To the uninitiated, a greeting in Europe can be a high-anxiety moment, fraught with danger. And no more so than in France .
When I first started to travel around this country of contradictions, I ignorantly thought that 2 kisses on the check – with no “lip to skin” contact - was "the norm", but I was sadly misguided! Consequently on meeting friends and acquaintances en France my head resembles that of a confused hen darting awkwardly to and fro, backwards and forwards while waiting for a cue, from those whom I’m greeting, to stop. And when do I kiss-kiss (or should it be kiss-kiss-kiss-kiss) on the cheek, give a firm handshake or just a verbal greeting, with no accompanying body contact?
Even Britain is no longer a safe haven from la bise when meeting and greeting! As for Australia – that’s simple, as I live in an area renowned for kissing when saying hello to friends and family. And it is definitely a single, albeit prolonged, kiss in the vicinity of the right cheek.....with the accompanying sound effects!
So if you are as confused as I am about exchanging kisses in France, you may benefit from watching the following video, L'art de la bise, and adding the web address of Combien de bises? to your iPhone.....to which you may discretely refer in order to meet and greet with finesse instead of confusion.
Addendum: this is my 100th blog! It may be the only century I ever reach! My hat is off to those of you who have been committed to maintaining a blog for years. I hope I have the energy to follow in your footsteps. Bon weekend.
If you are the owner of the lips image, please contact me so I can acknowledge you. Thank you.