"Why Gozo?"; Everyone asked me this question when I moved from a small town, only a few kilometres away from Munich's city centre, to the small island in the Mediterranean Sea. That was a challenge for me. But I quickly noticed; No comparison with the villages in Upper Bavaria. The mixture makes the difference. Locals, residents from all over the world, holidaymakers and especially young people on their trips through the world are responsible for the flair of the island. My choice for my new Family Home fell on the village Qala (Aala). It is the southeasternmost Gozo and now my new home.
The development of the village began already in the 15th century with the construction of the watchtower and the Gun Battery over Hondoq Bay. Today it has spread and fills the area between Nadur and Mgarr with town and country houses, fruit and vegetable gardens and orange, lemon and mandarin trees. It's got everything I could wish for. Small shops that deliver the goods to my home, good restaurants in the big square near the church of St. Joseph, the Horse Riding Farm, Zeppi's Bar, the meeting point for Gozitans, residents and vacationers and the beach at Hondoq Bay. Thanks to the clubs there is something on offer all year round. Whether Festa in August, International Folk Festival in October, Diner by the Stables monthly in summer or the hustle and bustle of carnival, it doesn't get boring here. In July the Night Hondoq Festival with bands and dance at Hondoq Beach will take place on three days.
My daily way leads me down from my hill to shopping in Bena's supermarket where Antonella constantly tries to bring order to the chaos. In the smallest space I find everything a household needs in terms of aids, ingredients, fresh food, fruit, vegetables, drinks, detergents and cleaning agents, preserves, frozen food and Charlie, the butcher, not only sells good meat, he also always has tips for the preparation ready. Since the eyes are usually bigger than my power to drag when shopping, Bena delivers my shopping to my home during her lunch break! Timing is everything and so I also try to catch the baker's baking cart, which offers fresh bread and cake every day. If the supply of vegetables and fruit is sub-optimal, especially towards the end of the week, the fruit truck delivers fresh produce from the market every day. But before I make my way back home, there is a cappuccino at Zeppi's with a little chat.
A special evening takes place monthly from May to October at the Horse Riding Farm in Qala. Bena and her family, they run the supermarket, the butcher shop and the horse farm, organize these evenings with great commitment. Locals, residents like me and vacationers meet at a long table for a nice evening at the stables. For local food and drinks Bena and Charlie provide. The music is made by her husband and his friends with folk from the island and then as a DJ for dancing. Guests can visit the animals, which is especially popular with children. The wine is a matter of luck, sometimes it tastes good, sometimes I prefer water, but one thing is for sure, the entrance fee of 20€, a donation for charitable purposes, is always worth it.
If the television program is boring or if I feel like entertainment, then my evening walk leads me here. I meet friends or new people, get to know the news from the village and the island, stories from the lives of the others. There's no way I'm alone. From Thursday to Sunday there is often life music, also famous bands from Gozo and Malta are looking forward to a gig! Lovely Sonya and her crew provide a good atmosphere among the guests and the prices are very humane.
Those who emigrate alone must take care of contacts and new acquaintances. Sitting at home and waiting for people to talk to is the wrong way to go. You get out, take the bus over the island, the Gotians like to tell stories and are very open towards strangers. You should leave the popular book to accompany your meal or in the cafe at home, then you will get to know new people. Cool is the offer of Meets-up groups on the island. Whether yoga, hiking or some kinds of class, everything is on offer. Through my participation in the bi-monthly restaurant visits of the Ladies Night I made many new contacts, ate well and found access to the community. Today I go to parties and have some in my house.