Indonesian Expat In Australia - Expat Interview With Anita McKay

Published: 3 Nov at 1 PM
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Filed: Interviews,Australia
Anita McKay is a project manager who specialises in commercial fit-out construction. Currently taking a break from work, she enjoys traveling (she's been to 21 countries so far and counting), playing with her cat, photography and food (the weirder the better!) After a brief period studying in Sydney, Australia, she went back to her home country, Indonesia, to work. In 2007 she moved to Aberdeen, Scotland and stayed there for 2 years. She is now living in Perth, Australia. Anita's expat blog is called Finally Woken (see listing here)

Knowing Moldova

Here's the interview with Anita...

Where are you originally from?

In which country and city are you living now?
Australia, Perth

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I moved in November 2009. My husband's contract is up to this month (!!!) but the company is drafting another contract for him to stay for another term (3-4 years).

Why did you move and what do you do?
Husband's got a job offer. I went back to work to Indonesia for almost a year last year but I'm currently enjoying being a lady of leisure!

Knowing MoldovaDid you bring family with you?
No, it's just husband and me.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
Too easy. Much easier than living in Aberdeen, Scotland. The only downside is the summer heat that can reach 45C.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Too easy. There are (too) many Indonesians living in Perth! Some are married with the locals, some are trailing wives like me. Apart from Indonesians, I only have a handful of friends from different nations.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Food! Perth is surprisingly surrounded by a lot of good restaurants and cafes. I still cannot find a bad coffee here. The weather also makes everyone enjoys eating alfresco all the time. For children, the outdoor activities are a big attraction. I have to warn future expats though that Perthians are a bit crazy. They'd get up at 4 AM, go for a swim, surfing, kayaking, cycling etc, then go to work, then jog back home after office hour. Even the children are still out on the fields playing sports at 8 PM.

Knowing MoldovaWhat do you enjoy most about living here?
The laid back lifestyle. Also the Perthians and the weather (sans summer!) are very nice. Even winter is just mildly cold.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
Perth is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Having said that, Jakarta is also very expensive!

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
As above. Yesterday I spent over 200 bux for groceries shopping, mainly veggies and just a couple of sausages and several cleaning products. Shocking!

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Work in mining or oil and gas. The economic booming in WA is driven by those industries.

Knowing MoldovaWhat has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Still cannot find a job even though I worked for the biggest real estate consultancy firm in the world back in Jakarta!!

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I went back for year to work last year. Jakarta has changed a lot and I've coped alright, although I couldn't stand the traffic jam anymore.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
Don't be judgmental, no prejudice, open to new ideas/people/food/cultures, be patient as the adjustment and settlement process will always take time, find friends - they will make your life much easier!

Knowing MoldovaTell us a bit about your own expat blog.
The blog was set up in 2005 right before I met my husband so in the beginning it talked about relationships. By the time I moved to Aberdeen, I encountered a lot of culture shock moments, some are funny, all are funny NOW (and definitely NOT funny when it happened), so I started writing about my experience there. It continues until now.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Email me at finallywoken{dot}blog{at}gmail-dot-com

A little info on the pictures used in this interview...
Picture 1: The pic was taken last month when I was back in Aberdeen. I was wearing blue sleeveless top. On my left is an Indonesian friend I met in Aberdeen, who has moved to Houston (USA) and now is living in Saudi Arabia. On my right is my best friend who has moved from Perth to Aberdeen.
Picture 2: It was my best friend's wedding in Aberdeen, Scotland, and we all wore traditional Javanese dress called "kebaya" and the fabric with batik patterns on the bottom. I introduced her to her husband at my wedding party in Bali in 2008. Her husband was one of the groomsmen and is my husband's best friend (they've known each other since they're 5!). I was on the far right of the picture.
Picture 3: My recent trip to Spain in April 2012.
Picture 4: The pic was taken in Rotterdam in 2009. I was with all Indonesian expat ladies/bloggers who live in NL and Belgium.
Picture 5: The first gathering I hosted at my place in Perth. I was wearing yellow top.

Anita has her expat blog called Finally Woken which is very worthy of a visit. She can be found on Twitter @finallywoken. Finally Woken has an listing here which would love a nice review if you can spare a quick moment! If you liked this interview with Anita, please also drop her a quick note below.
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