The colonial towns were nice and pleasant but after ten days I was dying to flirt. I went to Belo Horizonte, the state capital. Even though you’ve probably never heard of it before, it’s a huge city with over 5 million people (the third largest in Brazil). While costs are cheaper than Rio, you’ll be spending that much more on taxis to get around if you plan on going out a lot at night.
I went alone to Arcadium Bar in the popular Savassi area. They played forro, which is the Brazilian version of salsa with more of a country twist. I think the music is a bit annoying personally, but I didn’t want to leave Brazil without trying it out once. (The New York Times recently wrote an article on forro.)
Turns out it’s exactly like salsa. The girls go there to dance first and kiss second, so you see all these guys who are great forro dancers have their go with a girl until she thanks him and returns back to her friends. There was a lot less hooking up here than I would have expected for a Brazilian nightclub, but on the bright side guys rarely got turned down to dance. It’s a safe place for men who are scared to approach.
I hung out with a group of three girls who taught me a few moves. One girl was into me but she was not very pretty. I talked to a couple others and while they were friendly, my reluctance to dance didn’t help my cause. Overall the quality was not very good, just like you’d expect at a salsa club.
I met a German guy who had both game and a sense of humor (a first), and we took a 20 minute cab ride to Chalezinho, a club that was recommended by a girl I met the night before (another good club option would have been Swingers Club). We arrived early to try and beat the crowd (11:15), but it was already mobbed. The line for guys was more like a blob. It seemed very hopeless but then I saw a hostess working the girls line with a clipboard.
I said, “Esta é a fila para gringos?” (Is this the line for gringos?)
She looked at me and smiled. “Where are you from?”
“I lived in Salt Lake City for a year.”
Her English was nice, her face even better, and after some small talk I asked her what my German friend and I should do to get in.
“Just hang on I’ll help you out.”
Five minutes later she signaled us to follow her and took us right to the front of the line, bypassing at least 100 guys (“Que isso!” they groaned). I thanked her and she said she’d be inside later, but unfortunately I never saw her again.
The girls were incredibly gorgeous (better than Vitoria, better than Rio, better than Colombia, and better than Córdoba). It was almost a dream to be in the same building with so many beautiful women, the best I’ve ever seen anywhere in South America. I swear you could smell vagina. I was giddy with excitement and did a warm up approach that went fine until the girl asked me how long I was staying.
I find that if a Brazilian girl asks that before you’ve kissed her, and your answer isn’t “I live here,” she will disappear within two minutes about 80% of the time, like this girl did. I did another approach and talked to a 9, which by my standards is close to a 10, but she asked me the same question. Four more times I talked to girls who were digging me, touching me, but would all ditch when they found out I didn’t live in Belo Horizonte. My blonde haired, blue eyed German friend didn’t fair any better (blonde haired wingman in Brazil are like a canary in a coal mine for me—if they can’t pull then I’ll definitely have difficulties).
By 4am I gave up. Perhaps there was a slut in the room that would bang me same night, but after nearly ten tries I didn’t find her. I sat down on a bench and looked over to my right to see an average looking guy kissing what I’d say is my ideal type of girl. Six months of living in Brazil coalesed into that moment and I realized that I too can have that girl. All I had to do was permanently move to Brazil and learn Portuguese.
I’m not getting outpulled by Brazilian guys because they have better game or style than me (definitely not better style)—I’m getting outplayed because I don’t live in Brazil. God knows how many girls I’ve “lost out” on because of that. These guys I see getting with pretty girls simply wouldn’t be able to compete with a gringo who has the permanency, the language ability, and the hyperawareness to make fast game adjustments. By passing through a city for short stints, even staying for a couple months, it’s guaranteed I will not get the most that I’m capable of. This is a downside of travel that gringos must accept. While you can get better quality than back at home, which I did in Rio, it will still be less than if you stayed permanently.
That said, a club like Chalezinho is where dreams are made. Get there before 10:30, take a couple hundred reals, get your Portuguese warmed up as English isn’t too common, and have your brain rewired in a way that makes going to an American club something that sends you into terrible fits of depression. Even though I didn’t get anything, it was one of my most memorable nights in Brazil.
I went out this night a little pessimistic. Everything would go fine until they asked me that question, and then things would end. My only hope at getting laid was to find a slut, so in order to do that I would have to approach a lot.
The German and I went to the La Cancha sports bar first. Oddly enough almost all the girls wore high heels (I’m not complaining), but they were sitting down in groups. I ran Swingers game on a hostess and told her to meet us at a club downtown. She said she had no friends, but that she would get off of work in ten minutes. The German and I waited outside, agreeing that we’d let her pick which one she wanted to hook up with.
At the club she picked the German. She was cute but nothing to cry over so I went to work on the girls there and by my third approach I found something better: an 18-year-old from Juiz de Fora, another Minas city that I hear has very good night action during the weekend. It took about ten minutes to get some kissy action from her, and then I looked over her to see the German making out with the hostess. All good right? Well unfortunately for me my girl’s brother was there, and he cockblocked me later as I was entering the groping stage of the seduction. I sort of understood.
We were at the club A Obra, which is the Belo Horizonte version of Casa da Matriz in Rio. There were a lot of tatooed freaks with stretched earlobes. I knew I was in the right place because girls were asking me if I was in a band and a fattie walked up to me and stroked my shaggy hair. I had a couple more bites after the cockblock, but ran into the “So how long are you staying here” wall that was beginning to drive me crazy.
It turns out that this was the last night in South America where I’d go all out to score. In Argentina I’ve been unable to conjure up the will that was always with me in Brazil.
They say the girls in Belo Horzonte are more traditional (i.e. harder), and while I can’t confirm that because of my short stay, don’t expect it to be easier than Rio. If you have several months to live in Brazil than I’d strongly consider staying here if you’re not crazy about the beach, though understand the city is ugly with nothing special to do. Speaking Portuguese is important because many girls have no English ability. If I come back to Brazil, I plan on spending a lot of time either here, Vitoria, or Porto Alegre. God bless Rio, but I wouldn’t be happiest there.
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