Sunday, March 06, 2005

Mad Sailors

Matt Salleh means 'white guy' in Bahasa Malaysia. It is rumored that when he Limey's landed on the peninsula the locals called them 'Mad Sailors'. Thus, a slight mispronunciation of 'Mad Sailor' has evolved into 'Matt Salleh' and become synonymous with us whiteys. I like the name. In a self deprecating, sarcastic sort of way.. it's fun to be known as the stereo typical 'whitey' in these parts (which I hope I am not!= especially the 'ugly American')

During the summer of 2000 I lived homeless in Georgia. I was working a professional job and making a decent salary by day; sleeping on the ground by night. My comfort zones duly expanded, I sold everything I owned, paid off my debts and boarded a plane destined for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A beautiful Malaysian woman awaited me on the other side of the pond.

I didn't boarded the return flight. I've lived here for a little over 3.5 years now and never looked back.

Since then I've worked in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I've traveled to the Philippines, Singapore, Bali, Lombok, Bangkok, Dublin, London and various destinations in Malaysia. The list keeps growing.

My latest exploits include playing touch rugby and watching and sort of understanding cricket. I've added several mollusks and arthropods to my dietary intake, sampled various merlot, shiraz and cabernet bottles and loved it all. What I'm saying is that there is A LOT to see and EVEN MORE to learn once you escape anywhereville, USA.

The reason I say all this.. is that I never DREAMED any of this possible. Now that I'm doing it... it's pretty easy.. and I hope to stay abroad the rest of my days. I also hope more folks see that there is more to life than Wal-Mart, Mickey D's and a safe and comfortable existence. Get out and see the world!

Skald inspires me with his rants and I share his passions.

Unlike Skald though, I love my work. To me, teaching is not a chore or a job at all. It's a privilege. I also realize it's not for everyone, I'm lucky to be able to do it.

So I share what I know about science with students of all ages.

My travels usually include some sort of natural history focus. My writings follow suit.

So, to sum it up, give me a merlot, some 80's hair metal, a plate of fine food, an excuse to travel, a moderate game of Ultimate Frisbee, some poetry by Rumi.. and you've got what I would call a good life!

Hope you enjoy my posts!

1 comment:

AJ said...

Matt.... glad you are finally an official member and are posting regularly now. I should note that you are an inspiration regarding work as well... as you remind me that all hope is not lost. You clearly love teaching and I understand why.

And to be completely honest, so do I. I just have a very evil anti-authority streak that constantly gets me in trouble!! But I love being in the classroom and love my students. For more positive comments about my teaching work (and probably more boring), check out my other blog:

Anyway, thanks for balancing my somewhat furious and angry tendencies!