A Peruvian in the Mediterranean has observed the same practice that I have:
Every day I notice Maltese women (usually on the older end) busily scrubbing away at their front doors. Then they will mop and sweep the pavement outside the door. They do this with the intensity of an antique collector polishing away at silver…
Now, I am always a bit puzzled by this practice. I am a very clean person, and I do make an effort to keep the *inside* of my home clean. I can be a bit messy, but never dirty. I find it only natural to keep one’s home clean. But it had never occurred to me to aggressively wipe down the *outside* of my home. In fact, outside of Malta I do not think I have ever seen anyone washing his or her front door.
I think I’ve seen this elsewhere, but I can’t quite remember where. Cuba? Costa Rica?
The woman who lives two doors down from us actually sweeps the entirety of our little lane (it’s only about seven feet wide and sixty feet long, but still). I admire this civic behaviour, and always feel slightly guilty about walking on the sidewalks in front of people’s houses.
I also been wondering about who owns the sidewalks, because they tend to be individually matched and attached to the houses. I’m guessing their property ends where the road begins.