5.30 : Last Orders

I wouldn’t normally dedicate a whole blog title to a single sign outside a pub. But this isn’t just any pub. The Pub in Valletta is where Oliver Reid had his last drink. And quite a session it was. On my previous visit to Malta, I’d promised to pay a bigger homage to the old soak by having more than one pint in his pub. So it was rather disappointing to turn up at 5pm to see a sign saying that last orders were at 5.30. That’s the low season for your.

Still, Valletta was looking splendid once again, with many streets decorated in the national colours. For what, exactly, I couldn’t work out. But it looked pretty enough.

Early evening seems to be the time when the Maltese do their shopping. Familiar chain stores line the streets of the capital, which was just as well – as I hadn’t exactly dressed for winter. In such situations, BHS is your friend, although the woman serving me didn’t seem to have ever operated a credit card terminal.

“I think I’ve made a mistake on my PIN number. Can we start again.”

“No,” she said apologetically, “I make the mistake,” before staring blankly at the four card machines in front of her.

One sweater later, we were free to peruse the other delights on offer.

If you’re writing comedy, this is the city that keeps on giving.

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