An American Expat in Malaysia Shares His Experience

Expat Extract #2

Name: Bruce Depping
Home Country: USA
Designation/Industry/Company: Pharmaceutical Clinical Research (Retired)
Marital Status: Married

What brought you to Malaysia?
Since marrying an Ipoh girl 16 years ago, I have travelled extensively in Malaysia. The warm climate, friendly people, excellent healthcare, good exchange rate, and MM2H program, all combined to make it a simple choice for me to pick Malaysia as my retirement destination.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
The cultural diversity and subsequent wide variety of ethnic foods are fuel for my passion of new and different experiences. Also the thriving Christian community here has welcomed me with open arms and open hearts. This fellowship has helped me to quickly adjust to the Malaysian culture. What I dislike most is the reckless driving here, especially when cars come at you from the wrong direction!

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Every day is a weekend for me. I belong to a private club, so my weekly activities include swimming, gym workouts, badminton, and social dancing. I also take tai chi classes three times a week and enjoy taking a stroll in the big open park which is next to my home. Best of all is meeting up with friends to experience new eating destinations.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
I like the seaside resorts such as Langkawi, Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Redang, and Pulau Tioman because they are relaxing and quiet. I also especially enjoy the cooling climate of Cameron Highlands and picking strawberries there that are so fresh they stain my fingers red.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
I enjoy all kinds of spicy foods. The hotter it is, the better I like it. There is such a rich variety of food and restaurants to choose from that I will never run out of options here. Having said that, every now and then I find I have a craving for a good tasty steak. This is when I must go to a fine dining restaurant called Citrus and indulge myself in one of their fabulously prepared Australian steaks.

Do you own property here? If so, where? If not, why?
My wife and I recently moved into our new semi-detached home in Ipoh. We chose to buy a home in Ipoh because my wife’s family lives there and properties in Ipoh are not as expensive as KL or Penang.

What do you miss most about your home country?
The thing I miss most is sitting on the grass under the stars listening to a free rock concert on a warm summer night. Also camping out at weekend folk festivals and dancing until 2 in the morning.

What advice do you have for a newly arrived expat?
You should always keep an open mind and an open heart when dealing with new experiences. Strive to meet new people from different cultures, listen, and learn from them. Joining a social club or an organised activity will help to integrate you into the community.


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Source: The Expat magazine October 2015

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