Maybe the fact he was drinking rum on the rocks alone at midday should have been a bit of a red flag.
When I arrived back in Antigua, Guatemala last week, one of the first things I wanted to do was catch up with my old Spanish teacher, Jen. We went out for beers and we were the only people in the bar, other than an older gentleman sitting alone reading and sipping rum.
The man got up to order another drink and we overheard him asking the bar tender if he could recommend any Spanish teachers in town. Wanting to help drum up some business for my friend, I chased after him as he left the bar.
“Excuse me, did I hear you say you were looking for a Spanish teacher?” I asked, waving my friend’s card at him.
His name was Frank and as it turned out he was looking for a Spanish teacher, for him and his daughter. He came back inside and bought us both a drink. He said that he lived in a big house with five-bedrooms and three maids. His daughter also needed some help with reading and writing in both English and Spanish, and we were both welcome to come and stay with them.
“Why don’t you both come over for breakfast tomorrow?” he said, “you can see the place and we can talk about this more.”
Bright and early the next day, I met Jen and we headed to his place together.
“Do you think he will remember us?” she said.
“Yeah” I said, “of course he will, he only met us yesterday.”
I knocked on the door and he answered.
“Hey Frank! How’s it going?” He looked a little bit confused but stepped aside to let us both in. He pottered around a bit, while Jen and I followed behind. He then called out for another person.
A young Canadian guy came out of one of the rooms. He introduced himself to me. He introduced himself to Jen. Jen and I introduced ourselves back. Jen, Frank, James and I then all just stood there, looking at each other. It was 8.30 in the morning.
“Well” said Frank breaking the silence, “I don’t know what we are doing here.”
“Errrr, you invited us to breakfast yesterday.” I said.
I could tell by the look on his face no bells were ringing. The poor bastard had no idea who we were or what he had invited us to breakfast. Thankfully, James’ stepped in and saved the day.
“There are some boiled eggs and a tortillas in the kitchen. Would you like coffee?”
“That would be great, thank you” I said. Actually, I just wanted to get out of there, but in for a penny, in for a pound. Jen and I exchanged looks and I shook my head and tried not to giggle.
We headed to the dining table and James brought us all out food and coffee while Jen and I stumbled through small talk with Frank. We tried to refresh his memory of the day before and things slowly seemed to fall back into place.
When Frank got up from the table to clear the plates I whispered to Jen, “Just give him your details, tell him to call you if he needs you and lets go!”
Frank returned and we thanked him for the breakfast. Jen handed him her card and told him to call her if he decided he wanted lessons from her. We all shook hands and Jen and I got out of there.
In case you were wondering, Frank never did call her for lessons. At least the breakfast was good.