Jeff asked me what this means:
grazzi hafna talli gejtu
It’s a private joke between my inlaws and me.
After we got married in Jamaica, G’s mum laid on a surprise party and invited half of Malta (think: My Big Fat Greek Wedding with the groom completely overwhelmed by the meditteranean family-centric culture) . My lovely new wife abandonded me with 6 bottles of red wine and my brother-in-law who helped me rehearse some choice phrase in Maltese for my speech.
I was taken around to every table, three-quarters pished, to express my gratitude and the only phrase that I could confidently say was ‘grazzi hafna talli gejtu’ – ‘thank you for coming’.
Ever since then I have said ‘grazzi hafna talli gejtu’ whenever a phrase of Maltese is required – no matter how inappropriate the circumstances.
Would you like a cup of tea? Grazzi hafna talli gejtu.
How are you feeling? Grazzi hafna talli gejtu.
The highlight of the evening was my brother in-law teaching me how to say ‘I am pissed as a fart’ in Maltese just before I made my speech which I concluded by announcing ‘you are all very naughty’ … except the word I chose for ‘naughty’ was closer to ‘wicked’ (and not in the good sense).
To this very day, if I set foot in Malta, strangers will come up to me on the street and say
“So, Kevin, you think I am wicked?”