A German Chef Shares His Experience Living and Working in Malaysia

Expat Extract #1

Name: Christian Otto
Home Country: Berlin, Germany
Designation/Industry/Company: Brotzeit German Bier Bar Restaurant
Marital Status: Engaged
Other countries you’ve lived in: Austria

What brought you to Malaysia?
I have never worked outside Europe and was looking to expand my horizons. I have been to the Philippines before and thought Asia might be a good next step. It so happened at that time Brotzeit Malaysia was looking for another German Chef, and the rest is history!

What do you like and dislike about living here?
I am still finding my way around. With the traffic and the public transportation, it is time-consuming getting from one place to the other and if it rains, then traffic comes to a standstill. So, I could say that bit is the thing I like least about living in Malaysia. Being a Chef, I enjoy the heavenly variety of food available and the creativity in mixing east and west cuisines. I love the local offerings as well and the single thing I enjoy most is the warm weather (minus the haze, of course).

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Relaxing and taking it easy, going out and trying new places to eat, and last but not least, spending time with my loved one.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
The Penang fried oysters! I have had oysters but never done in this way. The combination of flavours is just amazing!

What do you miss most about your home country?
Naturally, I miss my family and friends, as well as the convenient public transportation system.

What advice do you have for a newly arrived expat?
Take your time to settle in, and especially take your time to find a place to stay, preferably one that is central and easy to get around with public transportation if you don’t own a car. A bike would be good to avoid traffic during rush hour. Most importantly, you need to feel comfortable in the place you select.

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia? Where would you like to go next, and why?
I have a two-year contract with Brotzeit and am hoping to stay for a couple more years. No immediate plans at the moment, but I would like to gain as much experience as I can in this part of the world while I am living here.

Is Malaysia a good place in which to work and do business? Why?
Yes, I believe so. Malaysia is a good country for business, but I hope the current economic situation will improve. It has so much potential and the people are welcoming, so I don’t see why one would not want to work or do business here. Ask me again after two years!


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Source: The Expat magazine December 2015

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