Adventures can come in many different forms, like leaving America to live on a small Mediterranean island, or starting a new job in an office in a foreign country and then, there is my new friend Inga. Born in Iceland and raised in Norway, this girl has become one of my favorite peeps to hang out with on this little rock in the sea.
The first time we met it was at an expat event at the Black Pearl, a bar and restaurant in an actual ship that had been resurrected from the sea, then used in the film Popeye. She smoked all my fags, (I am still SO not used to calling them fags!) but in return bought me wine all night. Me, Inga and Valerie (from France) had a great time inciting riots on the dance floor and by the end of the night we had promised to get together for dinner the next week.
The next week it was my birthday and the three of us met for dinner at a cute little restaurant right on the sea and we shared three bottles of wine, and the last one I brought home with me. Inga took a class to learn about wine and she is passing on the knowledge to me, free of charge. This adventure was of a different flavor, there was a dead fish floating right below us and none of us could identify it and after the second bottle of wine and two Irish coffees, we seriously contemplated climbing over the railing and finding a way to get down to the rocks to check it out, but finally settled with talking the waiters into sitting down with us and having a glass of wine, even though they were waiting patiently for us to finish our long dinner so they could go home for the evening.
The next adventure was a BBQ at her house where I had so much fun playing hide and seek with her seven-year old in the mansion they are calling home for the next three years. After the kids went to bed, we stayed up, discussed world peace, politics in Iran and damn if she didn’t teach me a thing or two about this crazy, radical world we live in.
The next adventure was a short trip to Gozo, Malta’s sister island and a visit to the dentist office. It seems this wild child has a phobia with the dentist and she needed some moral support. I wasn’t working yet, and it was a beautiful day and who am I to say no to an all expense paid trip to the quaint little island? As we sat and talked it occurred to me that I had found a great friend; and in such a short time! It seemed we were passionate about the same things and as we sat on the ferry and drank our Cisks, we both wondered how lucky we were that we were living on Malta and what luck it was that our paths had crossed so momentarily.
On to Mdina! Originally she offered to drive Homie and I to Valletta, since the work permit had not yet materialized, we needed to apply for an extension on our travel visa, and she knew right where to go. But since we live in Malta, (and remember, we are glad we live here) they closed at half past 11 (that’s in the a.m. folks) and here we are at 12:10 with a whole afternoon free on our hands, so why not visit the oldest city in Malta, the silent city, Mdina. As we park and get out of the vehicle the clouds start to get dark and here is Inga ready to give her umbrella to the parking attendant, and lucky for her I was there to talk some sense into her as it wasn’t a half hour later and we were caught in a torrential downpour. We finally found a little restaurant appropriately named Bacchus, and we had the best lunch of calamari, wine and caesar salad (Inga doesn’t eat mammals…) and the three of us had a great day.
The other day we were supposed to meet for dinner and while I still don’t have a mobile (my year of giving up my dependence on the mobile phone is nearly up, and it was Inga who in her distress at not being able to get ahold of me claimed I was so “1995″) she was actually able to phone me. How you ask? As I’m biting into my delicious garlic chicken, the owner of the restaurant hands me a phone and says in his Maltese accent, “It’s for you.” I answer and who else? Inga. At the hospital with poor little Freyja, who needed a few stitches above her eye. We met later the next week for dinner and Inga picks me up looking like a battered housewife. She has decided to take parasailing lessons and as she was getting to know the gear, the wind took hold of her and dragged her across the rocks for at least 50 meters. She just laughed about it, and I thought to myself, it’s always an adventure with Inga!