Robert Murphy and his wife Beth decked out in traditional outfits during their trip to Sarawak
ROBERT Murphy, 67, is an educator who has taken his love for teaching to a few countries.
The Canadian from Ottawa teaches English at a private institution in Subang Jaya and has been in Malaysia for eight years.
He enjoys teaching as he likes interacting with people.
“My first overseas posting was to Saint Martin in the Caribbean,” said Murphy who has three children (two boys and a girl), all of whom reside in Canada.
“As a single parent, I was worried about leaving my children to travel and teach, but they encouraged me to do it,” he said, adding his daughter Shannon has followed in his teaching footsteps.
Murphy described himself as a strict educator who likes to inject humour and tell stories to make his lessons more interesting.
He recalled meeting a former student who told him she had decided to major in Canadian Literature.
“My student said ‘funny how you can influence people’ and I just sat there stunned that I had such an impact on her,” he said.
Murphy had planned to stay in Malaysia for just three or four years but that changed after meeting his wife, Beth. They recently married after dating for five years.
When not busy teaching, Murphy spends time reading and watching television.
“I love watching crime dramas because I enjoy shows that make me think and get me involved.”
Murphy finds Malaysians friendly and polite.
“When I used to play ultimate frisbee, some of the players were quick to say sorry when they make a mistake on the field, even when they did not have to.”
When asked about his favourite place, he named Tioman.
His first time at the island was an accident.
“I bought a ticket the night before and when I walked through the gates, no one checked my boarding pass,” he said.
Upon arriving at the hotel, he was shocked to find they had no reservation under his name.
“Turned out, I was on the wrong island!” laughed Murphy.
He meant to go to Langkawi but boarded the wrong plane and ended up in Tioman.
Murphy stayed on and loved the place so much he brought his daughter there for a return visit.