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An Austria Expat Living in Malaysia Shares His Experience

Expat Extract #3

Name: Sigi Bierbaumer
Home Country: Austria
Designation/Industry/Company: General Manager of Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, Johor
Marital Status: Married
Other countries you’ve lived in: United States of America, Philippines, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia

What brought you to Malaysia?
I had been in Malaysia in 1992 in Penang for three years, so when the opportunity to come back came along we jumped on it right away, since we liked our last posting very much here in Malaysia. I was the preopening GM of the Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour which opened in June 2013. As of April 2015, it has been re-branded to Hotel
Jen Puteri Harbour.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
There are no dislikes, only likes. We love the weather, love the food, the golf courses and in general the people of Malaysia, who are very easy to work and get along with.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Most of the weekends you will find me with friends on the golf course, as golf is a game I really enjoy. Other than golfing, I enjoy traveling with my wife for short trips to Singapore, Penang, Bangkok, or places in Malaysia.

Describe a memorable eating experience you have had here.
It may sound clichéd but my favourite place to eat is actually in the SkyBar, Bar & Restaurant that is within the hotel. We have a very creative Chef who enjoys coming up with new and exciting dishes. Needless to say I also love all kind of Malaysian curries, and eating out at hawker stalls is an experience in itself. Penang would be one of my favourite places to eat local food.

Do you own property here? If so, where? If not, why?
No, we do not own property in Malaysia since we have years back decided to retire in Hua Hin Thailand, so we have built our retirement home there, and we still have a property in Austria.

What do you miss most about your home country?
I left Austria 33 years ago, and when I go back it’s the food what I miss most plus the fantastic wines Austrian wineries are producing. Strolling through Vienna during the summer time is also something that my wife and I really enjoy and miss.

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia? Where would you like to go next, and why?
Being with the Shangri-La Group for almost 24 years and now close to four years in Johor, I know a transfer will be likely to come very soon, and I am quite open for any destination as long as it is in Southeast Asia. The group has many exciting new property openings coming up within the next few years.

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Source: The Expat magazine December 2015




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