Morcote in the Italian part of Switzerland
The lovely lady with a big smile from Emm in London is in the mood to interview fellow bloggers. I've volunteered and this is the end result.
Emm, as she's confessed, is a South African living in London. Her blog is all about her adventures in the UK and the holidays she takes. She is curious and energetic - these are great assets frequently shown in her travel posts.
If you're a TV addict, book worm, movie freak cum music lover, you should not miss Emm's Emm Media. Here you'll be able, amongst all other things, to pick a movie to watch based on Emm's review.
If you're into current affairs, Emm also runs a blog called A passion to understand. It's a collection of current affairs and selected news which has caught Emm's attention. She then publishes the story in her blog with a twist of her own added flavour.
Emm is also a very special person as far as my blog is concerned - she is by far my first ever follower! Hooray!!
Now let's find out what Emm would like to know about me. Ahem, here we go........
1. What made you start blogging? Did you have other friends that had blogs or did you spend time reading other people's blogs and decide it was for you?
In 2007, a colleague introduced me to a blog written by a Taiwanese woman living in Switzerland. Through reading her blog I found out that she could manage to earn a decent income by writing about her daily life and compiling the written posts into books. She then proceeds to sell her books on the net.
And at that time I thought: Hmm, I can do that!
But as you can see, currently I am still stuck at the stage where I'm writing about my daily life.....but then, blogging is fun. It combines my love affair with words and photography. That's why I'll keep doing it in the foreseeable future although it's far from rewarding financially.
2. What did you think about moving to a foreign country the first time you did it? Had you done lots of travelling before that? How did you fit in?
The first time I left Malaysia, it was for me to go for further studies in London. It was daunting as I had not done much travelling before that. I was foolhardy, totally unstreetwise and I was only 18. I remember the first time I went out with an English boy. He came to my flat with half a dozen of Foster's beer and a box of condom. I was expecting flowers and romance and turned out that he was only interested in sex! What a shock for an 18 years old looking for love!
My second move was from Malaysia to Switzerland after getting married with Petty. With my smooth London experience, I thought it would be easy peasy to live in another European city. But as it turned out, Zurich is NOT London! It's not just another European city. To start with, I had to start learning a new language. i.e. German. In my first year in Zurich, I couldn't even get our local butcher to cut my sirloin steak at a certain thickness. The first time I cooked for Petty and his friends, I chose a piece of horse meat from the supermarket when all I wanted was a piece of beef fillet! Oh dear, those were the days. The unglamourous truth of living abroad.
Singapore city centre
3. I have been to Singapore but never to Malaysia. Are the countries similar or completely different?
Singapore and Malaysia are similar in many ways. Not to forget, not too long ago the two countries were part of the Federation of Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore, under the rule of the formidable Lee Kuan Yew, was expelled from the Federation to form the Republic of Singapore, after Mr. Lee's disagreement with the federal government in Kuala Lumpur.
Though similar in terms of geographical make up, the two countries are world apart when come to things like politics, population and cultural make up. To start with, At 707 sq. km, Singapore is the smallest country in South East Asia. Along with Monaco and Vatican City, it is also one of three remaining sovereign city states in the world. Malaysia, on the other hand, is a vast country with land area totalling 329,749 sq. km.
Politics-wise, Malaysia was established as a constitutional monarchy having the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (The Sultan) as the Head of State who assumes largely a ceremonial role. Singapore's political framework is based on a parliamentary republic whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government. Though largely seen as a democratic nation, Singapore has long been classified by the Economist's Intelligence Unit as being a hybrid model with democratic and authoritarian elements.
Both Singapore and Malaysia are multi racial nations. However, Singapore has a majority of Chinese in the make-up of its multi-racial population whereas Malaysia is a Muslim dominated society in which the Malays are the majority.
On a lighter note, Singapore is well known for its high rise government sponsored HDB flats whereas most Malaysians live in terraced landed-properties. Singapore has kiasuness - it literally means fear of losing. This is a unique Singaporean mentality. The adjective, kiasu, is mainly used to describe a social attitude of being afraid to lose out in a highly competitive society. Malaysians, with the Malays majority, are generally regarded as being more laid back and easy going by nature.
I guess I am boring you to death with all these dry facts. Let's move on to the next question.
Roach Reefs Resort in Tawau, Malaysia
4. What do you miss most about home? Do you ever visit? Would you like to return home eventually?
When I am out of Malaysia, first and foremost I miss my family dearly. Next comes all the local food, especially Malay food such as nasi lemak and sambal prawns. Since I moved to Singapore in July 2008, I took the opportunity twice to go back home to visit. First visit was to Kuala Lumpur to show my newborn, Piggy, to my mom and other family members. Second visit was to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family in Tawau - a small seaside town on the island of Sabah, otherwise known as North Borneo.
I doubt if I will ever return to Malaysia eventually as I've tried and tested my life in Switzerland and I do like my lifestyle there. When I am out of Switzerland, I miss my friends dearly, and of course the natural beauty of Switzerland is always on my mind no matter where I go.
5. Which country would you like to visit that you have never visited before? Which country would you never visit?
I love travelling. Currently my favourite countries to visit are America, Argentina and South Africa. To me, there isn't a country that I would never visit. Each and every country in this world is worth at least one visit in my lifetime.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now if you'd like to be interviewed:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
There you go. If you would like to be interviewed by me, please write to me at my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I shall then email you my questions. Have fun!