By Bradley Clippinger, Bechtel, Malaysia…
Arrived in Lumut, Malaysia on Feb. 13, 2013. Been here 6 months now. I will be here for 2 more years. The culture is amazing – 70% Malay, 20% Chinese and 10% Indian. They all interact and get along very well. The rest of the world can learn from this society. Living Abroad’s culture information has been extremely helpful in the business arena and outside in the personal world.
Work is very busy working a 60 hour workweek which includes 10 hour Saturdays! But when there is some down time, the local area here in Lumut is interesting. It basically is a fishing village that is growing rapidly – with companies here such as Bechtel, Chevron, Worley Parsons, etc. But the town is learning to abide with us expats. There are two or three good restaurants – Capri is Italian and the Joot Joint is an expat bar/hangout. There are also some wonderful Indian and Chinese restaurants. The fish is great – right off the boat fresh!
Driving was a challenge at first as they drive on the ‘other’ side of the road from the US. Now I am so used to it I am a bit nervous to drive back in the US! I have had a chance to see parts of the country – which is one big jungle. Kuala Lumpur , the capital, is a nice city. Plenty of food and shopping. Penang is a great island resort about 3 hours north of Lumut. Great beaches and diving. Pangkor Laut is a 5 star resort about 15 min from Lumut. Incredible getaway – but bring your money – it’s not cheap.
Other than that, Malaysia is very affordable. Food is cheap – but alcohol is not – as a Muslim country it is heavily taxed – say about USD 45 for a case of beer. The housing in Lumut has been a pleasant surprise. Good western style homes and a good size. Great community and very safe. Malaysia in general is quite safe.