Just Landed

Expatriate Lifestyle - - Contents - In­ter­view by Karin Chan

What brought you here?

I had been work­ing in Lon­don for a cou­ple of years, but wanted to try some­thing new. Luck­ily, my com­pany has a num­ber of of­fices glob­ally and the chance came up for me to trans­fer abroad. I’d never even con­sid­ered Malaysia, I knew noth­ing about it. But then, what bet­ter way to learn about a place than to move there?

What was your first im­pres­sion of Malaysia?

It was com­pletely over­whelm­ing; I ar­rived on New Year’s Eve after a 17-hour flight to a coun­try where I knew no one, with no fixed place to live, with­er­ing away in the blis­ter­ing heat, and then my taxi driver be­gan ques­tion­ing me about why I didn’t have a hus­band. Not the best start! But it doesn’t take long for you to sink into life here – I ended up spend­ing New Year’s Day eat­ing ba­nana leaf curry out of buck­ets in one of the tem­ples with a bunch of lo­cals.

Made any ex­cit­ing new dis­cov­er­ies?

Every­one al­ways de­scribes Malaysia as a ‘melt­ing pot’ of cul­tures, but you can re­ally ex­pe­ri­ence it first hand on the many, many pub­lic hol­i­days we have; watch­ing the pro­ces­sion of Hindu pil­grims flow to Batu Caves for Thai­pusam and cel­e­brat­ing We­sak Day at the Bud­dhist Maha Vi­hara were def­i­nite high­lights.

What do you like best about Malaysia?

My favourite thing about Malaysia is that it never fails to sur­prise; it al­ways keeps me on my toes. This might be dis­cov­er­ing the best char kway teow from an unas­sum­ing lit­tle gen­tle­man and his cart or wan­der­ing into a lo­cal karaoke com­pe­ti­tion whilst lost in Pe­nang, but on the other hand, it might be when a pipe bursts down your road and you have no wa­ter for three days...it’s all part of the fun!

What are your hob­bies?

I love be­ing out­doors, so tend to spend my spare time hik­ing, run­ning or trav­el­ling. Hav­ing lived here for al­most six months, I feel I can put ‘eat­ing’ as an ac­cept­able hobby too! I’m also try­ing to get my col­leagues to teach me use­ful lo­cal phrases, but at the minute I can only count to five in Ba­hasa and swear in Man­darin...

What would you put in a ‘Malaysia sur­vival kit’?

A bat­tery pack for your phone as be­ing stranded with no ac­cess to Google Maps or Grab/uber if you get lost while ex­plor­ing is not an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence! I’d also make sure there were tea bags and fresh milk. If you’re ever hav­ing a rough day, a real cup of tea will al­ways sort you out. EL

Na­tion­al­ity: Bri­tish Oc­cu­pa­tion: PR Man­ager In Malaysia since: De­cem­ber 2016 Con­tact: he­len_­sul­li­van@hot­mail.co.uk New to Malaysia and want to say hi to the com­mu­nity? Drop us a line at edi­tor@ex­pa­tri­atelifestyle.com! Par­tic­i­pants must be able to pro­vide high-res­o­lu­tion im­ages (1MB and above).

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