Drusilla, husband John and their dogs, a Patterdale Terrier and a Cocker Spaniel

Penang, Malaysia

How long have you been an Army family?
Married 12 years and together seven before that. I used to be a little bit wild, so it took seven years for John to pin me down.

Time in Malaysia:
We arrived in September 2016 and it will be too short, but isn’t that always the case? We chose this life of pay, pack and follow and I would have it no other way.

How many other military families live in Malaysia?
There are five UK families of mixed Service and a large antipodean presence.

What’s your quarter like?
Ginormous – a villa near the shore, reminiscent of Caribbean-inspired architecture. I need a scooter to get from the front door to the kitchen. The dogs love it in the garden and spend the days in staring matches with the monkeys.

Can spouses and partners work?
No, but who wants to when there’s paradise to explore?

Where do Army families get together?
There’s no social military infrastructure, so having made super Canadian, Aussie, Italian, German, Norwegian, British, Chinese and Penangese friends, we visit the plethora of local bars, restaurants, hawkers’ markets and festivals with them.

Who supports families?
The British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and, unofficially, new friends, the Penang Facebook pages or ex-pat blogs.

What’s the best thing about living in Malaysia?
Everything is strange, everything wonderful.  Frequently I look at the tropical trees, lush foliage, monitor lizards, monkeys, wet markets, trishaws, street food and batiks and I feel a cheesy grin on my face. And we haven’t even had time to explore beyond the island yet. Next month – orangutans in Borneo, then HaLong Bay in Vietnam.

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