Some friends call me The Vagabond Lady because I tend to drift. In fact, this next trip will allow me to skip through 3 countries in two days, and I’m anticipating many highlights along the way. But first, I must exit Malta, which will bring relief but it won’t be easy. There will be security guards at the airport. Invariably they will be short and I don’t wear flat shoes. It portends trouble. As you can imagine I cannot wait to leave and get back to my precious books, belongings and all things familiar in Paris, where both home and heart reside. I just happen to domicile here in the middle of the Mediterranean; such are the cycles of my peripatetic life.
Happiness is on the horizon. No more waking up to fireworks exploding at 7am. No more celebrating a saint each week with another grand fest unfolding in some nearby town. Which only lends further to the noise pollution found on this tiny island, a country so small they often forget to include it on a map. Arrivederci to the bronzed youth scattered along the limestone beaches of Slima, kids flown in from Spain, France and western Europe, sent by their parents to learn English in the middle of the Med. Auf wedersehen to their flat stomachs and reckless ways in need of sunscreen. My shoulder blades have carved out their last palimpsest in silent prayer beneath the sun gods, with eyes closed and ears open to the steady stream of music entertaining immortal souls incapable of exhaustion. I doubt the parents are aware, let alone even care why Malta is considered so safe, yet I’ve concluded this is due to the ‘gem-gems’. The local ladies of a certain age leering, albeit gently from their balconies. They are well intentioned and they are notoriously nosy, standing guard, ensuring neither mischief nor mayhem trespass during their blessed watch. Tiny, black and grey haired ladies perched on their private balconies. Thousands of balconies scattered throughout the island. Mini cliffs that dominate and articulate the towns when touched by strong light. Balconies painted red or green where only the trained eye can detect a gem-gem hidden above, but once found, beware, those eyes will spy right back.