Name: Taren Gill
Home Country: Australia
Job/Industry: Health Sciences
Marital Status: Married, with 1 child
What brought you to Malaysia?
2 years – Initially, my trips to Malaysia were to visit relatives who always showed me a good time. “Malaysia Boleh” was the term they taught me. This casual positivity inspired me to look for work in Kuala Lumpur, a buzzing metropolis and a melting pot of food and culture.
What do you like and dislike about living here?
My like is more of a LOVE – I love the food! The variety of Indian, Malaysian, and Chinese food is unlike anywhere else in the world. I do not think I have ever had a bad meal here. Of course, sometimes you need to remember to order dishes like Bak-kuhteh “without spare parts.” I think everyone dislikes the congestion and traffic. In Australia, we are not used to seeing outward poverty, this is something I am getting used to and wish did not exist.
Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Am I allowed to say eat three times? Three typical weekend activities include meeting with family to laugh and eat, going to Sikh Gurudwara (temple) to meet family and eat, going shopping which will ultimately end in eating!
What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
Melaka, it is where my grandfather settled in Malaysia from India. I love that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has that small town feel compared to KL. Highlights are getting pineapple jam tarts, walking through old Melaka town and the Portuguese Settlement, and eating Nyonya food.
Describe a memorial eating experience you have had here.
Nasi Kandar in Penang. Such a different eating experience, an array of beautiful food on display including whole fried fish heads staring up at me, eyes and all!
What do you miss most about your home country?
Sleeping in with a thick blanket on a cold morning – no air-conditioning needed!
What advice do you have for newly arrived expats?
Get out there and give lots of experiences a go; people are friendly, and you can always bond over food, so that is always a winner. Be safe and aware, try to travel with someone if possible.
Is Malaysia a good place to raise children? Why?
Wherever there is family support is a good place to raise children, so if you have that in Malaysia, it would be a good place.
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