We Weren’t Allowed to Leave Malta at Christmas

At Christmas I normally make plans on where to spend it and who to spend it with. This Christmas that choice was taken out of my hands as we do not have the paperwork that allows us to leave the island. When I say we, I mean Leah, my partner, and I wasn’t going to leave her alone over Christmas, so we were both ‘stuck’ here. I don’t mean that in a bad way. We might not have gone anywhere anyway – this is our home now, after all – but it was strange to not have a choice.

Hoping to do something meaningful, we tried to give blood… but they wouldn’t take it because we don’t have the paperwork. You see a pattern here? Then we asked if we could help at The Red Cross. The people there were lovely and I am hoping that we will do useful things with them, but at the moment we don’t have the skills to be useful. So instead we did what we normally love to do and on Christmas Eve we went hiking and swam in the sea, then ate lots and lots of food. On Christmas day we ate lots more food, had a little run (so we could eat more food), and chilled out with a grumpy cat. We even got a Christmas tree which is a real tree and will now live in the garden.

It was a nice Christmas in the end, but strange not to have a choice to leave if we wanted. And we were told that we might have to wait six months for the paperwork to be dealt with. That’s an awful lot of time to not be able to go anywhere else in the world, but that’s OK because Malta has plenty to explore and we will do and see lots during our time here. On New Year’s Eve we went to watch the fireworks in Valletta, missed them, but had good conversation and cheese instead. Then we hugged some strangers and wished them a Happy 2017.

Things do not work out perfectly, hardly ever. So we must make the most of what we have.

A vegetarian Christmas feast
NYE 2017: I only know two of these people

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