A Maltese Odyssey: The Curious Case of the Missing Fishing Boat

Chapter One: The Disappearing ‘Dgħajsa’

It was another sun-kissed morning in the picturesque town of Marsaxlokk, where the fish smell fresher than the morning dew and the boats are more colorful than a festa fireworks display. The townsfolk, who could give Poseidon a run for his money, were all set for the day’s catch. All, that is, except for one.

Ċensu, a sprightly seventy-something with a moustache thicker than a ħobż biż-żejt, stood on the quay scratching his head. His beloved dgħajsa (a traditional Maltese fishing boat), the ‘Kapriċċ Taz-Ziju’, was missing. “Uwejja, impossible!” he exclaimed, causing a flock of bewildered pigeons to scatter to the four winds.

The Quay-side Quandary

As the news spread faster than gossip at a hairdresser’s, a crowd gathered, each with their own theory. Some said sirens had lured it out to sea, while others were convinced it was kidnapped by rival fishers from Gozo – a playful jibe at the longstanding inter-island rivalry.

Chapter Two: The Culinary Clue

In the midst of the commotion, a clue appeared out of nowhere. A half-eaten pastizz lay on the quay, a trail of peas leading towards the nearby city of Valletta. “A clue, as surely as the gbejna is round!” declared Marouska, a tech-savvy local who was live-tweeting the entire fiasco. “To Valletta, and step on it!”

Breaking #MaltaNews: The ‘Kapriċċ Taz-Ziju’ is officially off the menu! But who left this pastizz? Follow the pea-trail all the way to Valletta! #MissingDgħajsa

A Capital Conundrum

Our motley crew of would-be detectives hopped aboard a bus, jostling amidst chatter about latest rabbit stew recipes and fixtures for the village’s football team. Insisting on the efficiency of Maltese public transport, they arrived in Valletta only four hours later, just in time for teatime.

The pea-trail, however, had been washed away by the midday cleaners, leaving our heroes with nought but rumbling tummies and frustration. But as every good Maltese knows, where there’s a will, there’s a way – and probably a festa. Forced to rely on intuition and an insatiable appetite for adventure (and snacks), they carried on.

Chapter Three: Mdina’s Mysterious Whispers

In a plot twist as unexpected as finding parking in Sliema on a Saturday afternoon, a whisper from the Ancient City of Mdina reached their ears. Pietru, a cabby with a penchant for folklore, had a story that could crack the case wide open.

“The winds talk, you know. They’ve been telling tales of a fishing boat sailing the skies,” Pietru began, leaning casually against his horse-drawn carriage. He squinted dramatically towards the horizon. “Mela, it sounds crazy, but they say it floats above the old capital by moonlight, full of ghostly fishermen moaning about the price of diesel.”

Supernatural Suspicions

As the tale took root in their imagination, the group huddled closer, eager for every word. A flying fishing boat? It was the kind of story that would have the locals chatting for weeks on end, nestled in the many corners of this mystical walled city.

Chapter Four: The Revelatory Fest

Deciding they needed to see this for themselves, they staked out the imposing Mdina gate as the stars came out. Moonlight bathed the cobblestones, and tension was thicker than the layer of butter on a piece of ħobż biż-żejt, when suddenly, joyous music filled the air. It was a festa – but this was no ordinary celebration.

There, floating above the cathedral dome, was the ‘Kapriċċ Taz-Ziju’! But it was no ghost ship; it had been transformed into a spectacle for the festa, adorned with a cornucopia of lights. Cheering crowds danced around it, and on deck, Ċensu’s own nephews were taking selfies, laughing and sharing #FlyingDgħajsa all over social media.

The Plot Untangles

Turns out, Ċensu’s nephews thought it was time their uncle upgraded to a speedboat and had ‘borrowed’ the dgħajsa for the festa’s grand display, hoping the sight of it ‘flying’ would make the old man’s heart soar and agree to the change. After recovering from the initial shock and mild indignation, Ċensu decided it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Soon enough, he was seen piloting the newest, sleekest speedboat around – the ‘Jet-Set Taz-Ziju’.

The Social Media Storm

This just in: ‘Kapriċċ Taz-Ziju’ hijacked for Mdina festa! But wait – it’s a family affair! #PlotTwist #FlyingDgħajsa #TimesOfMela

And as for the pea-peppered pastizz? It remained an unsolved (and uneaten) mystery, much to the consternation of pigeons across the island.

Mela, as the laughter echoed through the city streets, the tale of the missing fishing boat became local legend, a story to be told with a twinkle in the eye, proving once again that in Malta, kollox is possible!