In the alleyways in Vittoriosa, you will find the original auberges built to house the knights of the Order of Saint John. I found myself day dreaming what it would be like to live in one of the houses in the old town, with courtyards full of orange trees, and the warm Maltese bread baking in my kitchen, and with houses nestled so close to one another that I can hear the afternoon conversations of my neighbours, and catch the fragrance of their evening dinners.
Why do we need to ask people - friends as well as strangers, deeply personal and intrusive questions. Is it an innate trait of being curious and inquisitive? Or is it our need to know overpowering our sensibilities and common sense? Perhaps, the fine art of not asking intrusive questions is something that can be cultivated if it isn't something that comes naturally to us.
One of the elements of the expat or the immigrant life is the longing and the loneliness. The longing for friends and family who live in another part of the world, the loneliness - at least initially when you don't know a lot of people and miss the deep friendships that you once had. And so, when a festival comes up, you wish for both - companionship and friends to celebrate the good days, to revel in shared customs and traditions and to repeat over a hundred times how one misses the home that one has left behind.