Why I love working in the city on a public holiday

Deserted carpark

And this is what the carpark looks like on a public holiday

Getting to my office on a normal workday is usually a nightmare. Valletta, capital city of Malta…beautiful, magical and sadly infested with the traffic gremlins.

Not today. September 8 is a religious public holiday on the island. I can’t for the life of me remember which saint we’re honouring…religion isn’t my forte. But the acutal holiday dates are obviously etched on my brain.

This year, as it happens, I had to get my butt to work. Public holiday or not. Happens to be best of us, right? Only thing is, after a late night (read early morning) out, waking up when 95% of the island is sleeping in was a bitch.

But once I forced myself out of the house and the first cappuccino passed my lips I found the silver lining.

The silver lining(s)

1. I made the drive to work in record time – five point something minutes. Usually it’s more like thirty to forty. And I didn’t even break any speeding laws either.
2. The car park was empty. No awkward manouevring. No going round in circles. Just a vast and silent space. Bliss.

3. As I walked, lost in my own thoughts with my ipod on Jens Lekman’s Night Falls Over Kortedala, I didn’t need to watch my step. There were no sweaty and grouchy people crowding my walk. No-one got pissed off at me ‘cos I blocked their path when they were already late to work!

4. I actually enjoyed the 8 minute (I checked) walk from the car park up the hill to work. The view of the Grand Harbour, early in the morning, is pretty spectacular. Usually I’m too stressed out to notice. I have promised myself that I will now start paying more attention, especially when the weather turns cooler and I don’t need to worry about starting out my workday drenched in sweat.

The down-side

Yes, there is one and a massive one too, at that. I wanted a second cappuccino within thirty minutes of getting to the office. Spare me the anti-caffeine lectures and please bear in mind that I’d had less than three hours of sleep the previous night. Please.

A warm cheese toastie would have gone down well too. Or maybe a marmalade croissant, like the ones at McCafe ( I never thought that McCafe would turn out such wonderful croissants, but they do).

Usually these yearnings present no problem. Valletta is littered with coffee-shops and snackbars. The only problem is that all of them – bar for the tourist traps that I won’t even consider for obvious reasons – close on a public holiday. There’s literally nowhere to you can grab a quick (good) coffee. Let alone a freshly made sandwich.

Someone help me out please. What on earth will I do come lunch-time?



  1. Rai says:

    That sounds like a really nice, relaxing way to start your day! Even if you did have to go to work while everyone else was sleeping in.

  2. Adrian : says:

    at least this blog doesn’t make me sound like the only workaholic on the island :)

  3. aparisi13 says:

    Yum…and gorgeous! Sounds like a pretty great day aside from the lack of places to feast come lunch time. I love it when you get a really good drive to work. I switched jobs about a year ago, and went from a 45 minute all highway drive to a 15 minute relaxing cruise next to the water. Just that would have been enough to get me to take this job! What a fabulous way to start the day!

  4. Wow, first photo is gorgeous! What a breathtaking view. I’ve never been to Malta before but if it looks like that in the capital city, then it must be really spectacular in the other parts!

    • Thanks :) I love Valletta but I’m biased because I grew up there! Malta is interesting – it has the good bits and the bad parts but visitors usually have a good time :) Unless they’re crazy enough to visit in August or September when the temperature is between 35 and 40 degrees celsius hehe!


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