Monday, September 23, 2013

"Are You Single?"

So today I was set to polish up the second part of my blog post on what Brazilians think of British culture; but then I read a blog post that prompted me to delay doing that. The post in question was called ‘Wanna Have Sex On My Mattress?’ and it came courtesy of 'Rachel’s Rantings in Rio'.

The post describes a confrontation Rachel had with a horny homeless guy, one who rather charmingly invited her to spend some time on his mattress (Check it out here: http://rachelsrantings.com/?p=3411).

This account reminded me of a very interesting incident I’d experienced myself just a few weeks ago with a very forward Brazilian woman, and is something I'd like to share with you guys now!

I’m fully aware that the type of Brazilian woman I’m about to describe is rare here. In fact, women I've met generally don’t behave like this AT ALL, so the fact that one did totally caught me off guard. I’m sure you get this type of woman I’m about to describe all over the world, so it was just my luck to run into this one on a random, Thursday evening in Sao Paulo. She was definitely something else. Someone I'm sure her Brazilian sisters would NOT have approved of!

So let me set the scene for my rather surprising encounter:

I’d arrived at my student’s office a few minutes before our evening class, only to be told that he’d been called to an urgent meeting and had had to cancel. This meant I had the rest of the evening to myself, which I felt was a great opportunity to catch up on some of the Portuguese studying I’d been putting off.
Come on Portuguese, get in my head!

I can’t study at home, I don’t know why…but I just can’t. If I’m being honest I’m too easily distracted by my laptop and the lure of poking people on Facebook. So I decided to head to the nearest Starbucks and to study there, where I wouldn't be distracted…or at least, that was the plan.

After ordering my hot chocolate and bagging one of the sofa seats, I organized my books across the table and quickly got down to business. To my left I noticed a petite middle aged woman reading what looked (for her!) to be an over sized newspaper. Actually when I say noticed her, I mean I saw her out of the corner of my eye and carried on with what I was doing. She certainly didn't look strange enough to warrant a good look at.

Ten minutes later a guy came up to ask her for the time. As I looked up, I saw her folding up her paper and pushing her glasses down over the bridge of her nose, as if her answer depended on inspecting him properly.
“Sorry, I don’t know the time” she replied apologetically. She then threw her gaze over in my direction and as soon as we’d made eye contact, she repeated his question.

“It’s eight o’ clock” I told her, whilst also making sure to address this comment to this guy too.

“Eight o clock!” she repeated looking pretty taken aback. “Really, it’s eight o’ clock?”

After confirming that this really was the time and I wasn't lying, this guy thanked me and returned to his seat; having just set up what was to be a very memorable conversation between me and this woman.

“I can’t believe it’s eight o’ clock” she continued as she laughed to herself quite melodramatically, “I thought it was only seven! I'm so surprised!”

I smiled politely and returned to my books. I mean, I wasn't really up for engaging in a conversation with a woman who gets that excited about the time. Yet just moments after looking at my books I sensed she was still looking at me, and a quick look back in her direction confirmed I was correct.

"This stare makes you feel uncomfortable? Really?"
Her eyes were open pretty wide and were fixed on my face. She was looking quite attentively at me, yet curiously, she was in no way phased by the fact I’d noticed her staring.

“You’re not Brazilian, are you?” she enquired quite thoughtfully having taken off her glasses.

“No, I’m not. I’m from England”

 “Hmmmm” she said playfully whilst nibbling at the frame of her glasses.

“And are you single?” She asked me this quite assertively, only this time in English.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT! I began to laugh. Who asks a total stranger that as their third question!?! I was genuinely surprised and my face did little to communicate otherwise, yet this only seemed to encourage her to continue.

“Well?” she repeated, reciprocating my laugh as if we were sharing a joke.

“Yes” I foolishly answered, “I’m single”.

“Me too” she hurriedly replied. From the expressive look on her face I sensed that she wanted me to be surprised.

I wasn't.

“Ask me why” she instructed.

“Erm…why?”

“Well” she said, now flicking her hair over her left shoulder as if she was on a modeling shoot. “I just don’t like Brazilian men, I prefer foreign men”.

After a few awkward seconds of her looking intently at me and me, well, with me looking anywhere but her face she eventually broke the silence. “And how long have you been in Brazil?”
"What? No, I always do this when I talk!"

“I’m a business woman” she continued, clearly forgetting she’d asked me a question just seconds before that would have given me the opportunity to talk. "I run a phone shop because people in Brazil LOVE talking on their phones”.

There were clearly no flies on this woman!

“Do you have a mobile phone?”

I’d not been asked this question since the late nineties, and without thinking I answered in the affirmative.

Then she nodded at me and whispered, “well...I have a phone too”.

She leaned into my desk to grab my pen and my Portuguese book. “I will give you my number” she said enthusiastically, perhaps believing she'd been too subtle up to this point. Seconds later she was scribbling her name and number in my jotter, next to the irregular verbs in Portuguese I’d been reviewing just a few minutes earlier. 

I really should have tried to stop the conversation from progressing long before she’d done this, but I was mesmorised by her. I couldn't quite believe how forward she was being, and a part of me wanted to see what else she was going to do to shock me.

Then as she put my book back on the table she took hold of my hand, which made it feel like what she was about to say next was going to be confidential. “Call me” she instructed; half speaking and half whispering.

The word “me” seemed to linger on her lips long after she’d said it, and again we sat in an awkward silence as I looked visibly stunned at her. 

If I’m being honest I was alarmed, curious and impressed with her brazenness all at the same time!
I then deemed it advisable to say my goodbyes and leave, and I managed to do so by feigning surprise as I checked my phone again. “Oh look, five past eight. I really should get going now. Well it was nice to meet you!”

"Hiya love!"
After trying to convince me to stay, she conceded that I really was going and got up to give me a hug. As I walked away from Starbucks I could feel her eyes staring into the back of me.

Was I flattered? Yes of course I was. Women tend to be on the receiving end of this sort of thing here in Brazil, but it doesn't really happen much to guys (well, at least not much outside of carnival).

Did I ever call her? Hell no! Beside the fact she looked like Noel Gallagher in a skirt with a bit of lippy on, she was clearly crazy. In fact, I’d go as far as to say she was probably just a minor head injury away from eating her own shit…but having said that, my encounter with her is certainly not one I’ll forget in a hurry!
 
Have you ever had an interesting experience with someone who has responded in a surprising way with you after discovering you are foreign? 

12 comments:

  1. I love when straight guys get a LITTLE taste of the kind of unwanted attention ladies deal with on a day to day basis, and it's like a breakthrough moment for them. Congrats!

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    1. My ego would probably be out of control if this happened to me on a daily basis!

      Although I'm guessing you're not just referring to the friendly type of attention you ladies have to deal with. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. Why is she crazy? I have had men to do that to me many times!

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    1. I think she felt she had nothing to lose :)

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  3. Hey Andrew!

    This was hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud! She sounds like quite the character.

    I have had situations similar to this, and sometimes the ''Gringo appeal'' really gets people interested. It's flattering and slightly uncomfortable. Wait until you get hit on by a Brazilian man (happened to me all.the.time. Go figure). They don't take no for an answer and after fighting them off you'll want to take a shower and scrub yourself because you'll feel so dirty, haha. They are aggressive motherfuckers and don't have a problem with touching.

    I guess this is how women feel all the time, it really puts it into perspective and how being subtle and being a gentleman will get you further than anything else.

    Abraço
    Alex

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    1. Hey Alex, yea this woman was definitely a character! And the 'gringo appeal' is definitely one that still bemuses me. I personally find it odd that people like to comment on my blue eyes, because nobody ever did back home...but if I'm being honest, I also quite it!

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  4. Ha! Noel's not your type then. Clearly your other female readers are quite the hotties because this never happens to me and I would be equally shocked if it did. The whole exchange is pretty bizarre. There is chatting someone up and then there is this!

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    1. To be honest it rarely happens to me either, so it was just my luck that I'd meet someone who more than compensated for this in one full swoop! Ha ha!

      Brazilian men are definitely not backwards when it comes to being forward about their like of the females, especially compared with other countries I've lived in. This might have something to do with the amount of attention my female readers get.

      Although I do like the idea of this blog being a beautiful readers blog of choice! Ha ha! Cheers for stopping by to comment Amy, I'm a big fan of your blog!

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    2. I'd forgotten that a lot of your readers would be Brazilian, or women living in Brazil.

      You need to make some sort of blog button that says 'Beautiful readers blog of choice'

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  5. haha excellent story, you're a very good writer. I don't think this type of woman is that rare in Brazil though. I am a Brazilian and have lived a long time abroad, in different countries and I must say that Brazilian women are the most forward type I've ever seen...

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    1. Hey, thanks for the complement on the blog. This woman was definitely not a reflection on what I've met in Brazil so far, more a one off!

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