Link

The Argentinian art of flirting is an interesting article by an American journalist describing the Argentinian version of the chat up line.. commonly referred to as the “piropo” which as she describes manages to evoke a combination of poetry and nostalgia:

I met Oscar, a vaguely creepy street artist and tango dancer. Handsome and aging, he absolutely dripped with Argentinity beneath a pale fedora and worn blazer. My question about what time the art stalls opened prompted the first piropo of my trip: For a woman as beautiful as I, he said, the stalls would open at any hour. With a hint of a smile, I asked if it was true that they say less piropos these days. “Sadly, it is,” he replied.  Asking my permission, Oscar led me to a nearby park bench, arranged his silk aviator’s cravat, lit up a cigarette and told me the history of piropos. “In the old days,” he said, looking straight into my eyes with familiarity, “men came alone to try their luck in the New World. They left their wives and families behind. Soon there were far more men than women in Argentina. How do you get the attention of the only woman around?” His eyes followed a passing teenage girl, whose deep tan traced its way from her painted toes right up to the hem of her 4-inch skirt. “By saying the most beautiful words. It’s the same as dancing the tango– maybe you’re ugly, but if you are a beautiful dancer, you have a chance.”