One of the reasons we picked Gozo (and Malta as a whole) to live in is that it was a soft landing to the experience of living abroad, as far as everyone speaking English and the mild, sunny weather saving us from having to adjust to a winter in Stockholm or Prague or similarly cold, snowy locale.
Grocery shopping may be a bit different but most of the basic services — electricity, water, Internet — are very similar to what we had in the US. Our Internet service here is far better than in the US, and we’ve only had a few days here and there when we had issues with the power going out.
We have a gas stove with a cylinder that sits outside on the patio which you just swap out when it’s empty, with the gas truck driving around every Thursday to exchange cylinders for the whole town.
Well, in theory, as the truck never makes it down the tiny narrow alley that’s the only way to drive down to our street, so when we needed a replacement cylinder we ended up getting our taxi driver friend Mario to bring us one.
One thing that puzzled me when we first moved in was the trash service, as we didn’t have a bin (or a curb) for that matter and I’d forgotten to ask the landlord about it when signing the lease and moving in.
Turns out that there’s not a bin — you just leave your trash out in some reasonably visible place and the workers with the trash truck grab it and pitch it in the back.
Some houses have metal hooks near the street to hang the bags from while other people just tie the bags to their doorknobs or put bags and household trash on windowsills if the window is deep-set enough to allow for it.
It struck me as odd at first for several reasons but they come pick up trash four days a week, so it’s a pretty quick turnaround and most people leave trash out in the morning on a pickup day, so it doesn’t exactly pile up or attract too many critters.
There are also simply not that many critters to attract as Gozo is lacking when it comes to possums or raccoons and other inquisitive and/or hungry animals that might be inclined to paw through trash.
Overall it’s been a nice change from trash day in Texas, which usually involved lugging the overloaded bin to the curb at the last minute the one time a week trash was picked up; it may still seem “wrong” to just put a bag of trash outside our door but it’s pretty quick and easy and the trash always gets picked up — pretty much all you could ask for.