Something tells me this edition of “Why in Malta?” will be especially popular among ladies. Fritz Grimm, who is an aspiring photographer, a very handsome guy and just a charming person, kindly agreed to share his story of becoming Maltese. We recommend you take a look at his photography website http://www.fritz-grimm.de and his page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fritz-Photography-Malta/453777761357867?fref=ts.
WM: Fritz, your home country, Germany, is a dream country of many. How did you decide to change it for Malta?
Fritz: I would say I am different from the most people in Germany. They are so close-minded and live so much ‘in the structure’. It is pre-defined that a person gets a job and then keeps working, buying, and spending. I never liked this lifestyle, especially when a lot of people in the world are living in much worse conditions. When I was younger, I used to dream about living by the sea in a warm country and imagined Caribbean, something like paradise, but those dreams were not realistic. I never seriously thought about leaving Germany until some time ago because my daughter was still too young for me to leave her. Now she is 9 years old and comes to visit me from time to time.
WM: Why did you decide to move to Malta and not to any other Mediterranean country, say, Italy, Spain or Greece?
Fritz: At the end of 2011 I met a Maltese girl in Thailand. We became close and in the beginning of 2012 we decided to be together. We visited each other a few times: I came to Malta twice and she came to Germany. She could not imagine working there; a whole day at the office, besides there is a language barrier – finding a job without knowing German is unrealistic. For me it was fine to move, I was prepared; I liked the country and the people. By the time I moved to Malta, however, our relationship became unstable; we spent some time on and off. It did not change my plans to move to Malta, though.
WM: What do you miss about Germany the most?
Fritz: Greenery, forests, hills, my daughter and my family. I cannot say I miss friends; they always can come over to visit me if they want, and they can afford it. In fact, some friends come to visit, others promise to come but do not. In that way I can see who the real friends are and who are not.
WM: Did Malta teach you something new?
Fritz: It is a good question… Yes, I would say Malta taught me there is something in the Universe, something very special and particular. Maybe, it is God…
WM: Was it the country’s lifestyle that gave you this experience, or the people?
Fritz: I think it is a mix of factors: the place, the people and how they live together. Maltese are so relaxed, sincere and warm. They are not always polite, but, at the same time, not as mean as some people in other countries. Germans in comparison are too negative, close-minded and consumerist. When it happens to share business ideas with them, the negative response just shocks me sometimes.
WM: What do you do in Malta apart from photography?
Fritz: Although, photography is a big part of my life, it is just a hobby. I work part-time for a company where I am responsible for quality management system.
WM: Is there anything that makes you uncomfortable in Malta?
Fritz: I can see many things are not well, but I am a foreigner here and I do not think I should teach the locals. One thing is particularly unfair: electricity and water rates for foreigners should not be higher than for Maltese. It is a big deal to get resident’s rates. If Maltese cheat on foreigners then foreigners have every right to cheat back, which is not a good situation.
WM: Do you prefer to spend your free time with Maltese or with other expats?
Fritz: With Maltese. I live in Tarxien and do not know other foreigners living there, it is so peaceful and quiet. I cannot imagine living in Sliema – a busy tourist area which looks the same in many countries. It has no true spirit of Malta.
WM: Do you feel the mentality difference?
Fritz: Yes, the Maltese mentality is different; the people are relaxed and not so exact. I can understand this, however. It happens to me not to be on time too because in Malta you cannot plan well. One day it takes you 10 minutes to get somewhere, another time on the same route you can spend half an hour looking for parking.
WM: Do you think to stay in Malta for long?
Fritz: I do not make plans, but certainly, I cannot imagine going back to Germany. It is too alien for me now with its consumerism and predictable life.