Okay, there is a one-sided slant to this, but the truth of the matter is that if a gringa wants to meet a Brazilian guy, all she has to do is meet his eyes and hold the look. 99% of the time the guy will confidently swagger right on over. Case closed!
It’s different with gringo guys! More often than not a gringo guy will meet and catch a Bahiana’s eye, and then proceed to trip himself up every which way worrying about what to do and what to say, and everything and anything else, eventually coming to the miserable point of blowing one beautiful opportunity after another.
What you say is of course up to you, but there is a standard, time-honored method of going about this, something that the Bahian girls are already very well accustomed to, and that is the way the Bahian guys operate. They’re the ones to learn from…
Rule Number One: Don’t think! Be cara de pau (literally “woodface”; this means being forward, natural, unencumbered, and N-O-T S-H-Y!).
There are exceptions to every rule of course, but the sensitive bit seldom gets it here, especially during a monstrous party like Carnival. You have to show up, smile, be charming (or at least try), and not hesitate to say dumb obvious things like “Você é linda!” (“You’re beautiful!), “Que olhos bonitos!” (What beautiful eyes!”), or “Gosto do seu jeito!” (“I like your style”).
Offer to buy them a beer or a drink (and just be sure you don’t get suckered into buying for friends and “brothers and cousins" and the rest of the neighborhood crew). Don’t be afraid to touch; touching is permitted here, so take them by the hand and stare into their eyes and talk to them, telling them you like them.
You see, there’s a difference between Brazil and the U.S. and Europe. In the “first world” it is almost anathema and heresy to be honest about finding a woman attractive. Doing so can put you into a position where you find yourself treated like a practitioner of dark perversions, like something is horribly wrong with you. In Brazil, this aspect of relationships between men and women is looked at honestly and decently, like it is what it is, an ordinary part of life. Approaches should be made respectfully, however (and if somebody doesn’t want to be touched they’ll quickly let you know).
Rule Number Two: Don’t worry about rejection. Bahian guys aren’t at all afraid of it; they just move onto the next opportunity and nobody’s the worse for it!
Rule Number Three: Make sure you’re not paquerando “flirting with” somebody else’s girlfriend! And if you have inadvertenly done so just move away gracefully while smiling and giving a thumbs up to the offended guy, saying “Desculpe! Desculpe!” (“Sorry! Sorry!”; “Djee-SHKOOLpee! Djee-SHKOOL-pee!”).
Again (for you really tough cases), the most important element is to catch their eyes. If a girl locks eyes with you, that’s a very obvious signal that she would like to be approached by you. If she’s not somebody you want or are willing to talk to, then you have no business looking longingly into her eyes in the first place!