…She went to Brazil.

“Na casa da minha sógra tem um pé de jasmin! O jasmin naceu para ela e você para mim.” The Portuguese version of a “Hey Girl” quote. Something about growing jasmine together in your mother’s garden?

When I was 15, with a mouth full of metal and the skinny awkwardness of that age I went on a school trip to Italy. Ever since I’ve wondered why parents, instead of spending thousands on counselling for their daughters’ low self image problems, don’t just take a family trip to a Mediterranean country. Having dozens of men approach merely to say “Thank you for being so beautiful”, was a pleasant boost to my self esteem and helped me forgive my ungainliness.

The great silent film actor, Rudolph Valentino. He didn’t even need words. But if he did I think he’d say something like “Ti faccio vedere la cità, andiamo con la Vespa!” (“Let me show you the city, we’ll go on my Vespa!”)

Brazil seems to have the same effect. Strolling the streets, minding their own business, girls are complimented and admired in a usually-not-creepy way. They’re told they’re beautiful, the stars are in their eyes, the heavens open wherever they go and shower blessings from the clouds. I wonder where they get some of this stuff – these guys can get pretty creative.

It might be shallow of me, but I think it’s rather nice.

“Você me deixa mais alegre que formiga em açucareiro”. He’s saying you make him happier than ants in sugar. Years of practice and that smile has made him a lady killer.