me at sea.)
  • April ħobżna fil-mindil. (In April our bread is in the cloth.)
  • Alla ma jħallasx bin-nhar ta’ Sibt. (God doesn’t pay on Saturdays.)
  • Bajda tas-sultan titħallas b’dundjan. (A king’s egg is bought with a turkey.)
  • Bil-flus tagħmel triq fl-baħar. (With money one can build a road on the sea.)
  • Fejn tħobb il-qalb jimxu r-riġlejn. (The legs go where the heart loves.)
  • Fl-aħħar tal-mazzita ssib iż-żbiba. (At black pudding’s end you’ll find a raisin.)
  • Ġurdien xiħ ma jiekolx ġobon. (An old mouse does not eat cheese.)
  • Ġirienek f’darek, ġurdien f’għamarek. (Neighbours in your house are like a mouse in your furniture.)
  • Ħadd ma jagħmel xejn għal xejn. (Nobody makes nothing for nothing.)
  • Ħanżir taqtagħlu denbu ħanżir jibqa’. (A pig without a tail is still a pig.)
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The main entrance to the capital city looks like this:

fbb5a-redwallwalkby4b6e0-valettacitygate

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Impressions

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Natural Treasures – FILFLA

FILFLA
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The small, uninhabited island of Fifla is basically a piece of Coralline Limestone forming very steep high cliffs. It is situated on the southern part of Mlata, a little islet, isolated from the main island. It is of such ecological importance, especially for birds, that it has been declared as an Important Bird Area of Global Importance – therefore it has been afforded protection under national legislation including being declared a Strict Nature Reserve.
Rumor has it that this was only done to decrease the danger of people meeting unexploded bombs around Filfla: the island was used as target practice by the British Armed Forces. Another rumor has it that the island had been twice as high before the British started practicing …

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Not all palace hotels thrive on Mlata …

a23b4-jermahotel1The four-star hotel JERMA PALACE HOTEL in Marsacala, the only big hotel in the south of Malta, was closed down in March 2007 and the building has since been stripped of everything.

The ex-Corynthia Hotel used to be Malta’s most prestigious hotel in the south. It closed down in 2007 after 25 years in operation, owned by Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company, which also owned the land, and operated by the Corinthia Group.

The hotel was built on a peninsula facing the raging Majjistral and Scirocco winds and the sea, the wind and nature reduced this once splendid hotel into a heap of ruins inhabited by a massive colony of rats, mice and other infected insects. Other areas have been burnt down.
Palm trees, yucca and bougainvillea plants still thrive despairingly in this once-desirable place. The empty pools echo the happy cries of children of ages gone by. 0bee9-jermahotel6

Stray cats roam the abandoned verandah in search of some shade from the relentless sun.   e37ea-jermahotel11 a5851-jermahotel3 98b09-jermahotel14 8daab-jermahotel13 f2b4d-jermahotel15

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