Somewhere in the east of this little island, there is what I can only call a parallel world – new, modern, clean. If you’re convinced that Malta is stuck mid 20th century, SmartCity is there to remind you that even here, time doesn’t stop.
After a bus ride across the so-called three fingers, you arrive at the guarded entrance – well, or at least they have someone watching who’s coming in and out. What they “guard” in this mostly empty place, I have no idea. Maybe Edward Snowden got tired of Russia, or maybe Elvis isn’t dead, who knows?
Very realistic theories aside, SmartCity is basically a bunch of modern buildings lined up around a pool of water right by the sea. From what I know, it’s supposed to be/become some sort of business centre for fancy new companies and their cool employees, but when I went with my mum, there wasn’t much business going on – the place was deserted.
Luckily it was, as we got to enjoy the quiet and really take in the architecture – it wouldn’t have been the same with people rushing about. That way, there was something peaceful in the straight lines and geometrical shapes that stood out against the winter sky.
Speaking of winter, we soon decided to warm ourselves up with a nice meal and some hot tea at the only restaurant we could find: The Londoner. The best thing about the place? Definitely the adorable cat that was inside the glass bungalow. Other than that, there’s absolutely no reason to go there ever again.
I’m not critical when it comes to food – especially not when I’m hungry – but their chicken curry was chewy, spicy and at the same time completely tasteless. Need I say more? Yes, I do: the service was slow and careless, the I-don’t-give-a-f***-leave-me-alone kind. I understand that it’s hard to be nice to customers all the time, but a little smile would’ve helped.
What made me smile was the beautiful seaside walk that followed. The sea is magnificent in winter, and its raw energy is so different from the calm order of SmartCity. When the waves crash against the stony cost, you’re reminded that the sea has always been there, that it will survive generations of even smarter cities and that it has the power to destroy every single one of those huge buildings within minutes. And to me, that’s a calming thought.