Recently I wrote about my top six reasons that you should move to Malta, so today I thought I’d balance it out and discuss four of the main negatives to this charming, funny yet infuriating little island. But listen, before you get yourself all worked up and tell me to ‘go back to England’ remember that this is a follow-up to why I love Malta so much so this post is just for the purpose of balance. So let’s jump right into the first negative to living in Malta, as the fact I need to preface this post ties in nicely…
1. Negatives of Malta: Go Back to Your Country!
Malta is a hub of multiculturalism. Even its revered culture is a mix of Maltese, British, Arabic, Italian and more. Yet the Maltese are still not fully comfortable with the influx of expats the last 10 years has seen. If you dare to complain about anything on this island or try to improve something, you’ll most likely be met with ‘well go back to your country!’ (or, as I experienced ‘fuck off back to your country!’).
I love Malta, this whole blog is a seven-year love letter to the island, but no country is perfect and just because I want to moan sometimes, or I think the country could be improved in certain ways, doesn’t mean I should ‘fuck off home’. In fact, people who refuse to accept that Malta is not perfect are the ones doing it the most harm. Nothing in life is perfect and those of us who care about this place, want it to be the best it can be.
2. Negatives of Malta: Construction
Everyone’s pet peeve and one of the biggest negatives of living in Malta. It’s everywhere. It’s ugly, it’s dirty, it starts at 6 AM and it never gets completed.
3. Negatives of Malta: Public Transport in Malta
I want to start off by saying that public transport has improved a lot in the last 7 years, but it still has a long way to go. I’ve never understood why we struggle so much with public transport when the island is so small, how can it be so hard to get right?
Busses are much more regular, more modern and more convenient than ever before, but they still don’t run to any recognizable schedule and the drivers are as rude as ever. The Talinja app is good for seeing when your next bus is arriving, it estimates the minutes and is usually pretty accurate, but you can ignore the timetables online and at the bus stops, they are really just there for show.
With the traffic being such a problem, public transport is still often slow and infuriating. But, I’d like to mention the Talinja cards, which make the whole experience a lot more convenient. You top up the card with credit and just scan the card when getting on the bus (they mostly only accept correct change so it can be a real pain if you don’t always have €1.50 ready!) and the new auto topup means you’ll never be left without credit again.
4. Negatives of Malta: Landlord
Ah, the negative of Malta that everyone has a story about. Landlords in Malta are, on the whole, horrific. There is a huge problem in this country with landlords letting apartments illegally (by not registering the rental income for tax) which means the tenants suffer by paying higher electricity rates. There is little to no tenant protection in Malta; you hand your deposit (usually one month’s rent) directly in cash to the landlord and chances are, you’ll never see it again, no matter how perfectly you leave the apartment. Try getting your landlord to help out getting things repaired and you’re likely to be fighting a losing battle. They are rude and greedy, constantly putting up prices, giving no notice and generally making renting in Malta a complete nightmare. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an expat or a local, at some point you’ll find yourself being ripped off by a landlord.
So if you live in Malta and are currently struggling with any/some/one/all of these issues, remember that you are not alone. We all feel it, but do your best to remember all the amazing things about this country as well!