Meeting people as an expat in Penang

Unless you are a recluse you’ll probably want to make some friends here.

It’s likely that the only people you know are the people at the visa agency.  They are a great resource if you have any questions.

Well, if you move into a condo you can make the opportunity to meet your fellow residents.  The kind of people living there can be one factor to take into account when choosing where you live.

If you are religious, try out different churches until you find one that suits you.

There are several Rotary clubs and Lions clubs in Penang, and if you were a member in another country you would probably fit right in.  There are at least two Toastmasters clubs in Penang that I am aware of.

Peruse the local papers: the Sun and the Star have announcements of clubs’ activities.  The free Expat magazine also announces club meetings. Just attend anything of interest and see how it works out.  It’s easy enough to leave even part way through a meeting if you think it is just not for you. I have seen plenty of people do that. So you have little to lose.

You could also try hosting couchsurfers or join in some of their activities – this has worked for me.
Couchsurfing site.  There are plenty of couchsurfing members in Penang.

With www.meetup.com, if you can’t find a group to join, you can create one easily. I am thinking of doing just that, because the only group in Penang I found on it was a Futures trading group.

There are also clubs such as the Penang Club, Penang Swimming Club, and the Penang Sports Club, but these require a substantial investment to join.

And if you are interested in learning languages, at Alliance Francais they hold lessons in French and Bahasa; at the Malaysian German Society, German, of course.

Many women seem to join dance classes and meet many locals that way.

Otherwise, just be open to meeting people whenever you are out, and it can sometimes happen.

Ich schreibe meinen Blog über Penang auf schrecklichen Deutsch – my German life in Penang

Neue Version – meine Lehrerin hat es korrigiert.

Es macht mir viel Spaß, Deutsch zu lernen. Eigentlich macht es mir viel Spaß, für mich Fremdsprachen zu lernen. Jetzt lerne ich Deutsch, und deshalb muss ich üben.

Ich möchte über mein deutsches Leben in Penang schreiben.

1. Zuerst versuche ich, zwei Stunden  jeden Tag Deutsch zu lernen.

2. Zweitens fahre ich samstags zur Malaysian German Society, um Unterricht zu nehmen. Vor dem Unterricht üben ein Kommilitone und ich eine Stunde, Deutsch zu sprechen.


3. Drittens lese ich ein bisschen deutsche Zeitschriften und sehe deutsche Filme ohne Untertitel.

4. Viertens mache ich zu Hause Sauerkraut und das essen wir mit Wurst, Kartoffeln und Bier. Wir kaufen die Wurst bei Tesco.


5. Fünftens essen wir manchmal in deutschen Restaurants. Im Moment gibt es viele deutsche Restaurants in Penang, aber ich esse am liebsten bei Ingolffs.

platter for two at Ingolfs - oops, in English

6. Sechstens trinke ich Bier auf dem Oktoberfest, das man hier im Oktober feiert. Es gibt verschiedene Oktoberfeste in Penang, aber das berühmteste Oktoberfest ist bei MGS. Letztes Jahr waren auch Oktoberfeste in E & O Hotel und anderen Hotels.

MGS Oktoberfest

viele Leute - MGS Oktoberfest, 2008

E & O Oktoberfest 2011

E & O 2011

And, in English, what I am trying to say in German:

It’s fun learning German. Actually I like learning foreign languages. Right now I am studying German, and I have to practice. So I want to talk about the  German part of my life in Penang.

  1. I try to study German for two hours a day
  2. On Saturdays I go to the Malaysian German Society for my German lesson. For one hour before the lesson I practice speaking German with one of my fellow students.
  3. I read German magazines a little, and watch German films without subtitles.
  4. I make sauerkraut at home and eat it with sausages and potatoes and beer. We buy the sausages at Tesco.
  5. We sometimes eat out at German restaurants.  There are many now in Penang, but I prefer Ingolfs.
  6. I drink beer at the Oktoberfest, which is held here in October. There are many Oktoberfests in Penang, but the most famous one is at MGS. Last year there were Oktoberfest celebrations at the E & O Hotel and other hotels.


Für mich ist es viel Spaß Deutsch lernen. Eigentlich, ist es viel Spaß für mich Fremdsprachen zu lernen.  Jetzt lerne ich Deutsch, und deshalb müss ich üben.   Ich will über mein deutsche Leben in Penang schrieben.

1. Zuerst, versuche ich zwei Stunden  jeden Tag Deutsch lernen.

2. Zweite, fahre ich am Samstags zu Malaysian German Society um meiner Lektion zu nehmen. Für eine Stunde bevor die Lektion, übe ich mit meinem Kommilitone Deutsch zu sprechen.

3. Dritte, lese ich ein bißchen deutsche Zeitschrifte, und sehe ich deutsche Filme ohne Untertitel.

4. Vierte, mache ich Sauerkraut zu Hause, und essen wir mit Wurst, Kartoffeln und Bier. Wir kaufen die Wurst bei Tesco.

5. Fünfte, essen wir manchmal in deutschen Restaurants. In moment gibt es viele deutsche Restaurants in Penang, aber ich esse lieber bei Ingolffs.

6. Sechste, trinke ich Bier in dem Oktoberfest, dem in Oktober hier feieren. Es gibt verschiedene Oktoberfesten in Penang, aber das berühmtesten Oktoberfest is am MGS. Letztes Jahr waren auch Oktoberfesten in E & O Hotel, und anderes Hotels.

Japanese note / 日本のノート; 盆踊り

Checking my blog statistics I was very surprised to note that I had such a large number of visitors today. And the majority were from Japan.


I don’t know why. I haven’t written about Japan, or in Japanese. I did write about Korean food, though.

So, I will mention a couple of things concerning Japanese. Tomorrow, Sunday 25th March there is a Japanese theme at the monthly Upper Penang Road market.

A lot of Japanese do live in Penang.  More Japanese took up the MM2H visa than any other nationality last year. And many live here on tourist visas for part of the year, and live in Japan for the rest of the year.

Otherwise, my favourite Japanese restaurant here is Miraku, in the G Hotel on Gurney drive. Miraku details. But for all you can eat salmon sashimi, then the E&O lunch buffet is probably impossible to beat.

And my favourite Japanese event of the year is the Bon-Odori festival, held around mid- July.

A couple of photos from last year’s event.

Bon Odori


Alternative Media this week

MSG can be tough to avoid unless you always eat at home using fresh ingredients, and avoiding anything packaged.  This article tells you what damage MSG does to your body.

MSG damages your health

From http://www.naturalnews.com/035243_Russell_Blaylock_MSG_interview.html

Dr “Blaylock said MSG was first used in military rations to give them better taste, but soon after the substance was adopted by the entire food industry, to include baby food.

He said the first evidence that the additive was harmful was the development among some of the “MSG syndrome,” in which people affected “would have flushing of their face, heart palpitations, sometimes pain going down their arms and episodes of GI discomfort and diarrhea.”

“Those were the obvious symptoms,” he continued. “What was discovered after that … is that there was silent damage to the brain in which there were few symptoms. But over time, we saw destruction of major portions of the brain – things that could cause Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s” and other brain ailments.

And he said that, while it wasn’t possible to see that kind of damage with the naked eye, the evidence of damage shows up under the microscope.”

Interesting thoughts or articles I noticed from the alternative media this week. I don’t endorse or dismiss the ideas – and in many cases I have been aware of these ideas for years, but perhaps there is additional information or there is something new.