I get emails all the time seeking my advice about romance abroad when you’re a TEFL teacher. I have selected a few of them, along with my answers, in the hopes it will be of service to those of you alumni and those of you struggling to comprehend l’amour fou. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
“My boyfriend and I want to teach together in a school that’s on the beach yet near a major metropolitan area. Can you help us? Demanding in Denver.”
Dear Demanding: When snails eat Frenchmen.
“How do I convince my girlfriend that I’m only moving to Phuket, Thailand, for six months in order to teach bargirls the rudiments of English? She is being unreasonably jealous. Randy in Rhode Island.”
Dear Randy: Remember these wise words of Abraham Lincoln – You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but the Go-Go Yoga Bar at the intersection of Redlight & Skanks has drink specials every night starting at Seven!
“What is the best way to approach a foreigner when you wish to discuss love? Curious in Cucamonga.”
Dear Curious: Inside a Sherman tank.
“I’m terribly upset. The foreign university where I work is full of students who sleep w/their professors in order to receive good grades. What should I do? Indignant in Indiana.”
Dear Indignant: Provide us with the name & address of said university asap; we’ll catch a flight out there tout suite, to, uh, investigate.
“I’m awfully shy around the opposite sex. All I can do is blush and stutter. How can I overcome this difficulty? Miserable in Melbourne.”
Dear Miserable: We recommend a regimen of vigorous calisthenics, cold showers, and a strict diet of oysters and mangos. Then join a nudist colony and provide everyone else there with sunglasses.
“I understand they handle sex differently overseas. Can you give me some explicit examples of what it’s like? Eager in England.”
Dear Eager: Never confuse sex with romance. The first is always for sale to the highest bidder and the second is a fairy tale we lull ourselves to sleep with. Find a nice hobby like stamp-collecting or gardening instead; you will sleep better at night, save money in the bank, avoid indigestion, and die of boredom within five months.
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