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  • Expat of the Week #43 – Meet Amy Blair, from Selangor, Malaysia
  • Ryan Blair

Expat of the Week #43 – Meet Amy Blair, from Selangor, Malaysia

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1. WHERE IS HOME AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW? WHERE DID YOU MOVE FROM?

I am originally from Texas in the USA.  I currently reside in Selangor (Kota Damansara).

2. HOW LONG AGO DID YOU MOVE? WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MAKE THE MOVE?

My husband and I moved to Malaysia almost 6 years ago. We were newly married and wanted to live abroad. Malaysia is a great place to pursue business and raise a family.

3. WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST FROM HOME?

As America is literally on the other side of the world, I miss regular contact with our families and friends. And of course, good Tex Mex food.

4. WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE THE MOST IN YOUR NEW ADOPTED COUNTRY?

I appreciate the value of family in Malaysia and the diversity of cultures.

5. HOW DID YOU MAKE NEW FRIENDS IN YOUR NEW HOME?

When we first moved to Malaysia, I took a 3 month course in Bahasa Malaysia. After that I would try to make friends everywhere I went with the popular phrase “Dah makan?” (Have you eaten yet?)

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT HERE? FAVOURITE EXPAT BAR?

My favorite restaurant is Souled Out as it’s a great restaurant for a family or date night with a good menu and fun atmosphere.

7. FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?

My favorite place in the world is being with our families at their homes in Texas, especially considering those times are few and far between.

8. HOW OFTEN DO YOU GO BACK TO YOUR HOMETOWN?

We try to go back to Texas once a year

9. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACED WHEN YOU MOVED?

Even though many people in Malaysia speak English, I found that culturally, we do not always understand one another.

10. AND THE NICEST SURPRISES?

This region is full of fantastic places to travel and relax just when you think you can’t take any more traffic jams. I love the beauty of nature here.

11. ANY TIPS FOR BEATING HOME SICKNESS?

You have to find a personal purpose in your life here. Surround yourself with friends, both local and expat, and purpose. Volunteer, start a business, take up a new sport. Do something more than count down the days until your next visit home. Make Malaysia your home while you are here.

12. HOW DO YOU OCCUPY YOUR TIME? DO YOU HAVE A JOB?

I started a fair trade business called The Batik Boutique focused on promoting both batik fabrics and hand made products by local Malaysian women.  It started as a hobby to help a single mom, but now we sell our products both within Malaysia and abroad.

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13. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR FREE TIME (IN YOUR ADOPTED PLACE)?

I spend most of my free time hanging out with my husband and two sons (4 year old and 1.5 years old). And I enjoy a little me time taking classes at my local gym or a having a coffee with a friend.

14. IS THIS IT FOR YOU? OR IS THERE A NEW DESTINATION?

I hope to spend many more years in Malaysia. It is a difficult transition to move to other countries. Now that we have young children, I’m content to stay here as long as we are able.

15. WOULD YOU SHARE SOMETHING EMBARRASSING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU AS AN EXPAT (BUT THAT MAKES YOU SMILE WHEN YOU LOOK BACK)?

When I was first studying Bahasa, I had a difficult time remembering some words. If I had a headache, I used to always say that My “kelapa” hurt. I wondered why people were snickering at me. Finally a friend corrected me and told me I should use the word “kepala” and not “kelapa” which means coconut. No wonder people were confused when I said my coconut hurt!

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Picking out fabrics

 

  • Ryan Blair

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