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Expat Extracts – April 2012

Name: Anna Cziborr
Home country: Russia
Designation/Industry/Company: Navigo NLP Center – Life Coach and Trainer
Marital status/Number of children: Married
Other countries you have lived in: Russia, China, Germany

What brought you to Malaysia?
My husband. His job was relocated to Malaysia, so we moved here. Malaysia really benefits from a great location in SE Asia.

What were your impressions of Malaysia before you came?
How have they changed, if indeed they have?

Well, since it’s an Islamic country, I expected Malaysians to be very conservative. Very soon after my arrival here, however, I realised that most of my impressions of Malaysia were, in fact, Western stereotypes.

What are the three things you like most about living in Malaysia?
The climate – plenty of sun and heat! I really enjoy that. The people – friendly and easygoing. The geographic location – plenty of exciting travel destinations within only a few hours’ flight.

What have you found most challenging in Malaysia so far?
After moving to Malaysia, I found my options for career and professional growth very limited. I suffered from not having an occupation and some sense of purpose here. I believe this is one of the most common challenges among expat wives here.

Name three places you would take an overseas visitor.
Putrajaya, perhaps a night market, and a trip to the Perhentian Islands for some scuba diving.

What do you miss most about your home country?
The fresh fruits and vegetables from my parents’ garden, and good quality Russian caviar!

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Promoted

Name: Okoroma Okey
Home country: Nigeria
Designation/Industry/Company: Director (CEO), Rivline Logistics Sdn Bhd
Marital status/Number of children: Single
Other countries you have lived in: United States

What brought you to Malaysia and how long have you been here?
I have been in Malaysia for almost five years. I came here initially for my studies. Following that, I worked for a multinational logistics company for a few months and, after gaining experience, I partnered with a few locals to form a company called Rivline Logistics Sdn Bhd.

What do you like and dislike most about living in Malaysia?
Some things I like are that it’s a secure, safe, and mostly peaceful place. There is a good healthcare system, modern communication, and excellent highways. I also like the multicultural element of Malaysia. As for my dislikes, the climate would be one.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Like many locals, I enjoy going shopping, and also going clubbing at night, too. I enjoy playing basketball when I have the chance, as well.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region?
Penang and Genting Highlands are probably my favourite holiday destinations in Malaysia.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
There is no specific memorable experience I can think of except visiting my friend on Chinese New Year and dining with his family. I had the opportunity to learn how to use the Chinese chopsticks to eat… it was a fun experience.

Do you own property here? If so, where? If not, why?
At the moment no, because I can’t afford any of the properties right now!

What do you miss most about your home country?
My family and my childhood friends are the things.

What advice would you give to a newly-arrived expat?
Well, as we all know, Malaysia is a country where nothing is impossible and the grass will always remain greener if newly arrived expat can keep a cool head.

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Promoted

Name: Cilia van Woensel
Home Country: The Netherlands
Designation: Director, Kewlox Cabinets Asia
Marital status: Married
Other countries you have lived in: Hong Kong, India

What brought you to Malaysia and how long have you been here?
Since July 2011. We chose Malaysia to set up our business of importing and selling quality European storage furniture. Malaysia was number one on our list of places we wanted to live.

What are the things you like most about living in Malaysia?
I love the weather, even the tropical showers and the humidity. I like that you can spend more time outside compared to the Netherlands. I love the diversity of this country and I like its friendly people.

What are the three things you dislike most about living in Malaysia?
The roads and double parking in KL drive me crazy. I don’t like the smell of raw meat in the markets. And having come from Europe, I don’t like the fact that there is not much furniture choice in Malaysia. That’s why we started Kewlox Cabinets: a much better choice!

Name three weekend activities that you enjoy.
Getting a massage or facial at one of the many affordable spas, enjoying a nice dinner with friends (so many great restaurants here), or perhaps visiting Taman Tasik Perdana or FRIM for a nice walk. KL is full of little gems if you are willing to go out there.

Where would you take an overseas visitor?
Definitely to Bangsar—everything is there, and there’s a great Sunday market. Also to Chinatown and Brickfields because of the authenticity, and to the lovely Orchid Garden. Let’s see, perhaps the Chow Kit and Pudu markets, Putrajaya, out to eat hawker food… I could easily fill ten days, but you know what they say about visitors and fish…

What advice would you give to a newly-arrived expat?
Malaysia is an easygoing country, so explore and enjoy it! Sometimes you need a little patience, but everybody means well. And don’t get overwhelmed by the traffic. We bought an older car so we don’t mind if we get a scratch and it shows… badly so.

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Name: Amin Abedy Nia
Home country: Iran
Designation/Industry/Company: Managing Director, Tourist Group
Marital status/Number of children: Married with no kids
Other countries you have lived in: Germany, Singapore

What brought you to Malaysia and how long have you been here?
My wife, Destiny, and I have been here since October 2011.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Spending the weekend on Manukan Island in Sabah, enjoying the local foods in Melaka, or travelling down to Singapore to see my wife.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region. Why?
I enjoy traveling to Singapore so I can spend time with my wife, who lives there.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
Hmmmm, durian… DURIAN… That probably says it all!

Do you own property here? If not, why?
No, I don’t own any property in Malaysia. Maybe because I work hard and party hard and I don’t save enough… 😉

What do you miss most about your home country?
I definitely miss having the many fresh breads that are available in Iran. I also miss playing games with friends and having family gatherings.

What advice would you give to a newly-arrived expat?
Do take the opportunity to explore Malaysia. Don’t wait… you can go to the bus station and buy a ticket to Melaka and come back the same day!

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia? Where would you like to go next, and why?
I can’t get enough of Malaysia and really do enjoy it, but eventually I am going to go to Singapore to be with my wife.

Is Malaysia a good country to raise children? Why?
Well, that’s a hard question, especially since we don’t have kids now. Yes and no, I guess – like most places!

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Source: The Expat April 2012 
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