An Interview with a French Expat in Malaysia


Name: Souvignet Xavier
Home Country: France
Occupation: Embassy of France in Malaysia
Marital Status: Married with 1 child

What brought you to Malaysia?
I decided on a move so I could train to become a chef. It was while I was contemplating on where to go that I decided on Malaysia. I felt it would be a great place to hone my cooking skills, as well as to improve on my English. I have been here for the past eight years.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
Like many expats will agree, there are many reasons to like Malaysia but two merits that stand out the most are the diversity of culture and the food. What I dislike the most is the traffic. There is no getting around the traffic congestion, which seems to me is getting worse with every passing year.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
The tropical climate in Malaysia makes it possible for me to enjoy outdoor activities such as having a BBQ with friends, watching a rugby game at the neighbourhood bar and taking a vacation on a local island. Sunny weather, blue skies and great company makes my weekends rather enjoyable.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
Among the many holiday destinations in Malaysia I like Cameron Highlands for the fresh air and that it allows me to get close to nature.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
One of my most memorable eating experiences would be eating durian for the first time. The first time I sampled durian, I remember being put off by the repulsive smell and strange texture. However, someone later introduced me to good quality durian, and now I quite enjoy it.

What do you miss most about your home country?
I miss the cheese, wine, and snow.

What advice do you have for a newly-arrived expat?
There is not much advice to give out, what I can say is that a newly-arrived expat should enjoy himself/herself by visiting the many places of interest in the country. Some holiday destinations are perfect for even a weekend getaway.

Is Malaysia a good country to raise children? Why?
Not really, as good schooling is expensive.


Is Malaysia a good place in which to work and do business? Why?
Yes, it’s a growing and developing country with many opportunities.

Read This: Expat Interview: Felicity Brown

Source: The Expat Magazine April 2015

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