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Pizza in the shape of a heart

Love At Second Sight

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Love at second sight

I had not travelled alone for more than a decade. One day, I decided to go to Malta to study English and get some rest. I had been working hard at home during the last year and it was tiring. When I finished my fourth novel called Cyklistka in Czech (let’s say The Cyclist Girl) and it was finally published and we celebrated it with my friends, I flew to Malta. I had a simple plan: to study, to swim in the sea, to read, and to relax in cafés. I left my village in the middle of Brdy Mountains and found myself in a hot concrete jungle and noisy streets. Honestly, it wasn’t love at first sight.


Love at Second Sight - ESE Malta

I decided not to give up. I dressed up and went to the streets of Saint Julian’s to see the area. It took a few days but finally I had gone with the flow, and I enjoyed it throughout – even as an introvert. There are so many things you can do alone – watch a movie at the cinema, have a dinner at  a restaurant, swim, read a book on a terrace of a nice café, do some sightseeing in beautiful Valletta, or go shopping. I did it all.

You might think that having dinner alone in the restaurant is weird. It is not. I too was afraid at the beginning. What will they think? Nothing bad! I brought a book with me, and it helped. It was Hemingway’s Moveable Feast, my favourite novel, and it was a great companion. I went to the first restaurant I saw that I had liked, and I was seated immediately. A waiter was nice and served me a tasty drink. I ordered a pizza margherita – and they made me a pizza in a shape of heart! I thought of it as a supportive gesture.


Pizza in the shape of a heart

After a week I started feeling at home. I took private lessons at ESE (European School of English) and my teacher, David, was very nice. He has a great sense of humour. We talked and shared some stories. I was accommodated at the ESE Residence, and I was happy there. My classes started in the afternoons, so in the mornings I walked to the rocky beach at St. George’s Bay where I watched waves coming and the sun shining on these little ponds within the rocks. I loved that place! As I was walking, I passed by the same people every morning – an elderly man sitting outside his house, as well as a lady practicing yoga on her balcony. We smiled at each other.

Love at Second Sight - ESE Malta

And so it goes — even today. I am sitting in a café waiting for my lift to the airport as I am writing this. I swam in the morning and visited my favourite spot on the rocky beach to say goodbye


This is not a “goodbye” – actually, it’s a “see you later” because I want to come back.

Freedom Day Monument in Birgu Square

A Guide to the Public Holidays in Malta

The island nation of Malta has the most public holidays in the European Union. These hold both national and religious importance to Malta as they commemorate historical events, including the birth of the Church in Malta, the departure of Malta’s colonisers, Christianity in Malta and other significant moments.