About

Ceud Mìle Fàilte—a hundred thousand welcomes to MACVAYSIA, my personal blog.

My name is J. F. MacVay. The J is for Jordan, but nowadays most people call me Jord. I was born and raised on beautiful Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. I spent several years in nearby Halifax as a young man, then moved to Malaysia, where I lived for 13 years (well, 12 years plus a year in China). In 2015 I moved back to Halifax with my lovely wife Mazleen (who also happens to be my dentist) and our two beautiful boys, Alisdair and Aaron.

I’m in my forties now but I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve done a number of jobs over the years. Before leaving Canada I was a technical support engineer for a large software company. In Malaysia I taught English, first at a small language centre, then at a university. I left teaching to work as a writer and subeditor at a magazine, and later transitioned into a career as a media analyst, which I did for six years, while continuing to write and do editing work. I came back to Canada with high hopes of continuing on at least one of the career paths I had started in Malaysia, but finding a good job has been a real challenge. For now I’m a stay-at-home dad. I’m also a part-time student, working to complete a degree at Cape Breton University that I started more than two decades ago.

As for this blog, I started it in 2004 as a way to let the folks back home know what I was up to in Malaysia, to help myself cope with life in my new home, and to get my thoughts, observations and experiences out there for anyone who might happen to be interested. Overall, blogging has been a positive experience for me. I’ve always found that writing things out helps me put things into perspective, something that’s extended beyond putting pen to paper and into the digital realm. Blogging has also been of great benefit to me both socially and professionally: it’s brought me into contact with fantastic people, some of whom have become treasured friends, and has provided me with writing experience, including exposure that has led to opportunities to write professionally.

My blogging has slowed down over the years, in part because I usually post more private stuff on Facebook now and put links and short observations on Twitter, and photos on Instagram. But I do still enjoy writing about interesting things — even if they’re really only interesting to me — so the blog is here to stay. In fact, my move back to Canada after more than a decade abroad strengthened the urge to write things out, to find that perspective, to steady myself and situate myself in this great big world. Which I’ll do if I can just stop procrastinating.

My posts cover a wide range of topics such as family (mine, mostly), culture, identity, immigration, language, religion, genealogy, and whatever else I feel like writing about. I may also occasionally post or link to articles and stories of mine that are published elsewhere.

I’ve turned off comments, but I do enjoy interacting with people who happen to read my stuff. If you would like to contact me, you can send an email to jfmacvay(at)gmail(dot)com.