Monica: The Yum List
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Kuala Lumpur, etc.
I’m an Aussie expat who has been abroad for the past 16 years. Prior to KL I had posts in Singapore and South America. I originally moved to Kuala Lumpur on a two year contract at the end of which I renewed for “just one more year”. I soon got hooked by the golden handcuffs of Malaysia and have been saying, “just one more year” ever since. This is now my tenth year in KL.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
The Yum List started as an attempt to collate the online chitter chatter about food and travel from my expat colleagues. Our online bulletin board constantly featured questions and recommendations about where to stay and eat in the region. I thought I’d take all of that information and put it in one place where all of us could share our favourite spots. Everyone encouraged me saying it was a great idea, but when it came to actually do the work of writing and uploading, I got a long list of recommendations for what I should write about. It started as a bit of fun, but has now turned into a serious addiction and almost another full time job. ;-)
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
My most popular posts are often my summary articles where I collate a number of reviews into one post giving an overall picture of a topic. For example: Best Bubbly Brunches in Kuala Lumpur; where to eat, stay and spa in Penang etc. Those summaries and a host of others can be found by clicking on the Best of… tab and the Quick Getaways tab at the top of the blog.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Kuala Lumpur differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I’d already been living overseas for a number of years when I moved to Kuala Lumpur and I came directly from a country where life is much more dangerous, so KL was easy to adapt to.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Kuala Lumpur? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was young at the time and made lots of mistakes… but that’s how you become a better person … so no regrets! Still living life to its limits and making loads of mistakes and learning from every one of them.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I find humour is usually found after many situations in Malaysia. There are many frustrating moments that can be laughed about after the fact. But in the middle of it, it’s sometimes unbelievable how two people can view the same situation so differently. (I’m thinking house renovations and perspectives on where toilets should be placed etc.)
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Kuala Lumpur?
- Be positive.
- Have a sense of humour.
- Remember this is not your country. Treat people with respect and you will receive the same.
How is the expat community in Kuala Lumpur? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
My work surrounds me with expats so it’s almost like an instant family.
How would you summarize your expat life in Kuala Lumpur in a single, catchy sentence?
Fantastic food, frustrating traffic, fun friends and a whole lot of unexpected adventures.