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Complaining about Malta

There’s nothing like a spot of foreign travel to broaden the mind, though, sadly, this also involves broadening the waistline just a tad, for all that one tries to be good and not overindulge. It’s difficult to be saintly when in Italy, the temptations abound, though we did manage to stick to the general precepts of the diet that has brought about less of a good thing (me).

By far the best way to travel, as far as I am concerned, trains not being available, is by car and when the weather is kind (Nelsonian I am not, except insofar as seasickness is easily come by, as they say it was for him) Virtu’ Ferries’ excellent service gets you to Sicily and thence points North, handily. Italian roads are, well, nonpareil, and the scenery is superb, except around the towns.

But you’re not here to read a travelogue but for snide remarks with a political twist, designed to get Lil’Elves and Peculiar Pundits reaching for their keyboards to pour venom all over my bald pate.

I made a couple of remarks on the subject in my blog but in the way of things, blogs tend to go off the radar sooner rather than later, especially when the antics of that Għaxaq lawyer with an office in Valletta and room for a pony inspire a new one.

Is Franco Debono seriously taking Joseph Calleja to task because his O-level record is not stellar, incidentally? Seriously?

Next time you want to whine about how expensive it is to get to Gozo, and how lousy the facilities are, consider this: it cost a minimum of €46 return for a car and two of us from Messina to Reggio, the ships involved are rust-buckets which stink, the approaches to embarkation are strange, to put it kindly, and, all in all, the experience is less than edifying.

Timetables are a work of approximation, if you can find one. And there’s competition on the route.

You want a whine about littering and how ugly the environment is, with illegal buildings all over the place and an air of decay permeating your world? Go take a look at any town in southern Italy (not the old centres, of course, just the areas where people live) and prepare to be amazed, negatively.

People living in poverty your thing to groan about, perhaps? Try sitting down for a meal without a beggar or five trying to sell you some rubbish or just walk around with your eyes open and notice the clear signs of high unemployment. They’re not all involved with the ‘family’ business, those young men sitting around idly.

There’s plenty more. “Abroad” is not the heaven on earth that the less discerning, the ones who perpetually grumble about how these things happen “only in Malta” are always on about.

In fact, we live in a pretty good place, which is not to say blind acceptance of everything should be the norm, just that we really shouldn’t fuss so much.

Coming back home after a holiday is never fun, mainly because it means that the rest of the working week looms.

Even less fun was had when I pointed the remote at the box to catch up on whether power of incumbency claims had been made in the Supreme Court against Barack Obama by some weirdo obsessed with oligarchic machinations, but apparently not, and nor had it been alleged that votes had been purchased from lowlifes to bolster the vote.

So I had a bit of a surf and came across a discussion programme on Net. When I say discussion, I mean a smug and arrogant Gino Cauchi pounding away about this latest obsession of Labour’s, the Brazilian the Prime Minister had mentioned.

His expressionless, calm and relentless insistence on making the same point, again and again, were clearly instilled in him by whoever it is that Labour are using to try to make themselves look slick and professional and I suppose it’s an improvement on the usual fare.

Mr Cauchi didn’t persuade me to vote Labour and when the camera switched to Leo Brincat, who is clearly an acolyte of the same image consultant, with the added frisson of a droning voice, I opted for an advertising channel, where, at least, people don’t interrupt their debating partners to stop any point other than the one they want to make being made.

If Labour spokesmen are this arrogant now, before the election, can you imagine what they’re going to be like when they win, as they are clearly, unequivocally convinced they are going to?

imbocca@gmail.co[email protected]

www.timesofmalta.com/articles/author/20

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