You know how, in the USA we have gas lines into houses, so the gas company can provide a continual supply of gas for heating, cooking, etc? Well, in Malta there is none of that nonsense. If you have a gas cooker (e.g., stove/oven) you get a tank of gas, like what we'd use back home for a gas grill.
Somehow, although we knew this was the case and our landlord even showed us where, outside, the tank was hooked up to the line to the cooker and the empty/spare tanks were, we never really thought about the implications of having our cooking gas come from a tank ... namely, that it could run out.
Run out it did, today, in the middle of a baking project around lunchtime. This is a relevant factoid because it just so happens that the gas-tank-refill guys make their rounds in Attard on Tuesday mornings, around 7am. I am incredibly lucky that our landlord had a mostly-unused tank for his grilling, and he's letting us have it and we'll replace it next week when the gas guys come around.
It is an interesting system. Apparently, people who need refills leave their gas tanks outside their doors, and the gas guys come around in the early morning (7am-ish), honking to alert folks that they are coming. If you have a tank outside your door, they will come to your door for the payment, then refill your tank for you. On Tuesday we'll get a refill or two so we don't run out again ... we actually have several empty tanks and we just never thought to ask about what we need to do to keep our cooking fuel moving along continually.
One more lesson learned. We may actually get the hang of living here by the time we leave!