Skip to main content

Maltese: A Calm Lot.

Start the car every morning to work, off I go. From Mellieha centre to Selmun its plain sailing.

Till Xemxija is also fine, apart from the camouflaged troupe of stocky, young wardens down the Selmun hills, amongst the Carob tress, randomly pin pointing and halting drivers on their way to work, adding up to their personal record of hapless, deserving victims.

Xemxija hill is Cancu’s drive, with its photo finish sensation. After its initial furore this speed camera has apparently, softened its zeal and precision, or rather, I suspect its tampered with as I have often observed drivers speeding at over 55km/h up or so down this road without the expected flash. Is its still functioning?

I slow down my car, trying to keep the 45km/hr limit. One well deserved speeding fine was fair enough.

Down round the bent that takes you up to the St. Paul’s Bay roundabout you drive by a bill board showing an elderly couple driving with the underlining phrase ‘Toroq Godda Ghalik’ meaning ‘new roads for you’. Further up the same road you come across more of the same posters promoting the EU funded road reconstruction program.

Well positioned bill boards indeed. This St. Paul’s Bay by-pass is a unique stretch of road for more than one reason: It offers a lovely view of the picturesque bay and surrounding country side, its one of the few remaining unobstructed stretches of road offering over 100 meters of uninterrupted bliss (a rarity for Malta), and well, its probably one of the most dangerous and intrepid stretches of tarmac-cum-asphalt-cum-clay-cum-rubble-cum-cement-road in the north of the island.

Impressive patch work., ermm, a post ‘liberation’ Baghdad prop, for Spielberg next film, perhaps? Ma nafx (I don’t know).

Where were we? Don’t defocus! Concentrate. You literally need to zigzag your way round here. There is a part, just up the hill from Xemxija where the road literally fell some 5 years ago or so in one of our winter drizzles. Since then its just remained there, a souvenir of times gone by, a deviation sidelined by concrete blocks that are barely visible if you are a first timer on this stretch or road. It turns out to be a two lane road bottle necked all-of-a-sudden into one lane, without any sign to tell ‘give way’ or ‘watch it’...Its simply left for you to discover, hopefully not by accident as some inexperienced drivers - trying their best to get to work on time – have lived to tell.

No matter how new your car is. No matter how raunchy its suspensions looked on its brochure or TV spots, its difficult to get its bottom part spared in one of the slopes and crevices on then way, beyond the deviation I just mentioned, some 50 meters up.

And we are still on the same by pass, that’s barely 2 km long.

Do not try speeding over here unless you are either being chased by bandits, or else you are driving a Hummer SUV. It’s a suicide. Check with the QAWRA Police Station for the statistics of accidents down this by pass. I am afraid it will be a shocking revelation.

You drive down to the Burmarrad roundabout. Another booby-trap-zone. Beware. It’s a tempting piece of your journey, a strange feeling of liberation grips you when you reach this spot, and after the previous ordeal your urging desire for speed may overcome logic. Bad.

Next time you are driving at this point look toward the circumference wall of the roundabout as you arrive down this hill, on your right. Particularly, if it has been raining before. I bet you there would either be a crashed car logged in the side of the roundabout, or else, you can see the remaining traces of some recent skid and crash on this site. It has become traditional spot. A combination of slippery tarmac at the right angular slope effect sends any ABS brake expert back to the drawing board. Government works people must have been rebuilding this roundabout circumference wall as a routine part of their duty for years. Strange how they never bothered installing crash barrier, but.

To be continued…


Perfect description! ... Looking forward to part II now.

Popular posts from this blog

Why the trees disappeared from Sacred Island of Malta...

Yes, folks. Malta was full of trees. It is reported in history books by many travelers that heralded to our shores, some willingly, like Al Himyari (, others accidentally, like St. Paul, the bearded chap in robes, you remember him? They all reported on how green the island was, covered with woods, and inhabited by a relentless humanoid species, which our patron saint aptly referred to as Barbarians (grazzi ta Sur San Pawl, ey!).

In the year 6,250BC, in Bir Lonzu, limits of where today we have Bubaqra, at the time when there was a temple construction boom (yes, it started much earlier...), Dudu and Duda, with their little boy Dudinu, started cutting trees, more and more...

Until there were NONE left... or almost...

Dudinu grew and formed the Malta Logging Company, that boomed for some time but went in liquidation, centuries later as the last Balluta tree fell over Sciberras Hill, in circa 1530AD. And do you want to know the latest? Why was the…

Another mask, anyone?

POEM Our precious soil,betrays our innocence

How many more
Must perish
Souring over our barren land?
Undeserving of so precious
We are!
Of so graceful

...they adorn our skies
and cry their last desperate
for the bigotry of its inhabitants
and their bizarre gods
of gore and limestone
and euro
of smoky, petrified
as they kneel in front
of HE
whom they claim
to adore.

How many more
Must perish
Souring over our barren land?

As the exchequer squambles over another excuse
With his peers
He jokes over how great he is
In his infinite wisdom
And his children look for
A morrow where feathers are
Nothing but Exhibits in classroom books
Hailing from days gone by...

And deep within each soil granule
So miniscule, insignificant
Lies the blood of them...

The souring angels,
Up above...

Ray de Bono
9th March 2010
He/she who wants to understand, let him/her understand... ..................................................................
Written upon reading: http://w…

Moody Days

I Wonder

When it is my turn to die,
Will I ponder on my days afar?
Will I yearn for your arms and cry?

When it is my turn to die,
Will I despair in a lonely chill?
Will I hold your hands in mine?

When it is my turn to die,
Will I close my eyes and sigh?
Will lost loved ones linger on the other side?

Ray de Bono