It has almost been 3 months since I came to Malta. During my stay here, I noticed some remarkable differences from the Netherlands, and I think it would be interesting, to sum up some big differences to share my image of Malta (or the Netherlands) with everyone.
Traffic First, the traffic in Malta is really different. Maltese people have less patience than the Dutch. In Malta the traffic is more chaotic and there’s a lot of cars on the road. The amount of cars is not strange because apparently, this little island is the most densely populated country in Europe, and I thought Holland was overpopulated!
Furthermore, during my internship I see applicants rejecting job offers because “the employer’s offices are too far!”. In the Netherlands, it is normal for people to travel far for their job but in Malta it seems to be different. I don’t know if it’s because the Maltese are used to having everything closer, or primarily because of the traffic.
Public Holidays The Maltese get to enjoy more public holidays than the Dutch. Malta is a more religious country and almost every month the Maltese have a day off to celebrate a public holiday. In summer, every village celebrates the feast of their patron saint. The streets turn into a party with the whole neighbourhood and there will be music, colourful decorations, fireworks and lots of alcohol.
I don’t think the public holidays in the Netherlands are as special as in Malta. The only celebration I miss in Malta is ‘Sinterklaas’. This is one of the very big celebrations in the Netherlands and it’s a shame I missed it this year.
Architecture The colour of the houses was the first thing I noticed when I arrived in Malta three months ago. The predominant colour is white because of the limestone that is quarried and used to build houses. The Dutch houses are darker (because of the red or brown bricks we use to build our houses), and more houses are detached because of the gardens around them.
The houses in the touristic areas in Malta are quite plain and simple. However, when you go to the towns and villages, the houses have more character and most of them are quite old with lovely balconies that are only found in Malta. Also, the churches in Malta are very detailed and pretty, especially on the inside.
Cleanliness I think it’s remarkable how often people clean and sweep the streets in Malta. I see many people cleaning the street in front of their house washing the area with soap and water. Every morning I see a guy at the bus stop sweeping all the trash from the streets. Because of that, the streets in Malta are very clean.
In the Netherlands, I don’t see this that often but maybe because we have the rain that cleans the road. By contrast, I think it’s a little bit odd that Maltese don’t use wheelie bins or other big containers for their garbage collection. The full refuse bags are placed in front of the door on the streets, and that definitely creates an eyesore!.
Weather Obviously, the weather is very different than the Netherlands. It’s now December but last week I could go outside with only a t-shirt in the morning sun and I also managed to get a tan. Yippeeee!. This is difficult to imagine when you live in the Netherlands.
In the summer the temperatures in Malta went up to almost 40 degrees while in Holland the temperatures rarely went up to 30 degrees.
Compared to August and October, It rained a lot in November here in Malta, and I have seen some tropical showers that month. Road drains aren’t very good here, so when it rains the roads will turn into little rivers (as deep as your ankles). Moreover, it looks like cars and buses are floating instead of driving.
The distribution of the water in Holland is better but unfortunately, rain is way more normal in my home country.
I still enjoy my life in Malta. It’s a shame I have to go back to Holland next week.
Lots of love, Romee