Check Out My Hawt Look for Malta

Darren's Malta LookIt’s been a weekend of shopping and packing, packing and shopping. We’re basically living out of luggage for the next seven months, so I’ve been busily trimming my possessions down to the essentials. Plus, of course, it’s going to be ridiculously hot and tropical in Malta, so I need some appropriate clothes.

As you can see, I solved my hot climate shoe crisis (with these) and also acquired some, uh, man capris (clamdiggers? flood pants? pedal pushers?). I’m not a big fan of these, but they seem very practical. They’re lightweight, more formal than shorts and don’t look awful with my, irk, sandals.

I had a follow-up sartorial crisis–finding an appropriate hat. Ballcaps are out, Tilley hats are for deserts and jungles, and I’m not quite old enough for a fedora. So, I thought a straw hat might be a good fit–light, wide-brimmed and only somewhat ridiculous.

A couple of people advised me to look for a straw hat in the surf shops around Burrard and 4th. I didn’t find any in the first three shops I visited. At the third shop, I asked a couple of clerks where I might find such a chapeau.

She turned to her fellow clerk and said “where was that hat we were wearing last week?” She goes down to the basement, and comes back with a straw hat. They don’t actually sell them, they just had this one kicking around. It fits me, so they give it to me for free. How cool is that? I am, more or less, all set.

In related news, if I haven’t replied to an email or phone message, the big cardboard list behind me is to blame. If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s divided into two lists–“Work” and “Life”, each with about 40 items. I blurred the bullet points to protect client privacy, but we’ve been absurdly busy over the past few weeks.

I’m really looking forward to April 22, when we’re going to be spending a week of offline vacation at our friends’ villa in the south of France.

UPDATE: At my foolish request, my Malta stylings are getting worked over on Dethroner, one of my favourite newish blog finds.


  1. Yay. Love the capris pants. Try to really relax and chill-out in Malta. Think of the freedom: you can do whatever you want and nobody will blog it or post photos to flickr.

  2. Oh dear heavens.

    Look, unless Malta is drastically different from the rest of Europe, expect a pretty sharp dressing standard. The shirt may be acceptable, but I think ya oughta think harder about those pants.

    And how pricey are clothes in Malta? It might be worth getting your outfits locally, both because that’s what the locals are wearing, and to not use up your baggage allowance on mere clothing.

  3. Ryan: I’m reasonably well informed about how people dress in Europe. I lived there for a couple years, and I travel there at least once a year. I’m not big fans of these trousers, but you’ll definitely see men wearing them in casual settings in the countries bordering the Mediterrenean.

    In fact, I’m specifically going with these instead of shorts, because only children and beach-goers wear shorts in Europe.

    Trust me, I’m bringing plenty more formal clothes to Europe–these are for lounging around the pool and maybe a little bike ride around the island.

    I do expect to buy some clothes in Europe. However, the Maltese are the smallest people in Europe, so I’m not sure how much local variety I’ll have.

  4. Don’t call them pedal pushers to anyone but your closest friends…sounds a little light in the loafers…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  5. Darren, you don’t look like a canadian trying not to look like a Canadian _at_all._ Do you have some non-pasty white skin to try on too?

    Seriously, from our experiences, the man-capris are the new black for northern europeans. They usually come with little elastic tie laces at the cuff. I’ve not been to Malta, but I think you’re doing the right thing and Keens are just practical.

  6. See, and I thought the hat looked a bit cowboy-ish.

    I think what you were looking for is a Panama hat, right? ( My dad wears one in the summer and looks _very_ dapper. (My DH wears more of the Indiana Jones type – he doesn’t have the right physic to carry a Panama.)

  7. In Malta, with your height and your coloring, there’s no chance you’ll be able to blend in, so you should be fine. Just remember to bring sunscreen if you have room (it’s horribly expensive in Malta). Also, how are your shoes on rocky terrain? Otherwise, best of luck!!!

  8. Alice: I’m not sure a Panama hat is the right thing. I don’t think the brim will be wide enough, and it may be a bit, well, old for me.

    Katie: Thanks for the tips. I have some hiking shoes I’ll be bringing as well, though those sandal-thingies have surprisingly robust soles.

  9. Something interesting I noted a couple of weeks back: CBC’s “Dispatches” had a segment on Malta and Gozo, and everyone was pronouncing it “Gozo,” i.e. the way you would expect, when speaking English — including the locals — rather than aw-desh (Ghawdex). Maybe it’s a Moscow/Moskva thing for foreigners.

    Here’s the podcast MP3 and shownotes. A good listen for me, who knew nothing of the place until you planned to move there.

  10. Derek: Thanks for that, I actually managed to hear that live, as it happens. It’s nice to have the file, though, to pass it on others who missed it.

    Yeah, the pronunciation thing baffles me. According to Wikipedia, it’s pronounced the other way in Maltese.

  11. If speaking English, you use “Gozo” and say “Gozo”, if speaking Maltese, you use “Ghawdex” and say “Awdesh”. Speaking English, you’d never say “I went to Ghawdex last week”.

    Bilingualism, hours of fun for the whole family…

  12. MaltaGirl: Thanks for the clarification.

    “Bilingualism, hours of fun for the whole family…” You don’t have to tell me–je parle un peu de francais parce que mon pays a Quebec.

    Or something like that.

  13. Le pauvre Canadien…

    I had to study four languages in school – they were all compulsory – so you won’t be getting any sympathy from me (English, Maltese, Italian, French). These days the kids here have it easy, they only have to do three. Huh.

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