Three Oldies in Malta
When I travel, I like to randomly wander. I like finding the alleyways, the local hangouts, the dead-ends, and the spots that normal tourists never see. My trip to Malta was no different. I went off in search of the corners, and I found some amazing things.
One: the Man in Search of Herbs.
I went to visit the Dingli Cliffs, and I intentionally walked from one bus stop before the cliffs’ stop to one bus stop after it. Along the way, I went wandering down a side road, and ran across this very kind old man. He walked up to me, and started to ask me questions. At first, I was wary, because of the other experiences I’d already had in Malta. And I was definitely out on my own in this experience. But then he started talking about himself. About how in the old days, he used to come up to the cliffs with his father and there would be lots of people looking for herbs. (He pronounced this “earb-es” and it took me a while to figure out what he was talking about.) He said people would come up because “if you are old, and you have stones in your kidney, you eat this earb-es, and it goes out.” He wanted me to help him in his search, but I passed.
A bit later, as he drove away, he honked and waved at me from his truck. It wasn’t creepy, but actually super cute.
Two: the Women Behind the Door
As I was walking around Gozo, wandering through the streets among dozens of stores flowing into the streets, trying to sell me all sorts of things I don’t need, I wandered down an alleyway. About halfway down, I stopped short. This adorable woman was sitting behind a door, fingers flying and these little wooden sticks clicking. The sound reminded me instantaneously of Babi’s knitting needles. Exactly the same. I spent more than twenty minutes chatting with her and watching her make her lace. It was actually gorgeous.
And she was so nice. She told me about the trip she took to visit her daughter in Australia (her friend can drive and took her to the airport and it was amazing!) and she is very proud that she finished her education. I only wish I could have spent more time with her, because she was adorable.
Three: the Angriest Cat in the World.
This cat. Was angry. Found her at the end of another alleyway in Valletta.