It was the peak of the Maltese summer. The scorching hot midday sun prompted siesta time. We were sitting on our sixth floor hotel balcony with the patio doors wide open, watching people amble about their day on the street. Our phones were inside the hotel room: we were all together on the balcony, who else would we need to contact?
We had just settled in when the fly came in. It audaciously buzzed past us on the balcony, into the room, taunting my dad. My dad leapt out of his chair and chased after it at top speed, dodging a collection of suitcases and shoes on the floor. The fly feinted left, my dad feinted left. The fly flew up, my dad poised himself ready to strike, ready to Obama that thing.
My dad’s adversary was smart. It flew a few laps of the room haphazardly, my dad leaning over the bed to get to it, moving the furniture aside lest it was damaged in battle. No such luck. The fly was smart. My dad had to change his technique. He grabbed a hotel sized beach towel and snapped it back, creating a draught big enough to dislodge the fly from its frenzied flight path. Snap. The fly, dazed from the sudden gust of wind, flew away from the gust, onto the balcony and into the street. Most probably to terrorise another unsuspecting family.
My dad, feeling quite pleased with himself, calmly folded the towel, returned to the balcony, and took a victory sip of iced water whilst closing the patio doors to prevent other flies from wreaking havoc on our relaxing afternoon.
“If the windows are closed the flies can’t get in.” he explained quite logically.
It wasn’t until we wanted another bottle of water from the fridge that we realised the patio doors didn’t open from the outside. The realisation sent a wave of panic through us. We suddenly needed the bathroom or were completely famished (our last meal was four whole hours ago).
This is when we morphed into Prison Break mode. We tried brute force, simultaneously pushing and pulling the handle. When that didn’t work we set about searching for tools to pick the lock with. The tools we had were rubber flip flops, a small stone and a chair. Whilst my family was in Prison Break mode, I morphed into Spiderman/Mission Impossible mode, planning my six storey descent of the vertical drop, running into the reception and saving my family. My vision quickly dissipated when I couldn’t scale the stone wall of the balcony itself (in my defence it was 3/4 of a person high).
We resorted to drowning person mode, waving down anyone who might listen – but it was the peak of the siesta.
After what felt like an hour of muted frenzied waving, we were tired, hungry and almost ready to give up. We were saved by a bemused resident in the building opposite who had watched the whole affair unfold with a bottle of beer in his hand. In my dazed confusion I could have sworn I also saw a bowl of popcorn by his side. It appeared he had called out his wife to watch.
Thank goodness it wasn’t a sea-facing room.
The hotel manager unlocked the door and through stifled laughter, told us to come in quickly: another fly might come in.