Malta has just won the Obesity lottery in the EU, obviously not very proud of this one. We are now the fattest people who seem to do the least, if it matters on a recent trip to America we seemed equal in mass. Our islands don't have much and we are increasingly sacrificing them to the gods of tourism. We need tourism but we don't need trash and being crowded out of our own beaches and cafes!
We attract people who throw their rubbish away, the locals dump building material, we have hardly any country walks because there is very little public land, and no pressure for country activities from politicians.
This beautiful rock arch is slowly collapsing, and it is our biggest touristic attraction. The tourists come in busses, taxis, jeep safaris, and one or two adventurous cyclists. The tourist buy a coke, or a beer, throw the can away, and go away. The locals often then come at night to BBQ, and leave further rubbish. The few climbers we get stay for one or two weeks, care and appreciate our rocks, we want more tourists like these.
I watched a young man throw himself off the arch this week, he went to hospital in a critical condition. It was a macho act that I criticised even though I have done the same thing! It's easy to complain, but it's not easy to solve things. Perhaps some walks amoung the flowers for people who love the countryside should be made or encouraged. Perhaps more climbing could be done for the young to express themselves in a safe adventurous way. It's crowded here, the world is increasingly more crowded, so we must help each other more. This week a local boy of fourteen died of injuries when his friend landed on his back in a small jump, the solution to this is a court case, and probably another restriction. People are loosing any sense they had! We need more education, help with sport, help with eating properly and be encouraged to help our islands be a better place to live and visit.
It's nice being home on Gozo and Malta, but picking up litter is not really what I came back for. I came back to enjoy the sea, not aluminium cans and plastic. The sea has very little life in it, and it's dirty after all the boats and swimmers. There were a few days when flocks of Bee Eater birds gathered over my village before going home to Africa, it was fantastic. These bird days are rare today. When I was young there were clouds of Quail, and turtle dove. those days are gone. Today its clouds of rubbish in the sea and land, and a wealth of plump tourists, wealth of course is not the appropriate word, it's budget tourism!