Here’s a gif interpretation of my roller coaster of emotions every time I move back for a stretch in London. I would’ve done this through the medium of interpretive dance, but I’m not a cruel woman and I do not wish to scar my readers.
You board the plane at MIA. It’s scorching outside. You’ve got a Cheshire cat grin on your face with the knowledge that in three and a half hours, you’re going to be residing in humane weather conditions.
And then you land at Heathrow and look out the window.
“U ż-ż”– You start to say, but you quickly remind yourself that you’re still in the company of other Maltese people who can call you out on your swearing. Leave it for when you get to the confines of your hole in the wall- I mean, flat.
You saunter through security to get to baggage reclaim, and you’re greeted by this guy:
It’s only been a week since Brexit. You ironic morons.
Security are fully aware of Ġowsef’s and David’s bromance, so you’re let through, no questions asked.
That’s you, shimmying down Terminal 4.
You’re travelling through the streets to get to your new digs, and you pass by some parks. Acres and acres of parks.
Oh and Nando’s, Wasabi, Starbucks, Primark, Domino’s, and other native delicacies of which you’ve been so deprived in your third world country. #torttamintoff
It’s so beautiful.
So after a few weeks, you’re nicely settled in your new flat, and you’re enjoying the freedom of not living with your parents.
That’s right, mummy’s not here to tell you how many sushi deliveries you can make in a week.
But then you realise you should’ve listened to the MILF when she tried teaching you how to iron.
But you’re not entirely incompetent. You frequently wow your flatmates with your cooking skills, thanks to years of training to be a good little Maltese wife whose place is in the kitchen, just how nanna always wanted you to be.
And the English lads are fascinated by your culinary expertise.
But sometimes, you find yourself at a loss, because no matter how heavenly your ross il-forn is, your daddy’s not around to make you his unbeatable chips kollha ħal, bżar u melħ ala tal-Marsa!
And round about Week 7, you’ll start to wake up in the middle of night craving a swig of Kinnie.
But never fear, Parparellu’s in Hammersmith to save the day, and when you enter Joseph Pace’s sanctuary for lost Maltese souls, you’re hit by the waft of pastizzi and the familiar cries of ilallu and il-ostra.
And for a moment, you’re home. But oh wait, he’s closed shop now so you’ll have to just stare through the display window in disbelief, gazing at the galletti and Cisk.
But you’re still much happier to be in this city. After all, there are no cockroaches or mosquitoes in London.
When there are transport delays by a few minutes and you hear commuters fret, you just sigh and mutter ‘mur ġibkhom’.
And when Londoners start to get all hot and bothered in 20°C heat, you just always have this look on your face:
But you don’t want to be the ‘in-maj-kantrij’ one of the group, so you just sit there shivering, dreaming of mornings at Għadira.
So after a few months of preposterous rent, eye-popping job opportunities and your grandparents still questioning why you left the best country in the world to marry a barrani…
… it’s time to go back for the holidays, and you can’t contain your excitement.
So you get to the airport 12 hours before you’re meant to check in and charge to the Departure Gate.
You hear the all too familiar, “Sinjuri, nilqawkhom għat-titjira tagħna lejn Malta…”
And when you finally land and head to Għadira…
… you remember why you still love this country so much.