Posted by: annmucc | March 28, 2009

World Blog Surf Day: Living as a Maltese Person in England (London)

This blog post is part of World Blog Surf Day – where 24 bloggers not living in their native country around the world writes about the experience of living in a different country. At the end of my post you will find a link to the next blog in the circle. This is my experience of moving to London from Malta.

I heard a call…and I answered (though a bit late…thanks for hearing my call anyways!). The call was for blogging expats around the world to join in for a world blog surf day. The original idea was that you are linked to people who have moved to your home country and to people who have moved from where you have moved to…I didn’t have time to publicise the affair (I only got to know about it on Thursday or so), so of course, there were no Maltese to be linked to. Nevertheless, it is a cool thing! So here I am…writing about my experience :)

As you may (or may not) know, Malta is a very small country…and from here I moved to London…around 5.5 times the size of my whole country! I moved here to study, so the decision was not based on where I was moving to, but on what was offered in this city. From that point of view, London is great…there are so many opportunities that would have been difficult to experience were I to stay in Malta…from academic experiences, such as having a resource like the British Library on your doorstep, and the numerous symposia, workshops and seminars occurring here (limiting costs ;)), to London being a hub for travelling to other countries, making travelling from here so much easier than whenever I was in Malta. This means I can find cheap flights to fly home, or to visit my boyfriend (who is also an expat…read his experience here…and from where I got to know about this event), as well whenever I want to go somewhere else, including conferences. Also, having major institutions located here makes it so much easier to get into contact with the major players in your field, which is heritage science in my case. I have been invited to activities and attended events which should I have been back home I would never have imagined being invited to, attending, or even knowing they are going on, and I have met people who so far have just been a name on a paper, book or article, and who I would have only imagined of meeting at a so much slower pace. 

This does not mean that in London I have found my niche, my future home…my heaven on earth! Certainly not! I find London a bit too cold…I find it difficult to make friends here…everyone is so busy with their own lives, and it takes so much effort to travel from one place to another, that though everyone lives in London, you end up only experiencing the tiny area called your neighbourhood…you often go from home to work and back, with maybe a short trip to somewhere close or on your way. I am used to having friends around and knowing people, while in London it takes so much of an effort to do that. Maybe I should try harder? Granted…I can do more (of course), but often by the end of the day I am exhausted and just want to crawl into my room and stay there for a little while away from the bustling life and in some peace and quiet. 

One up-shot of coming here however was that the language was not a barrier, since English is an official language of Malta (Maltese is still the national language, and the primary official language, but English plays a big part as well). This definitely made it easier to settle in and to understand the life around me. This at least does not make me feel totally alienated from the life going on around me…I can talk to everyone around me (unless THEY don’t speak the language ;)), I can take part in activities I am interested in, and also importantly I can read the news to know what’s happening.

My verdict? As I have told people before, I don’t mind living in London and I can live here while I have/need to, but it would definitely not be high up on my priorities of cities to live in, was the decision based solely on location. I recognise the opportunities this city is offering me, but am not sure if I want to spend all the rest of my life here.

But don’t let your adventure stop in London…Follow it to the USA via a half-Swiss Malaysian. Check out A Malaysian Abroad‘s blog, and check out her post…she’s also taking part in the World Blog Surf Day..Enjoy!

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Responses

  1. Hi Annmucc, we have something in common in that we came from little islands and are in Europe. England probably felt colder to you than most other people because you have been used to wonderful hot weather!!!

    • @ Romancing Italy: Well, I started out in Europe, just moved from the southern tip to a quite northern one :). So far however it hasn’t been too bad weather-wise…From my experience I think that London is buffered from the cold much more than central Europe, or places further East such as Scandinavia, probably due to the Ocean just to its west…But I AM looking forward to some warm weather when I return home for Easter next week ;)

  2. Hi Annuc,
    What an interesting post!! It’s great you’ve been able to establish a life in the UK when coming from such a different place!!

    I learned something new…I didn’t realize that English was the official language of Malta!!

    Have a great day,
    Sher :0)

  3. @ Sher: Well, English is one of two official languages in Malta…Maltese is still the primary official language and the national language!

  4. Wow. Nce post! What is heritage science? Where do you live? Where do you study? Sorry – I am full of questions!

    • @ Emm: Hehe – I am still not sure what to call what I am doing ;) Heritage science seems to be the best way to describe it, but it is still not understandable to most! I am studying how colour photographs degrade in different environmental conditions in archives, and what conditions are needed to minimise this degradation.
      Where I live…right now I am living in a student residence in Kensington, but I have to move soon…don’t know yet where to ;)
      Where I study…I am studying at the Centre for Sustainable Heritage, University College London :)
      Hope that answers some of your questions. Ask away whatever you’re interested in!

  5. A wonderful post! And may I say… DROOL!!! I think your studies sound so interesting. The British Library is on my top five list of favourite places in London. Can’t wait to read more of your blog.

  6. @ JaPRA: I LOVE the atmosphere at the BL! It is absolutely awesome to have it a 10 minute walk from university! Hope you have time to drop by again :)

  7. Hi Annuc,

    A bit of trivia here, my sailor cousin lowered the British Navy flag for the last when Malta got their own goverment and independance!

    I’m entrigued by epatriates who live in the UK, I just couldn’t wait to get away and out of my home country. Every one is different and sees things in a different way or in a different light. Thanks to Golden Prague I have now found another brilliant account, which I now wish to follow so I have added you to my blogroll.

    It’s great that so many expatriate bloggers do this!

    Rock On!

  8. @ Martin: WOW! That is interesting. WOW! And we are celebrating when the last troops left Malta next Tuesday (31st of March), so it is highly relevant now!
    Glad you like my blog. I am not glad I left Malta, but not disappointed either. I love my country, but see the opportunities offered to me in London at least for the present,

  9. Hi Annuc! Yay, I made it around the Blog chain link, all the way to you!! :)

    Okay, I have to confess that I had to look Malta up to see where exactly it is (geography is not my strong point – hated how it was “taught” in school).

    Your studies sound fascinating – I would never have known that degradation of photos in different environments was something one could study, although it makes sense to have that knowledge, in order to preserve what we have in hand now.

    I’ve only been to London a few times, perhaps for a week at a time, to visit a schoolmate who’s working there. I’ve enjoyed my time there, and I suppose I could see myself living there if need be, although my heart is here in the US :)

    Cheers,
    *lynne*

  10. Hiya! I am just back from holidays so forgive my late reply. Heritage Science sounds like an honourable study then – it would be great if we could prevent photograph degradation! Perhaps one day we can meet up in London – I love meeting new people!

  11. My name joseph chetcuti I from malta but living in uk.I missed my fsamaly and my friends.I am maltese bus driver living and working in uk.email me is. Joechecuti@yahoo.com

  12. [...] Blog Surf Day: Food By annmucc Remember this blog post, where I had participated in the first WBSD…I had really enjoyed the experience, of surfing [...]

  13. [...] annmucc Another World Blog Surf Day has come (remember my posts from the previous events? See them here and here). This time it is about holidays and celebrations. The guidelines were to write about our [...]


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