When you move to another country, you keep some of the daily habits you had back home, but then you also develop new routines. The basic building blocks of your life are usually pretty similar no matter, where you live. I for example go to work, to the gym and spend a good time of my day with my laptop and with different social media sites. However, there are subtle things that vary from country to country, and these small differences actually are the salt that spices up the life in my new home country. This is how my typical day in Malta looks like:
I wake up without alarm around 7 am. This time of the year it would still be dark in Finland, but in Malta, the sun has already risen. The first thing I do is to go to the kitchen with a bottle of water and boil some water for my coffee. The tap water in Malta is not drinkable, so I will use bottled water even for my morning coffee. I try to estimate the exact amount of water I need, because I don’t want to waste anything. In Finland, people usually drink light-roasted filter coffee, but in here I tend to use instant coffee. I drink my coffee on my balcony, while browsing through social media – at least some things never change.
In Finland, so many things depend on the weather. In Malta, I spend a considerable time of my day outside. After my morning coffee, I head out for a run on the Sliema promenade. A great start for the day! People look happy, they look into each other’s eyes and sometimes even say good morning to total strangers. In Finland, it is considered polite not to bother strangers and avoid any contact at any cost. If someone smiles or says good morning, people would really think that the person is on drugs!
For a breakfast I have freshly baked bread with rocket and smoked salmon, Maltese watermelon and yogurt.
Today I have an evening shift, which means that I am free until 4 pm. I desperately need to do my grocery shopping. In Finland, I would just go to one shop, probably Lidl, to buy all my stuff. However, in Malta, everything is a sort of a process, and doing one’s groceries is not an exception. I go to one store to buy my meat, to another to buy eggs and veggies and to the third to buy everything else. This usually takes almost two hours, so I don’t like to shop too often. I will also check, what kind of rubbish is collected today, and bring down the right coloured bin back with the right garbage. You can get fined if you dumb wrong rubbish on a wrong day or even if you leave your rubbish on the street at a wrong time!
Then it is time for my gym. I have been going to a gym regularly for several years now, and it is the only hobby that I do. In Finland, I did not care, what kind of gym I used, but in Malta I’ve ended up going to this “fancy” gym at Hilton. It is spacious and clean enough with good enough equipment plus classes and access to spa area and saunas. On my opinion, the gym has too many visitors, who come there to be seen, not to work out, but I try to focus on my own workout and not to care about the others.
When I get home, I am starving, so I cook stuffed capsicums with rice and mince as quickly as I can. I hit the shower, get changed, prepare my lunch and head to work. My diet in Malta is pretty much similar than it was in Finland. I eat more ice-cream here, but on the other hand, I have cut down the amount of lollies (Finland has the best ones!). Also I find dairy to be quite expensive here, so I eat less of that too.
I spend the evening at the office with our newbie, a Swedish girl, who started two weeks ago. It is very quiet, so I have time to help her properly and do some extra work in the meantime. While I was in Finland, work felt like work. Mondays felt like Mondays, and you lived waiting for the weekends. In Malta, work is just something that exists in between your other daily activities. Even though I work 40 hours a week and study at university (yes, I actually do some courses) it feels that my life is just one prolonged holiday.
I finish my shift at 11 pm, lock the office doors and head home. On my way, a German lady asks me directions to her hotel, and I end up walking with her all the way to her accommodation, because I would not like to be lost in a strange town in the middle of the night myself. I try to chat with her using my limited German, and we manage to understand each other. Finally, a bit after midnight I fall asleep after a pretty normal, average day.
How is an average day like in your home country?