This German Expat Shares His Experience Living in Malaysia

Expat Extract #3

Name: Paul Neukrich
Home Country: Germany
Designation/Industry/Company: Chef/Owner of The Food Studio
Marital Status: Single
Other countries you’ve lived in: Germany, Switzerland, UK, USA, Spain

What brought you to Malaysia?
I supposed just like most expats, what brought me to Malaysia was work. Fifteen years ago, I was employed by one of the leading Malaysian hotels for my very first posting on Pangkor Laut Island. Lo and behold, from that point onwards, I fell in love with this country and have since embraced it as home.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
One of the many things that I love about this country is the wide variety of food that is available anywhere and anytime of the day. Apart from that, I also like the relatively open market, the sunny weather, and of course, the fact that Malaysia’s central location makes travelling a lot more easier and enjoyable. Closer to home, what I dislike is when staff settles for mediocre service instead of excellence.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
My top three activities are spending time with my daughter, who gives me all the energy I need for my job, followed by outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and travelling. Last but not least would be exploring new food destinations.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
Due to the long hours and often hectic schedule of my job, my regional travels are somewhat confined to the surrounding areas of Kuala Lumpur. However, there are plenty of beautiful spots nearby, as long as they are not overcrowded. I love fresh air, and one place that springs to mind is Janda Baik, Cameron Highlands.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
Besides the usual dining experiences in the city, the most memorable experience was a beach BBQ we put together on a private beach front in Port Dickson, where I had the pleasure to cater for a group of guests from Germany and showcase the beauty of this country.

What do you miss most about your home country?
Of course coming from Germany, I am missing our famous breads and rolls very dearly. Same applies for the open fireplace in my living room, which is really nice during harsh winters back home.

What advice do you have for a newly arrived expat?
My advice would be to keep an open mind and remember very clearly, that while the country welcomes you, this is not your home country. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t forget the common sense you practise at home. As in any other country, if you want to go out and find negative points, you will find them. But then again, why are you here?

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia? Where would you like to go next, and why?
I have been in Malaysia for 15 years now and am not planning on leaving anytime soon. Destination-wise however, I am fascinated by New Zealand.


Read This: An Interview with an Expat from Denmark

Source: The Expat magazine June 2015

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