I talked to a girl who showed me a stack of napkins with notes written in Spanish by Ecuadorian men, mostly waiters. She couldn’t understand them so I translated. They were all along these lines:
It was nice to meet you. You are very pretty. I hope I can see you again.
My napkins have no words of affection, just email addresses, mostly of European men. Girls who travel don’t realize their experience is very different than a guy’s. Unless the girl is busted, which unfortunately happens, she is getting ten times more attention than me. I know some of that is bad attention, but you only see a smile on a gringa’s face when she’s being spun around on the salsa dancefloor. And disappointment on the native’s face when she doesn’t want to make out.
(Side note: girls who don’t get much love back in the States are treated like queens by South American man. It’s very common to see an American 5 walking arm-in-arm with a decent looking guy. Many of these girls end up staying for much longer than they had planned.)
When crossing Ecuador’s border into Peru, I was a little confused on where to get my Peru entry stamp. I walked towards an Ecuadorian border agent to ask him, but before I could open my mouth he shooed me down the road with a hand-sweep motion. When I returned with my stamp an American girl was having the same problem. This time the same guy waited for her to come to him, let her ask her question in bad Spanish, and then very politely talked to her, smiled, and pointed down the road. Multiple this by a dozen interactions a day and I imagine the overall experience would be quite different.
Expectedly, girls here refuse to admit that they are getting different treatment than me. (They remind me of the girls back home who think they will physically peak past 30.) Next time a girl asks me why I don’t think South Americans are “wonderful” and the nicest people in the world, I’m going to point to her vagina.