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The Girls from Ipanema

I spent a summer in Brazil as an exchange student, but was only 16 and missed out on some of the finer points. Brazilian women on American men: in short, too shy.

Ask Brazilian women what they think about American men, and most respond precisely the same way: with gales of laughter. Then they tell disturbingly similar tales of men who fear making advances lest they be accused of date rape and who coldly calculate how many days they need to wait between meeting a woman and asking her to dinner...

The women pointed out, American men have other good qualities - their faithfulness, for example. Brazilian women often say that Brazilian men are safados - shameless - and love to chase the fairer sex. Americans actually mean what they say (at least more often than Brazilians do). And they are sweet.

So whom would they rather date?

'Brazilians,' said Ms. Franca.

'Brazilians,' said Ms. Vianna.

'Brazilians,' said Ms. Santos.

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