A Brit recruiting in Malaysia & China; My journey so far; Part 1

…It all started in mid-January this year. I said my final goodbyes to my family not knowing when I was going to see them again, apart from knowing that I will be able to meet up with my youngest daughter who the day before had left to attend University in Hong Kong.

As my Father drove me from Southampton to Heathrow Airport, I was wondering what life lay ahead of me. A couple of hours later I was boarding a Malaysian Airline plane and I was on my way to Kuala Lumpur to commence my new career with Hexamatics. I had never met my CEO before or any of my new colleagues so as always when working abroad it is a “leap of faith” for all concerned.

After previously living and working in Singapore it was good to be back in Asia. The first thing that hits you in Malaysia is apart from how friendly the people are is the heat. After coming from a shivering 5 Degrees in Southampton to a tropical 28 degrees in Kuala Lumpur, I was feeling healthier already. Little did I know what was in store for me later.

I made my way down to the Coach Station and bought my ticket to Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya. It was half an hour to wait so I invested in my first cup of Chaa. If you like tea with Carnation milk then this will refresh you instantly. It went down well and soon the bus arrived for PJ. I then hailed a cab 45 minutes later and for an extra £1.50 I arrived in good time for the Saturday festivities. I had already pre-booked my budget hotel and was met with a warm, lovely smile by a Chinese Malaysian receptionist. She welcomed with “Hello Mr Palmer, we have been expecting you”. I felt like James Bond for a minute, just for a minute. It was Saturday night I am back in recruitment and time to go out and hit the town. I quickly found a bar showing English Premiership football and persuaded the Manager to show my beloved Saints as the main match. Whilst sipping a cold Tiger, watching SFC, munching on pub chips and chatting to the friendly locals, it felt good to be back.

The next day, up bright and early to go for a run, it was Sunday morning, I always run on a Sunday morning what possibly could go wrong? Off I went at 7.30am before the sun came up. After 20 minutes, I knew I was in trouble as I could myself overheating. A quick U-turn was required and I wearily made my way back to the hotel looking like Captain Beetroot. I felt like a thousand soldier ants were attacking my body and of course I was suffering from heatstroke. The only remedy was air con down to 19 degrees, drink water, damp towel on the back of the neck and lay on the bed until the rash subsides.

I soon recovered and a reconnaissance mission was required to locate my new work environment as I did not want to be late for the next morning. A friendly Nepalese security guard kindly piloted me to the front door of the office. The hotel staff informed me that a free bus that would take me to Jaya One and I was all set for my first day at Hexamatics. All this and I had not even sent a CV yet !

To be continued.