19 April 2010

Birthdays, bottoms, flags and fenek

Our little Mr. T (the airplane enthusiast) turned a whopping six this weekend, to celebrate we spent the day at the  beach with family and friends. First swim of the year!

Where to begin.... on Friday we went out to our favourite little Sicilian restaurant, a nice family treat at the end of the week. I think as the world cup nears though even the small family run restaurants are getting decked out in flat screen tvs (I so hate the presence of televisions in restaurants). Especially when they are placed in such a way so that you can not avoid catching glimpses. On this occasion, as we waited for the pizza to come,we noticed all the children where paused (from their drawing on small pads of paper) in mid action .....eyes glued to the tv).

Ok aside from one or two Maltese channels and one or two British channels there are a plethora of Italian tv channels that you get here  and their idea of prime time family entertainment is well.... shocking... I am not sure how to explain it.. to give you a tiny glimpse, I looked up to see a wall of ten ladies asses (in tiny thongs) poking out of a pretend brick wall..as two (older and fully clad) men walked along laughing and talking, the camera gave you close up shots of each and every one of those bums..the men walked along.. apparently it was some sort of quiz show section, guess which ass belongs to which supermodel. This was followed by two dancing barely clad women in black, then a lady topless covered in coloured paint on a table to which the camera zoomed in for what felt like a very long time on this woman's breasts, .. as they touched her to see her jiggle... my jaw was hanging open at this point..then the lady in flowers (shown below).
 I tried my hardest to distract the kids with questions about their day etc. and I spy to get them looking at the paintings of Mt. Etna hanging all over the restraunt...but it didn't really work.
Oh my the show just got worse and worse... if you watched this on a regular basis you would think every woman in Italy is around 19 and like barbie. No one else in the restaurant seemed that bothered but I just started laughing it was absolutely outrageous!! Soft porn is what it was.

I tried to put a spin on it and say the ladies were getting ready to go swimming and then my 4 year old daughter said no mama I think those ladies want to be famous and rich....this is after less then 10 minutes of exposure... I can't imagine what seeing this kind of thing day in day out does to young girls and boys??!!  I really found it disturbing. The show was called Ciao Darwin.

The Pope was here in Malta this weekend and the country was at a standstill with excitement and anticipation. I noticed as we drove to the beach that there was a sea of big yellow and white flags above the housetops, ..what flag is that?
"Thats the Pope's flag" my husband said casually.
"What, like he has his own flag? "
"And people just have it at their homes normally just in case he comes to visit?"
Two notes here, these are not small flags but in many cases maybe a good 15 feet by 8 feet and there were hundreds all over the island.
Secondly the same thing happened on Easter but the flags were red and white... apparently in Malta most people have between 4 and 6 large flags (and obviously flag poles on their roofs). The Maltese Flag, The Virgin Mary flag, the local village flag, the village saint flag and now I have learned that they have the Pope's flag too.

Last but not least- Fenek which means Rabbit in Maltese
I must admit that of late life here does feel for the most part 'normal', I have adjusted to the daily routines and the sounds of church bells, and the fresh bread and fish trucks honking as they pass through  but then there come little things that strike me and I realise that yes I am living in a very different world to the one I grew up in. This happened on Saturday.
A lady came to the door, I was hanging laundry on the roof,  and the next thing my husband is coming up to me tell me he has bought a rabbit and he was jumping in the shower so when she comes to give her the money  ".. excuse me?"  I asked... (thinking oooh perfect a nice little pet rabbit for the children), he said "yeah and she asked if I wanted it with the skin on or not... "
eeeek went the ex-vegetarian in me... ok ok.. yes a poorer nearby farmer woman offering rabbits.. of course we should buy one... a few minutes later she rang the bell and handed me a bag, she said it was still warm so not to put in the fridge just yet.. she had some blood splattered on her shirt.. I smiled but my stomach completely turned.... in that 10 min she had gone and killed this little rabbit... for us...
and knowing my husband was looking forward to cooking it in a new way, with fresh fennel, white wine and garlic .....made getting away from the reality hard to avoid... gulp...   yes.. a different world.

I suppose it is better this way... you are not protected from the reality of what you are doing but still ... I had trouble eating the meat ...I felt so guilty. It did turn out well... and with some roasted baby potatoes, carrots and shallots it was  true Sunday roast sort of meal.. I should have taken a picture.... but I still felt sad about it.
It didn't help that I had just finished making the girls two little toy rabbit dolls.
Sorry this post really did get long!!!!


  1. Wonderful post! Happy birthday to "T" - wonderful!
    and I sympathize about the Italian TV shows (never understood their point either) and of course the rabbit... It's like venison, I always feel like I am eating Bamby...
    And about the flag of the "Holy See" (the official version of the Pope's country) -- the dialogue is precious!
    Enjoy your week!

  2. OH my oh my!!!! What can I say?? apart from Italian tv is banned from our house. I like all the enthusiasm for the world cup but also I must admit that I look forward to it's end in order to have the normal ''street tranquility''. I am not a vegetarian however I do not eat 'fenek' simply cause when I was little I had one as a pet !! as for the Pope well we managed to get a glimpse of him yesterday as he was passing through the village of Gudja.

  3. Just popped over to let you know that there is an award for you over at mine :-)

    C x

  4. Wow, where we are not to the point of breasts on daytime or primetime, Victoria's secret commercials leave very little to the imagination, that is for certain. I feel your pain. It is SO troubling.

    As far as the rabbit goes, I lost my "taste" for it at a very young age. My father was a hunter and brought back a rabbit. My little brother, while we were all at the table eating the rabbit, asks "May I please have some more bunny rabbit?" I am the same way when it comes to being too much of a reality. I know what you mean. Have a great day!

  5. oh... two things, first of all we wish little Mr T a happy birthday and secondally the flags will not stop here, oh no!! ....... wait till the world cup arrives or the general election and you shall be surprised :)

  6. My goodness, yes, it is a different world! Adaptation and flexibility seem to be the subtle theme here, one which you do quite gracefully. You are a good mama and good wife... Brava and well done :^)

    ps. this vegetarian would not have been as graceful!

  7. Belated Happy Birthday to the little Mr! Great, six years is something, isn't it?

    TV - well, I can only agree with you, wrong time, place, programm I would say, maybe the italian politicians should make their favorite programs a bit more private ; )

    Rabbit - I am the same and I'm not sure whether I would have tried it - brave Juniper!

  8. Happy 6th Birthday Mr. T! Hope it was a fun time at the beach.

    Regarding that TV show, now that is one you will never find in US restaurants before a certain hour.

  9. Happy Birthday to your little guy. Six is a fun age, they are so excited about anything!
    We used to live in The Netherlands and the TV stuff was always a problem--and the ads on trains and billboards, etc. Always with the butts/thongs. Why???
    I saw the Pope was in Malta on the news and thought of you. Thanks for teaching me where Malta is!
    I feel your woe about the rabbit. I remember always wanting a rabbit's foot when I was young (Those key chain kind you get at the fair) until I realized it was indeed a rabbits FOOT. Poor Rabbit!
    Looking at Malta through your eyes and envisioning your experiences is like reading a great book. I imagine you go through all kinds of emotions. Just wanted to tell you you're doing a great job and I really enjoy visiting your blog.

  10. So many thoughts in response but due to lack of time all I can say is this is one of my favorite postings to date. Thank you for providing some entertainment (and despite the horror of the fenek story, some dark humor).

  11. Great post and belated Happy Birthday to the little guy! Well I don't think sex is the worst thing in the world except in the way that No referred to it so subtly, to addle our brains and distract us from more important things. Italian politicians' favorite TV shows indeed! I've seen quite as bad or worse on English TV too in the front room with the in-laws. It's truly shocking to us yanks.

    As for the poor "wabbit". I've eaten enough of it, and squirrel - with my Italian oldsters - to generally think of lunch when I see a bunny rabbit. But it is tough. I couldn't eat beef once after standing in a field with a bunch of cows earlier that day! The lunch sounds delicious otherwise!

  12. Happy Birthday little Mr. T. Hope the water was warmer than the air temperature...seems a little cool!

  13. Jesse,
    it was hot in the mid day sun but yes by the time the sun was going down it started to get chilly! Water even colder but the kids seem to be rather immune to that!

  14. Mlle Paradise, did you say squirrel??! Oh I think I would have even more trouble with that! I used to volunteer as a teenager rescuing orphaned baby squirrels and bunnies, feeding them by eye dropper and then eventually releasing them back into the wild. Have a real soft spot for squirrels.
    Yes, I did see some funny bits on British Tv when we lived there but it was more the' body shock' thing... how fat or how super thin someone was ... this was just unhidden sexual objectifying of women. Agreed though, we 'yanks' are maybe a bit on the prudish side...our puritan roots.

  15. Fenek...that brought back a memory.
    When I lived on Gozo I was invited for dinner and I was really looking forward to it. They were elderly people living in a gorgeous old farmhouse. I was admiring their house and then the I was asked to come outside. I thought to admire the garden. But...they took me to some bunnies they had outside. And I thougt...that´s cute that they have so many rabbits as pets.
    So innocent! I was in shock when she asked which one I would like to take for dinner!
    I wanted to rescue them all! ;-))))
    Have a great weekend and give my best wishes to your cute little guy.

  16. Happy Birthday Mr.T!!!!!!!!!!! :D
    I wish you the best!!!!!!!!!!!
    (so sorry for delay ;)

  17. The best way to eat Rabbit is to just not think about how cute it used to look. Kinda like suckling pig :-). I dont know if i introduced myself, I am Maltese, live in Naxxar 27 yr old female. I think i found you off the expats site :). My blog is alisondee.wordpress.com anyway.


  18. Just feeling embarrassed for my beloved Country. That's obviously one of the channels OWNED by our awful prime minister.
    The answer to your legitimate question dear Jup is very simple: after years of such rubbish people just end up with their brain washed and voting for that individual again and again.
    Such a pain to see Italy so worn out. :(


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I always enjoy reading them.

Wowzio Live Activity Feed

Related Posts with Thumbnails