Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brazil, the next Ukraine

Ran around town with some men from the British Commonwealth the other night. Very well traveled and just as well-healed. They were uniformly unimpressed with Ukraine. "If this was Brazil," the one said, "I would've been laid twice by now and been coming back for dessert." We were in a night-club when he said this, a very nice one, ultra-modern, but there wasn't much of a crowd for a Saturday night. Those who were there were young and attractive and monied, but apparently the last of these details (there was a $10 cover for men, $6 for ladies -- in a country with an average monthly salary of $150) kept the women from falling into the laps of these men.

Prospects for these world travelers (one of whom also professed to have come to Ukraine to take in the architecture) were better in Cuba, where the women, the lover of architecture told me, didn't even have the money to afford the type of wax job made famous by the women in Brazil. He thought it possible he might have two children there, just possible. The guy was late-thirties and the father of four, well-groomed and well-dressed, tan and fit, the type of man who looks comfortable with a shaved chest.

The other was a sort of Kevin Costner in his latter years, complete with capped teeth. "Brazilian girls just love six," the Costner told me. "Six?" "They learn to have six before they even learn to walk." It was the accent. Six, sex. From somewhere Down Under. He said these marriage agencies were popping up all over, here, South America, the Far East. We spoke for a while about the wonders of the Internet.

Both men were set to return to Brazil after their three-day stop-over in Eastern Europe. "The girls in north Brazil are black," the lover of architecture told me, "in the south they're white, and in the middle they're chocolate." He pushed his nose in when telling me what he didn't like, then spoke of skin color and European features when he talked about what he liked. He'd been going to the mid-lands of Brazil for ten years, in which he'd once come across the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, though she'd spoken no English and he and Costner were off the beaten path at the time, in a village not accustomed to tourists. Despite his talk of many conquests, including a threesome in Thailand that included one partner filing her nails, he still remembered this lost chance, this failed encounter. "She was chocolate," he said. "She was perfect."

As for his last day in Ukraine, he planned to start it by waking up and practicing a little Portuguese.