An Australian Expat in Malaysia Shares His Experience Living Here

Lamu 2007 (5)

Name: Donald Daniels
Home Country: Australia
Marital Status: Married
Other countries you’ve lived in: Papua New Guinea, Thailand

What brought you to Malaysia?
I moved from Thailand after the military took over the country. Why did I choose Malaysia? Purely and simply because I am a fanatic when it comes to food, and if I can’t have my thai somtam, I’ll happily settle for nasi lemak and roti canai!

What do you like and dislike about living here?
What I like about Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur, is the happy chaos of Jalan Alor, the madness of Chinatown, and the exotic smells and sounds of Little India. I love the cries of the Muezzins from various mosques around the city, especially at dawn, and the utter bedlam of Changkat on a Friday night. Like the locals, I too dislike the traffic congestion that has become a norm, as well as the growing media censorship.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Weekends are reserved for relaxation, therefore I like to spend it going to Sunday champagne brunch, having dim sum, as well as meeting and catching up with friends.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
My favourite in Malaysia is Kota Kinabalu. It is an amazing little colonial city surrounded by tropical jungle, hiking trails, and glorious vistas. I also love Melaka for the rich heritage. Outside of Malaysia, I really like Macau and Myanmar.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
One of the most memorable is when I had The Mad Hatters Sunday Champagne Brunch at Shook! In Starhill Gallery. It was simply amazing food, unlimited champagne, and absolute fun.

What advice do you have for a newly arrived expat?
The best way to learn about a place and culture is to be amongst the people, and this can be achieved through various tours and walks organized by DBKL. Go walking around the backstreets of Chinatown, Little India, and Kampung Baru. Wander around, get lost (you can always find a taxi), smile at people, ask questions, and just enjoy the environment!

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia? Where would you like to go next, and why?
I’m happy to stay as long as the political situation is stable and does not impinge on my life.

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Source: The Expat magazine September 2015

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