Malaysia is expat's first choice

Malaysia is expat's first choice

If you ask Hans-Peter Ressel to choose between the Philippines and Malaysia to live in, Ressel's choice would definitely be Malaysia.

"I have always wanted to live and work in South-East Asia and when I was given a choice between the two countries, I picked Malaysia," said Vienna-born Ressel, who is of Austrian and Filipino descent.

Before being posted to the country by an Internet company, Ressel had visited Malaysia while he was on holiday in Singapore.

"My girlfriend and I stayed on for three weeks here and we truly enjoyed it," said the brown-eyed 31-year-old, who currently resides in St Mary's Residence, Kuala Lumpur.

Ressel loves Malaysia's tropical weather and is amazed at the cultural diversity and wide range of food in the country.

"It is a well-developed country and almost everyone speaks English. The influences of food from different parts of the world is evident and one can find almost anything hot out of the pan," he said, adding that food is what makes people come together on any occasion.

Apart from eating his regular steak, Ressel, who has been here for the past two years, said his favourite hawker centres in Kuala Lumpur were in Jalan Alor and Petaling Street.

"Having an office in Jalan Bukit Bintang is also convenient and taking a walk just to find new eateries is something that I enjoy doing.

"I like the true hawker experience in Jalan Alor. Food is tasty and it is a wonderful place to entertain friends from abroad," he said, reminiscing about his recent culinary adventures.

Ressel loves the Thai mango chicken, hot and spicy squid, red pepper beef and barbecued wings offered by the hawkers in the area.

As Malaysia is centrally located in the South-East Asian region, Ressel said it was definitely a good base for starting up businesses.

On his recent holiday experience, he said he enjoyed diving in Tioman and would love to check out Sipadan island in the near future.

"My girlfriend surprised me with a birthday treat to Berjaya Tioman Resort and we had a great time there," he said, adding that he also wanted to visit Penang, Sabah and Sarawak some time soon.

As playing golf is one of his favourite hobbies, Ressel said he and his friends would go to Bukit Jalil Golf and Country Club and Kinrara Golf and Country Club during weekends.

Apart from that, he spends his evenings working out in the gym or having a quiet dinner with his girlfriend.

On weekends, Ressel enjoys going to Pinchos, a Spanish restaurant and Pampas Grill and Bar in Changkat Bukit Bintang.

Ressel said the downside of living in Malaysia was the attitude of taxi drivers who, he said, made it difficult for foreigners.

"What is annoying is when they hike prices when it starts to rain or when they refuse to take you to your desired destination," he said, adding that taxi rates could go up two to three times more when it rained.

When asked if he intends to live in Malaysia for a longer period if the opportunity arises, Ressel said he definitely has that in mind, but would need to think it over carefully as he would be missing out on family gatherings and parties with friends.

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