Written by Alex Hickey
Friday 8th August
In the history of man, there have been many a creature that have struck fear and utter paranoia in the hearts of man, the wild boar, the Sumatran tiger, the giant squid; but is it not man who challenges these beasts mano a mano? So who is it that we should truly fear, beast or man himself?
It was late one Friday afternoon, all the dignified, well paid jobs were done and all I was left with was this son of a bitch of an assignment to do. It was hot, the sun was out, sweat dripped down my forehead and I was in constant discomfort. The small fan set up in my office was nowhere near enough to keep me cool after drinking a half bottle of rum and about a six pack of beer. The heat wasn’t going anywhere and the feeling of doom lingering with every odious thought reminding me of the evening to come.
I was going out in the footsteps of the Great White Belgian.
When going out to party in Malta, that is to say a “Paceville” style party, one must consider a few must take items, like good shoes, the worst thing you can experience half way through a night is someone dropping half their damn vodka redbull on your feet in the middle of the dancefloor or worse yet glass in your sandals; total night killer, a shower, in the land where image means everything, scent comes before sight. And finally, a reliable friend, who in my case was a large, Belgian man with a taste for extremes; I was less than confident.
I met him at a bar and grill huddled among others in Sliema’s main road, a place where people sit around casually outside smoking while enjoying their steaks and in the bathroom people quietly indulging in white confidence before having a couple more shots. A good place to settle in before starting a night out on the hunt. And this we did as I met and caught up with the boys. We drank some cheap drink and spoke, it was a good place to meet new people and have some light conversation. But the beast that confronted me now, left me unsettled, this was a mere taste of what was to come.
We were soon at another bar, tucked away somewhere quiet away from prying eyes, attempting in vein to quell the 200 pound Brazilian man who was already off his ass and certain he would be tagging along, the issue with Paceville is that it’s mostly cesspool, a lot of liquid waste and not much substance to it, much like the people who run around the god damn place but that’s a story for another article. It’s easy to fall into a rut of Paceville lifestyle, particularly if you don’t know or are not interested in other places to party around the island. That being said Paceville can be dangerous as well as expensive. An average night will cost you anything you have in your pocket. Clubs are free, yes, but nothing is ever really free if you really think about it.
Regardless, the filthy Belgian and myself soon found ourselves in an adverse situation, our Brazilian friend was getting restless and out of order; we had to figure a way of cutting him loose before he caused a scene.
This was easier said than done.
One more essential rule to this foul place is, that if one creature is moving faster than another, don’t get in its way. Especially if this creature is a South American going 200 miles an hour and is twice your size at the very least; let the cops take care of that shit if necessary, it’s actually quite comical watching them cower as they consider how they are going to separate two terribly drunken men in a fight, before the hyena like bouncers surround the area having smelled blood and start getting ready to jump on them just out of sheer excitement, it’s the sound of laughter as they kill that really gets the crowd going.
The Brazilian soon developed a craving for women and insisted we now check out the nightlife, and of course, we found ourselves at a nudie bar. As we walked up the stairs we were greeted by fine Italian women, I saw an opportunity to practice my Italian.
Whenever confronted with these situations, especially under the influence, I can get a little naïve, as well as a bit mischievous, I regress a little bit. However, on more than a single occasion this has landed me in hot water, of course, this was one of those days and before too long we went from the dainty nymph like creature, to gorillas of this jungle and before too long back onto the street.
In this case, €30 was far too much, even for a dumb foreigner like myself, doesn’t matter what she was offering, brother, I get my kicks for free.
So upon insulting the poor girl, I was out again, alone. The Great White Belgian and our troubled friend seemingly disappeared without a trace, a good opportunity to regroup and relax a little. In a place as crowded as Paceville you expect to get separated at times and a little time to yourself is essential.
I was having a jug of Vodka redbull, possibly the most stomach churning drink every created, with the bare minimum as far as safe consumption goes, straight from the jug naturally, in a lounge and waited for something to happen always observing the fiendish swine that crowded about the bar like piglets suckling at their mother’s muddy breast, terrible sights, sounds and of course, smells, even at the best of times.
The beasts arrived at the bar with a slam and raucous bang and were soon tearing up the place with their loud misbehaviour, they soon also acquired vodka and sucrose syrup with amphetamine and joined me on the couch.
Note to readers:
Beyond this point was mostly hallucination and delirium and for this reason alone, has been left out.
Eventually at something like 4am we found ourselves, twisted and delirious, in a dive bar craving that which can only be found at a sleazy place like this, illegal percentages of alcohol and bootylicious women. I sat there trying sickeningly to chat up this Scotswoman while nursing a homemade vodka or rakja or whatever the hell it was, yet she didn’t seem too interested. Piece of advice from me, if there are plenty of fish in the sea, Paeville’s a motherfucking fish market, it stinks and it’s full of skanks.
We headed down to the beach to have a cigarette and relax a little before going for after hours at the rave; with the Brazilian still hungry for small Eastern European women and more decadence and the Belgian was still monstrously drunk and grinning with knives for teeth and glazed deluded face that spelled trouble, I was perplexed by the scene. We got back to the road and ran into a group of drunken French men and so we engaged in light drunken conversation and singing until I saw a side road I could use as an escape route.
I didn’t want to ditch them but the whole thing was getting a little strange and so I had to leave… also the Belgian was parked illegally at the steps of the police station and I would have hated to see how that turned out after five hours in our state.
The moral of the story eludes me now, however if I could finish with one thing is, have fun, be safe, this is fucking Malta, but watch out for those fiendish Belgians and the other assorted animals in the jungle.