Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Settling in Back Home
It has been about seven months since I left Penang to move back home to the US, so I thought I should write a note here. We have settled in to our new home in Upstate New York State in the US, a country like setting just outside of Rochester.We have a big house with quite a bit of land, including a pool, decks, gardens and 2 puppies. I didn't realize how much I missed having a yard, a garden and a dog! Autumn is here and the leaves are beginning to change color giving us beautiful views wherever you go. It's so nice to have 4 distinct seasons again. After this past winter here I realized that I would rather have a few months of very cold snowy weather than have 12 months of extreme heat and humidity. With winter approaching we are looking forward to the coziness and comfort of our fireplace.
I have discovered that the cost of living where we now live is actually cheaper than in Penang. Food, gasoline, housing, clothing, alcohol and consumer goods are all cheaper. Even though Penang had a variety of good South Asian food, I missed European and American food, such as Greek, Italian and Mexican. I do miss Curry Mee, but we have found quite a variety of authentic Chinese, Korean, Indian, Thai and Japanese food here. There are a number of Asian grocery stores here that have everything found in Malaysia, including durian! So if we don't eat out we can make it ourselves. One aspect of back home that I missed was the variety of consumer goods. There are many, many more brands to chose from here and the prices are a fraction of the cost in Penang. Our car cost a mere fraction of what it would have in Malaysia too.
Last month I had emergency gall bladder surgery for a problem that was misdiagnosed in Penang and it was all paid for by my Medicare. I was constantly worried about getting sick and needing surgery in Malaysia, especially with my money tied up in a fixed deposit under MM2H. Sure medical costs are more expensive here, but the quality is excellent and I am covered by Medicare. Kevin is settling in and is a bit overwhelmed by the educational choices offered to him here.He also likes the cold and snow.
I feel as though we made the right choice by moving. It's not perfect, but if you don't like things you can complain, criticize the government without reprisal and vote to make yourself heard. I do not regret for one minute the 7 years I lived in Penang. It just wasn't for me. I do miss the people there and also chatting over lunch at the local food court, but I am sure I will return to visit Penang on occasion. Most likely I will not be posting here any more, but if anyone is interested in following my adventures you can read my other blog, Steveso Thinks. Thank you.