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Thanks for the English lesson, now take off your shirt

Welcome to another post in my Dating in Buenos Aires series.

Today’s Subject: Carlos

Once again, I have chosen to feature a man that I did not actually date. However, the experience was unpleasant enough to be post-worthy.

Teacher’s pet wannabe

When I first arrived in Buenos Aires, jobless and burning through my savings, I did what most English speakers do – taught English. Carlos was one of my students I had through an agency. One evening a week I would go to his apartment and spend an hour with him, working on his English,

I knew he would be trouble after our first lesson. Carlos lived in a big, fancy high-rise building. One of the more modern structures that boast amazing views and all kinds of perks. After we completed the first lesson, he insisted on giving me a tour of the building. He took me to the top floor, telling me I had simply never see a view like that. We stopped by the gym so he could be sure to put the image of him working out in my mind. He even walked me by the mini-cinema, letting me know that I was welcome to join him for a flick anytime I’d like. He hinted that the tennis courts were great for a Saturday afternoon and that the pool would be open soon. Seriously, Carlos was trying to cover all his bases. He played the rich 40 something role quite well, assuming I would play right into it.

You know I can drive, right?

The agency required that students pay for the public transportation costs of their teachers. When I explained this to Carlos, he insisted that he would drive me home after each lesson. He lived in a nice building, but it was on a very sketchy street and I knew the walk to the bus was dangerous, so I accepted. Each time he drove me home, he would take countless wrong turns that turned what should have been a short ride into a much lengthier one. He would brag about his car, telling me that people were clearly looking at us because of how nice the car was. He even asked me if I would like to learn to drive someday. When I told him I had been driving since 16 and owned a car of my own, he faltered only for a second before telling me he had a second car, stored away because it was a classic, some sort of mustang antique. When I told him I didn’t care about cars, he pretended not to hear me.

I don’t know if you knew this, but I have money

Week after week, Carlos’s hints and flirtation attempts fell flat. He even tried pouring me tea right before the lesson ended so I would have to sit and finish it, going past our lesson time. For every excuse I had, he had a rebuttal. When I said I didn’t have a tennis racket, so I couldn’t play tennis with him, he assured me that he had several. When I told him I was afraid of horses and thus did not want to go to the stables with him, he suggested an asado. When I told him I didn’t eat red meat, he suggested sushi.

When he mentioned sushi, I immediately explained to him that the food Argentines call sushi is in no way the sushi that any Japanese person (or even Japanese American) would ever make or consume. He mentioned a placed called Osaka and I had to admit that I had heard good things but I also knew it was incredibly expensive. I walked right into his trap

“Oh of course, it is very expensive. It is a very nice restaurant. I will take you! You will come with me and eat whatever you like.”

I did not appreciate his money being rubbed in my face and I certainly did not enjoy the arrogange of the “you will come”

Teacher, prostitute, it’s all the same for Carlos

One lesson, Carlos started to ask me about my tattoos. This is a pretty normal and unoffensive thing to ask, so I gladly told him how many I had and where they were. He then wanted a closer look at all of them. I showed him the 3 on my arms, pulled up my pant leg to show him 2 on my ankle, and the chest piece was visible. The tattoos on my back and the one on my hip bone were not visible, so I simply described them to him. Carlos wanted more. He insisted I show them to him. I politely declined, saying that they were basically only visible when I was wearing a bathing suit. He insisted that I show them to him again. I gave him a firmer no and tried to change the subject. Carlos was not having it. “You are my teacher. I pay you. I want to see all of your tattoos. Now.”

I was shocked by the entitlement in his voice. He made it sound as if I owed this to him. After reminding him that I was his English teacher and nothing else, I tried once again to move on. Then Carlos stood up and moved towards me. He grabbed my shirt, pulling the back down, looking down the back of my shirt, trying to get a nice long look.

I was in shock. I could not believe this man could be so audacious. I ended the lesson right then, but I was trapped. Buildings in Buenos Aires involve several locked doors to get out of the building. This building was so fancy that I wouldn’t even be able to use the elevator without Carlos’s key. I had no choice but to let him drive me home. My only comfort was that I always made him drop me off at a corner near myhouse, he never knew my exact address. The car was still moving when I jumped out of the car and ran to my apartment. I called the agency and told them I would never go back.

In retrospect, I thought maybe I should have tried to get to the doormen at the front of the building and have them let me out. However, this still would have meant telling Carlos I didn’t want him to drive me home and perhaps angering him. I told the agency they should never send a female teacher to Carlos ever again. The woman at the agency seemed unimpressed by my story and sent a new girl to him next week.  I hope she carries mace. 


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