On an Island in the Middle of the Ocean (technically Sea)

Trump inspires the title of this blog.  Remember his description of Puerto Rico?  Spoken like he just discovered where it was located.  In my case, I knew Malta was in the middle of a body of water…the Mediterranean.  And that’s where I am now.  Gee.  I could be President.

dinner on Gozo

My debit card didn’t work at the airport.  So, I’m penniless.  This is beyond embarrassing.  So, I jumped on the phone and texted the Rayman.  SOS.  The machine didn’t like my PIN.  Could he help me?  In a word no.  Not because he didn’t try.  I do not know the PIN.  And the bank will not give me a new one unless and until I waltz into the bank with two forms of I.D.  Then they will do it.  Good grief.  Criminals are making our lives so hard.  Because of larceny we suffer.  Where will it end? 

In the meantime, I’m without money.  And if I did get a new PIN, we would need to take the taxi to the wharf, ride the ferry from Gozo to Malta, take another taxi back to the airport.  There are no ATMs on Gozo.  It’s a step back in time here.  Quite lovely though a bit inconvenient.  So, what to do?  If Rayman can’t FedEx me another debit card, I’ll be borrowing money (Euros) from our hosts.  We (Nancy’s debit card didn’t work either)  are running a tab. 

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I’m not worried about Teri and Greg running out of money enough for me.  Pizza was 4.50 euro.  Things are dirt cheap here.  Great place to retire except they will only allow you to stay 3 months at a time.  That’s why Teri and Greg are leaving in December for Panama.  Then they will return here for 3 months.  Their life is so interesting and varied and I’m a total fan.  They are expanding their minds and their hearts and their knowledge of geography.  Crossword puzzles will be easier for them.  So many good things to say about this life they are living.  Will they do it forever?  Who knows.  I’m grateful to call them my friends. 

Gozo receives about 25 inches of rain annually.  It is dry and rocky.  The two lane roads make streets in Portland seem like parkways.  Horns are used here by the drivers that are seated on the wrong side of the automobile and drive on the “wrong” side of the street.  The islands were colonies of the British until the 1960s when they achieved independence.  Hence, the villagers speak either Maltese or English.  The country is a member of the european union and they use euros as their currency.  Today I met a woman that is an editor of a newspaper on Malta.  She was against brexit but didn’t vote because she has lived in/on Malta mostly.  A lovely woman full of grace and good fashion.  Also met an ex-pat from San Francisco.  She moved her a few years ago when her siblings decided to sell the family home in which she lived.  She has applied for citizenship here.  Costs about 10,000 euro to apply.  Currently she is cashier at a local market.

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Lunch today, Friday the 13th.  Poor fishie.

The market is interesting.  Filled with essentials.  The produce looks aged in many cases.  What looked great was the case full of broad beans marinated in garlic and oil, the fresh olives, the locally made goat cheese.  The goats live in town behind a garage door.  You know they are there when you walk by.  They have a certain smell.  Just sayin.  Teri assures us there is a yard behind the door.  Unique but functional on a small island in the middle of the sea. 

We took a walk today after we napped (still tired from the trip).  The sidewalks are about 3 feet wide where they exist.  Streets are cobblestone.  It looks deserted except for all the cars (mostly very small cars) darting to and fro.  Walking is dangerous but necessary since Teri and Greg have no car.  The houses are all attached and every one of them are named.  Their rental is named Ta Terez.  We saw one named Two Blossoms.  Some have religious names with statuary of religious people (think Madonna).  There are no front yards.  It looks like a bomb went off.  Eery in a way.  Again, though, the cars make it known that people do live here.

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Weatherwise, it’s in the 70s  this week.  Mild and wonderful with blue skies and cumulus clouds scattered here and there like cotton balls drifting by.  We are thrilled because we are going on a boat ride around the island at some point.  And we are taking the ferry over to Malta a few times.  And we will be walking a lot so sun, not rain is a good thing.

The only thing I did today, I screwed up.  I julienned the basil, quartered and cut in half the tomatoes (Nancy made me do it that way), and cut up an avocado for the salad.  Teri unfortunately discovered a quarter of an avocado peel in her helping of salad.  Good grief.  I have no earthly idea how THAT happened. 

Update on the debit card.  Received a text from the Rayman this a.m.  He said he was on the way to San Luis to the FedEx office.  I called him immediately and told him not to go.  He had three of his friends at the house for two days of golf.  FedEx was going to charge him $70 to send the debit card and we’re not even sure it will work because only certain cards work according to our host, Greg.  What a sweetheart.  I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful guy in my life.  He turned around and went back home.  Guess I’ll just be running a tab.  I am very fortunate to have such wonderful friends to extend me credit!!  Although…they did ask me what my credit score was!!!

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One of the 5 big churches in this village of 1,200 people. There are 30,000 on the entire island. Oh, and see the sea?

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