Needle in a haystack – The Maltese Address

By July 27, 2018News

There’s a scene in the hit series The Wire (HBO 2002-08) where Police Major Howard ‘Bunny’ Colvin tells two rookies who just joined his force that they need to carry compasses on themselves at all time to know which way is North and not get lost in the streets. The same should apply to anyone attempting to navigate or locate places in Malta. In our line of business, if you get lost you are late and that results in unhappy customers which is something Fetchit tries hardest to avoid.

It’s a shame but it isn’t always our fault. Delays can be caused by other factors such as bad weather, breakdowns, traffic chaos… The list is endless but a frequent offender is the Maltese address. (Un)surprisingly Google doesn’t list all of the “New” streets or allotments that seem to be popping up every month (Ed. Save the trees!). Every town has a Triq Il-Kbira (Main Street); Is a Saint a San, Sant, Santa, or perhaps a Sir? And for future reference Mattew Pulin Sliema is NOT M. Pulis Gzira! Streets run through several towns and neighbourhoods which explains why an address can be listed in Gzira and Msida, Hamrun, Santa Venera and Birkirkara… Why bother with house numbers when you can use house names instead? Smother it all in a bilingual dose of Maltese and English and you have a recipe for disaster.

Our riders and dispatchers have become savvy to the small details and innuendos of the Maltese maze. Every time a new rider prepares to join the fleet they spend a few hours shadowing a more experienced rider to learn their way around. New dispatchers spend a good portion of their first month searching for addresses on Google or in the Book*, studying the general layout of the land. Despite these efforts, delays can still occur. Please bear with us.

*Let me take this moment to thank the author and researchers of The Maze, a comprehensive A to Z for Malta and Gozo that has saved us on more than one occasion!

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