Expat Interview: Cinzia Colli

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Name: Cinzia Colli
Home Country: Italy
Job/Industry: Translator (English/Arabic), language teacher, volunteer guide
at Muzium Negara
Maritial status: Married with two daughters (15 and 17)
Other countries you have lived: Egypt, Germany, UAE, Rumania, Mexico

What brought you to Malaysia?
My husband was working for Lafarge in Mexico City and was assigned to a regional job that was based in KL, but with many trips to India.

What were your impressions of Malaysia before you came?
I had never been attracted by the Far East and had no clear picture in my mind. If I had any expectations, it was of a place covered with lush vegetation and somewhere quieter, more laid-back, and less developed than it is. When I was catapulted to KL, I was amazed by its modernity and efficiency; everything was so fast and organised compared to Mexico City!

How easily did you adapt to living in a new country?
Extremely easily. I try to view each place as a chance to enrich my personality through the integration with locals and the study of the culture and customs. Travelling has always been my mission in life. My first move was to Egypt as a student, and after I got married, I followed my husband to different locations.

What do you like about Malaysia?
I love the weather above all! I am also in love with Malaysian nature, especially the marine life and parks, and I love Malaysian temples and their approach to spirituality. Finally, I am blessed with the best health care and an extremely good education for my daughters.

What would you like to change about Malaysia?
Its careless urbanisation and deforestation: Malaysia is the proud owner of the oldest rainforests in the world and it breaks my heart to see how parts of it are shaved away every day. I would also like to see the millions of cars vanish from KL. Finally, I would like to see Malaysians being more proud and knowledgeable about their history.

What do you miss most about your home country?
I miss the sea! I come from a city located on the east coast of Italy and the proximity to the water has always been very important. I also miss the Italian culture, and obviously I miss my family and friends. Finally, I miss my Italian food! Especially cheese and hams….

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