Six weeks had passed since my very first day at Singapore’s school. I felt already established in the city, and had a pretty stable schedule. Life had a sweet taste again, and I started dating one of my neighbours. Long forgotten were the strange occasion of the first month, together with a very personal job interview that I had to face.
It was then that the secretary of the principal approached me in the cabinet, early morning. She said that her boss wanted to talk to me again, on the very same day at 4pm. Four pm, a strange time indeed. Everyone’s back home so late in the afternoon, both teachers and students. Myself I typically left the place at three. And so I asked the secretary whether we could not move the meeting to an earlier hour. The answer was negative.
Flowers, sweets, and the first pay check
It probably wasn’t a coincidence that the invitation for a meeting came after I got my first pay check–the highest one I’ve ever got for teaching. I actually earned twice as much in Singapore as I did in my last teaching stop in Thailand.
When I walked to the principal’s office, the corridors were empty. I met just one cleaning lady, who gave me a strange look. As if she wanted to say, “Yeah, I knew you would come one day“. I didn’t pay attention though. I hoped the secretary will still be there–she probably never leaving before her boss does, which provided me with a sense of security. I approached the office and knocked the door. It was the principal who opened–the secretary had already gone home….
Flattering, flirting, and more
The guy asked me straight away about the first pay check. If I was satisfied and all of those things. He kept pointing out that female teachers earned better at his institution than anywhere else, and that he knew how much women deserve for a quality service.
Then he asked me about my new boyfriend, and that’s actually when things started to get scary, since I had no idea he knew I had one. I gave a gloomy answer and asked him to leave. He held my hand. “Did you like the flowers and the sweets I left for you in the cabinet?” So it was him who sent the gifts … I was feeling more and more uncomfortable and didn’t give any answer.
“Don’t be shy. I know the girls of your type, the traveling teachers. We’ve had many of them here….”
I wanted to leave at once. But he held my hand, and started touching me. He pressed his body close to mine, and actually tried to undress me. That was enough. I was a traveling teacher, and he knew a lot about me. But the bastard was not going to get it so easily. I hit him to the face with a free hand, and he retreated. I said I was sorry, and left. In a flash I understood all the concept of this strange school, and the early morning meetings assistant principals held in their offices.
I ran away from the building. He was not chasing me. I wanted to go to police at once, but then I decided to consult things first. I called the Spanish teacher, and my new boyfriend. He was very upset about the situation and said hew would pay a visit to the principal. But the Spanish teacher said I should take it easy, that the old pervert won’t try it another time. She said that he had a shot on her as well, but didn’t succeed. Italian teacher was a different story.
Starting to understand the concept
I understood the concept at once. The gifts, so many young single teachers, so many females. The ghosts in the corridors, the security cameras and everything. That school was ran by a pervert, or possibly even a group of them. I decided to start looking for a new job, keeping the distance from the principal….