An Interview with an Expat from England

Warren Robert

Name: Warren Barlow
Home Country: England
Designation/Industry/Company: IT Consultant, International Bank
Marital Status: Married, two children
Other countries you’ve lived in: England and Switzerland

What brought you to Malaysia?
It was a great job opportunity to continue the progression of an existing off-shore IT team into a Centre of Excellence recognised globally within the company that brought me here. The job offered the chance to understand the challenges of working in an off-shore team (off-shore from a UK perspective) with a seven to eight hour time difference from the UK.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
I love that I live really close to work, and the people I work with are great. I love the weather and being in a city which is multicultural and has great food. However, I find that the old diesel buses with their clouds of black fumes are a real problem, and ideally should be removed from the streets.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
I love chilling around the pool, of course, and cycling in the early morning when the weather is cooler and the traffic has yet to build. I am also a sports fan, so being able to watch UK sports like football and rugby in KL on weekend evenings on Changkat is great.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
I was here last year and spent most of travelling time exploring Malaysia. This year I will probably go further afield. In Malaysia, from a beach perspective, Tanjung Jara on the east coast is great. From there I visited a small island called Tengol, which was lovely and unspoilt. Last year I visited Penang four times. The water quality could be better, but Batu Feringghi is a nice sweep of sand with good hotels, and my favourite is the Lone Pine. There are also lots of things to do in and around George Town. The national park is a great place to hike, and the view from the Lighthouse down the west coast is fantastic. Of course the food is not bad, either!

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
Two weeks ago, I may have had a little too much to drink, and when heading down to Jalan Alor for a nice Thai meal, I somehow ended up eating a deep fried frog at one of the street vendors! It was very nice… at least from what I remember.

Do you own property here? If so, where? If not, why?
No. I will only be here for two years, so I don’t think it is a wise move to buy property.

What do you miss most about your home country?
My wife and children. We have decide not to relocate because the children are very settled in good schools (I know there are good schools in the KL also, but we decided to keep them where they are happy now). I travel back to UK four to five times per year and my family visit on school holidays. I also miss my friends, real beer, the four seasons, real beer, cricket… oh, and did I mention, real beer?

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia? Where would you like to go next, and why?
The plan is that I will be here for two years. After that, I will probably head back home as I’m missing out on my children’s growing up moments.


Is Malaysia a good place in which to work and do business? Why?
I cannot say what it is like running a business in KL, but working for an international company during a period of significant investment in developing the local technical delivery teams is very rewarding.

Read This: Expat Interview: Jeff Sjurseth

Source: The Expat magazine June 2015

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