Expat Sabrina Wezel Shares Her Experience Living in Penang

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Sabine Wezel

Sabine lives in Penang with her husband and two of their three children. She has a practice as a therapist and coach and you can read more about her work at

I came to Penang with my husband, who is working for OSRAM, three years ago. We plan to stay for another two, so there’s plenty of time to follow my personal and professional experiences. My practice is what I love to do, and I am dedicated to it. I am a German-trained Coach for Business and also for personal development, as well as an Psychotherapist. I am a holder of the World Certificate for Psychotherapy. My main approach is NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) and systemic work, such as constellation work – a group process to get detached from former traumas and old limiting beliefs to improve the efficiency of work, or family life. In the last few years I added on more skills and techniques in the field of mind and body work so as to offer my clients a holistic approach. My latest interest is BodyTalk, and last year I took a training in Singapore in it and also intercultural coaching, so I can combine my private and professional experience.

Living in Penang has been an interesting experience; I was confronted with a different language and different cultures and daily new challanges to handle. The awareness of holistic health approaches is not so widespread as it is in Germany, so I have had to find a lot of niches.

The mix of cultures here is an interesting and challanging experience. In a way it’s a free intercultural training. I enjoy seeing Chinese medicine, the acupuncturists you can find on street corners and the yoga services all over George Town. It’s great to see the visible spirituality in the daily life, all the temples and the peaceful living of different cultures side by side.

Of course there are downsides such as the traffic! I also notice that environmental thinking has not so much priority yet, e.g., banana leaf packages get exchanged with plastic, or coconut water is put into Tetrapac, or peeled fruits are packed in plastic. I long to tell people about a recently opened award-winning supermarket in Berlin called «unpacked». I am also sad about all the new high-rise condos in the beach front line, which end up half empty and in 30 years, the people will cry about the lost beaches.

You have to hike up Penang Hill, pass Kek Lok Si Temple in Ayer Itam and go through the jungle, and enjoy the view from the top. Go to the beaches in the Penang National Park in Telok Bahang.

And, of course, walk around George Town and enjoy the heritage buildings. I really like Gusto Café near my home in Tanjong Bunga. It’s got homemade sausages and strong coffee, and you always meet nice people there. If you’re in George Town, try the Bagels at Mug Shot in Chulia Street. I really like the friends who cook professionally at home, like ”Let´s cook with Inge and Sapur” and “Dine with me of Judy”. You get really home-cooked food on a professional level, with no MSG and all ingredients are fresh.

We don’t own property, because we are in Penang for a limited time, and too young as yet for Malaysia My Second Home. After more then three years in Penang, I have experienced really reliable local friendship as well as friendship with expats. But I still miss the seasons in my home country!


Read This: Expat Interview: Neeraj Gulati

Source: The Expat Magazine December 2014

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