As I’ve mentioned before, coffee time in Korea can be very dangerous, because it might not actually just be coffee, it might be a lifetime commitment you’re getting into. In Korea, it is almost impossible for two people of the opposite gender to be friends. Because even you you say “We’re just friends” or “No, this isn’t a date” someone will inevitably say “But you had coffee…” as though that disproves everything.
After lunch, me and a couple of other (female) teachers usually sit and have coffee together, because this seems safe and harmless enough. It’s great that some of the other teachers want to chat with me to practice their English and I usually teach a couple new idioms or fun phrases.
However, my main co-teacher has recently taken to inviting the technology teacher to join us for what used to be ladies’ coffee time. In very not subtle way, she then calls the science teacher away to supposedly discuss something important, leaving me and the technology teacher to have coffee together and cause massive amounts of office gossip because it’s the foreign teacher and the technology teacher having coffee!
While my co-teacher does her best to set me up with the regrettably non-English speaking and very short technology teacher (whose name I still don’t even know), the Science teacher has taken a different strategy towards securing my future happiness. She has decided that since I am a tall, beautiful foreigner, I must find a tall, handsome foreigner to date. She therefore asks many leading questions about the other foreign teachers in Donghae. Sadly, for the science teacher, there are not many male foreigner English teachers in Donghae, and even fewer of them are single. After questioning me extensively about the male foreign teachers in Donghae, she chose one (keeping in mind she’s never even met any of these people) who she thinks I should date. This is based almost totally on the fact that the students spotted the two of us eating dinner together a few days ago, and the fact that this man is taller than the technology teacher (the technology teacher’s height is a major point of contention between my co-teacher and the science teacher; my co-teacher thinks height is unimportant, and the science teacher appears to be of the opinion that anyone shorter than me is clearly not deserving of me.) When I explained that this fellow teacher isn’t even single, she replied ‘It’s ok, in Korea we say, “Even though there is a goalkeeper, you can still score a goal!”‘