Point

Point/Counterpointworkplaceeducationsexeurope Mar 17, 1999

European Men Are So Much More Romantic Than American Men

By Alyssa Lerner, Junior, Boston University

I just got back from a semester abroad in Europe, and let me tell you, it truly was the most magical, amazing experience of my entire life. The French countryside was like something out of a storybook, the Roman ruins were magnificent, and the men, well, European men are by far the most romantic in the world.

You American men all think you're so suave and sophisticated. Well, think again! European men make you look like the immature, inexperienced little children you are. They really know how to make a woman feel special over there. Unlike the so-called men here in the States, European men know how to treat a woman right.

For one thing, European men aren't afraid to come up and talk to you. And they know how to start slow, with a nice cup of Italian espresso or a long walk on some historic street. They know the places you can't find in any tourist guide. They know the whole history of the cities in which they live—who the fountains are named after, who the statues are.

I remember one unforgettable night in Athens, I sat and listened to a Greek sailor for hours as he told me about the countless men who fought over Helen back in ancient times. Afterward, he told me he loved his homeland even more now that he'd seen it through my eyes. I ask you, would an American man ever say something as deep and beautiful as that?

European men know the most romantic little cafés and bistros and trattorias, candlelit places where you can be alone and drink the most fantastic wine. They tell you what's on the menu and what you should try. (If it wasn't for a certain young man in Milan, I never would have discovered fusilli a spinaci et scampi.) And the whole time, they're looking deep into your eyes, like you're the only woman on the entire planet. What woman could resist a man like that? Then, after a moonlit stroll along the waterfront and a kiss in the doorway of their artist's loft, you find yourself unable to—well, I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

I'll never forget my magical semester abroad. One thing's for sure—I'm ruined for American men forever!

Counterpoint

American Women Studying In Europe Are Unbelievably Easy

By Giovanni Di Salvi

I'm a 25-year-old carpenter living in Rome, and I don't mind telling you that I get all the action I can handle. I'm not all that handsome or well-dressed, and I'm certainly not rich. In fact, my Italian countrywomen could take me or leave me. But that's just fine, because Rome gets loads of tourist traffic, and American co-eds traveling through Europe are without a doubt the easiest lays in the world.

Being European gives me a hell of an advantage. I'm not sure why, but there's something about the accent that opens a lot of doors. All you have to do is go up to them, act a little shy and say, "Whould hyou like to go with me, Signorina, for a café?" I actually have to thicken up my accent a little, but they never, ever catch on.

After a cheap coffee, which to them always tastes better than anything they've ever had, because they're in Europe, it's time to walk them. Now, all they know about Rome is what they've read in Let's Go, so you can pretty much just make up a whole bunch of shit. It's fun to see how much they'll swallow: As long as I refer to Italy as "my homeland" and other Italians as "my people," they'll believe pretty much anything. I don't know who most of the local statues are, so I tell the muffins they're all great artists and poets and lovers. Once, just for the hell of it, I told a psychology major from the University of Maryland that a public staircase was part of the Spanish Steps, which she'd never even heard of. Another time, I told this blonde from Michigan State that the public library was the Parthenon, and she cooed like I'd just given her a diamond.

For dinner, I usually take them to some cheap little hole in the wall, someplace deserted where not even the cops eat. American girls think candlelight means "romance," not "deteriorating public utilities," so they just poke their nipples through their J. Crew sweaters and never notice that there's no electricity. Just as well, because Roman restaurants aren't exactly the cleanest. After a bunch of fast-talk about the menu, I get them the special, which is usually some anonymous pasta with spinach and day-old shrimp, and whatever cheap, generic, Pope's-blood chianti's at the bottom of the list.

By this time, they're usually standing in a slippery little puddle. Going in for the kill, I walk them past one of Rome's famous 2,000-year-old open cesspools. Then, as we open the door to my shitty efficiency, I kiss them on the eyelids so they don't see the roaches, making sure the first thing they see is the strategically positioned artist's easel I bought at some church sale. That's usually all they need to see and, like clockwork, they fall backwards on my bed with their Birkenstocks in the air.

I mean, they're hardly Italian women, but we have a saying here in Europe: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Popular Onion Video

Watch more videos