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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Sampling Malta in Britain

One of the many things that attracted me to leave NY for the UK is the fact that my good friend Aldo Gatt has made this country his home. He is also the creative brain behind the cartoon series The Brave Cissies, which appears on MaltaMedia. Aldo and I have known each other since 1978 when we both started attending St. Paul's Missionary College. I called him on his mobile earlier this week, and he managed to calmed me down as I dealt with the natural culture shock that comes with any major move, such as mine.

During that phone call he also told me about a very interesting phenomenon: just a few days ago he saw a huge PN flag flapping in the wind on the roof of a well-known gay bar in London. When I told him that this was incredible he even sent me the photos to prove it. Here's what he had to say in his email:

Trezza Azzopardi's brilliant first novel sets her dysfunctional family within the Maltese community of Tiger Bay in Cardiff while gossip has it that SOHO's most disreputable bars were breeding grounds for a Maltese "mafia" in the sixties. Soho has been transformed into a much more savvy place since then but it seems the Maltese still own the place. It is not the first time I heard the Maltese language spoken loudly (not an articulate specimen unfortunately) in a Maltese owned pizzeria in SOHO but I was surprised to notice the Maltese conservative party's flag fluttering on one of Old Compton's Street's major gay pubs. Wonder what the story behind it is!
I'd love to hear from anyone who can shed some light on this.

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