Do you have a boyfriend?

My potential new boss walked into the room.

“Wow, you are tall,” he said, as we shook hands.

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

Now, I’ve lived in Latin America long enough not to be surprised by this question.

I probably answer it three times a week.

Dammit, I was practically expecting it.

“More or less,” I lied.

(No blonde girl ever admits to being single)

My potential new boss smiled a broad Colombian smile.

“What are you doing in Bogota?” he asked.

“I’m hoping you’re going to give me a job teaching English,” I laughed, direct as always.

“Of course I am,” he twinkled back.

“Our students will love you. Blonde hair, blue eyes. You just look so different.

“It’s like those beauty pageants. Have you ever been in one of those?”

“No,” I said.

“All girls in England look like me.”

It is one of my stock responses.

The reply is usually “Wow, it must be paradise,” or “I have to go there some day.”

“I have to go there some day,” my potential new boss replied.

Eventually we discussed hours and money.

I know enough from talking to the other English teachers here not to expect all of the working hours I’m promised.

But if I do get the hours suggested in the interview, it seems I’ll earn about double my rent – a promising start.

We’ll see.

Interestingly, the institute teaches a lot of business English.

When my potential new boss showed me the teaching manual it looked like something from The Economist.

It might as well have been in Arabic.

He must have noticed my expression.

“You’ll learn a lot from teaching that,” he laughed.

“It’s like getting a masters in business or something.”

Eventually, he said the institute would be in touch when there was work for me.

We walked towards the lift.

“Tell me,” he said as he pushed the call button.

“What is the shortest boyfriend you have ever had?”


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