Saturday, June 7, 2014

Malta Diary - part 7

This would be my last entry from Malta, and the blog should be running regularly with pictures from June 12 onwards. Over the first few weeks I will be downloading my photos and cataloging them as is my custom, and will certainly share some of them with you throughout the next few months.

One interesting innovation I noticed in Malta is the introduction of solar panels on many roofs of residences. The majority of hotels and larger complexes such as office buildings had already installed these panels, but the trend is now for homes and private residences to install these panels. In fact it is an excellent idea since we get a plentiful supply of sunny days, and people can benefit from the free sunny days without having to pay their ever-mounting electric bills.

The sun burns relentlessly in Malta all year round, but especially in the hot summer months. Many people have water tanks on their roofs which they use for their daily consumption, but even though it's supposed to be cold water, by 10 am the water is already hot and stays very hot till late in the evening. In fact very few households use their water heaters in the summer months, but only during the  three cooler months, usually December till February. By the way, all houses in Malta have flat roofs where people can walk on, enjoy a cool evening under the stars and as is customary hang their clothes to dry, which usually takes an hour or less - that's why no one has driers next to their washing-machines.

But enough about household details. These last few days were highlighted by quick visits to various churches and taking a few more photos of sacred art and other spontaneous shots that show up in places where you least expect them. Among these were visits to the local festas that dominate the summer months in Malta. My home-town of St Julian's celebrated a colorful re-enactment of an old custom, commemorating the feast of the Ascension, as people dressed in traditional clothing, marching bands, food stands, and other traditional customs that were popular in years gone by. It was quite a colorful event, as you will see later in the year when I post some of these photos. 

Since many of the buildings are well lit up, some of my photography focused on night scenes which create quite an interesting texture. I have to say that during this trip I was a real photographer, not just with my camera in my passenger seat or around my neck, just in case I come across something interesting. This time I was an inquisitive photographer looking around for that unusual and spontaneous scene, sometimes very unexpected, but rewarding nonetheless.  

One of the most surprising thing I noticed these past few weeks was the fact that I am recognizing less and less people, besides very few people are recognizing me. Walking around town, I used to recognize just about everyone, but nowadays, it is the complete opposite. The fact that most of the people I come across are tourists does not help the situation. Malta has become the melting-pot which New York became known for. Riding a bus one can hear all kinds of languages spoken, from Arabic to Spanish, from Italian to Romanian, from French to Swedish, mostly British accent and once in a while an American accent, especially when someone asks me for direction.
And as Bugs Bunny used to say......from Malta....that's all folks!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your observations and thoughts during your time in Malta. Have a safe journey back to the States. To help your body adjust from jet lag you may want to check out which is a scientific approach to "re-setting" your internal clock.