In Praise of Ghawdex
This blog has nothing to do with Dr Joseph Muscat’s recent pow-wow in Ghawdex nor with the exquisite literary endeavour of fellow blogger Andrew Borg Cardona. His piece called Gozo Trippin’ is a gem that only the Little Elves can comprehend.
Nor is this piece a spin coordinated by the evil clique (maaaaaaaaa x’biza!) in preparation of some do by gonzipn in the nearby island. (Though, truth be said, the evil clique can be using me to do this spin without I knowing it. These mind controllers are evil incarnate.)
This humble piece sings the praises of the island adopted by Calypso many moons ago and enjoyed by all of us till this day. I had been promising myself to write it for a couple of weeks but it was always swept aside by some more momentous happening which begged for my attention and stimulating reflections.
Last year and this, together with a group of friends we spend a few days in Ghawdex. We all got hooked by the Ghawdex bug so much so that we are already discussing where to grace with our presence next year.
We stayed in Nadur, Xewkija and Gharb. Using today’s parlance we stayed in a farmhouse which, quite naturally was never a farmhouse. (Does anyone know why we denominate as a farmhouse an abode which is just a house with a pool and situated in a village or town instead of in open countryside? How does one translate this word in Maltese? Certainly one cannot use the word razzett. Going to a farmhouse shows that you are with it, while going to a razzett brands you as an uncouth plebeian. This use of words is similar to that used by those who say that they have a basement at house instead of saying that they have a kantina. Perhaps we should translate farmhouse by the word farmhaws. But I leave this task to the dons guarding the Maltese language.)
Ghawdex can produce bread as good as only the Qriema know how to do it. Out of the three places we visited, the gold is definitively won by Nadur. We lived just a couple hundred metres from Mekrens. Its bread and ftija Ghawdxija (which we call pizza) is simply divine.
Xewkija’s Ta Julie gave us the largest pool and best BBQ area. This is very important. Those of us who still sport a vibrant joie de vivre spend the whole week busying themselves by lazing at the pool and informing the whole wide world – though Facebook – of the momentous moments of the stay. Those of us who bloqna (or almost) find comfort hugging our laptops snorting important sounding noises about the academic work we are producing. How excruciatingly boring! In our moments of weakness, though, we give in to the temptation of the pool. Evidently the pool is the most important part of the holiday.
But the overall winning mark goes to Gharb. It is such a quaint village. I fell in love with it. The sun clock at the village piazza marks time better than vintage Swiss ones. The remissa of Frenc ta’ l-Gharb brings us face to face with the abode of a man whose humility was only rivalled by his greatness. Spread around the village one finds short wooden columns which give you information about the village, its tales and its people. Walking around is like taking a guided tour. It is incredible how many things this small village has to teach us. I went every day to the village parish church and not to the Ta Pinu sanctuary which was also very close by. The Church dedicated to the Visitation is quite small. Many grumble about the level of the homilies in our churches. I can say that on Saturday evening and Sunday morning I listened to good homilies – and I consider myself to be very critical in this regard! At Gharb I saw a first – someone using an iPad during mass. It is a very convenient missal.
We all really enjoyed ourselves.
Can anyone propose alternatives for next year?