This funny post by petite anglaise reminded me that after my jaunt in Dunkirk, I wanted to write a post on the delicate subject of kissing.
The two-year project I’ve been part of as an interpreter is coming to an end in February. The French and English partners have had eight two-day meetings, plus several individual meetings with only some of them. Consequently, we all know each other quite well and have formed friendly relationships.
There is definite warmth there, which complicates things when it comes to greeting. A stiff handshake satisfied everyone in the beginning, but we have all become more comfortable with each other, and I’ve noticed the French have slowly been reverting to their natural habit, which is two pecks on the cheeks to say hello. So when our French host welcomed us last week, I noticed a movement, only to be spotted by a French eye: she was going to kiss the English partner I was standing next to. He remained firm.
The English were, obviously, keeping their distance while cheerily greeting her. I’m not sure why, but I felt bad. I might have overstepped my role as an interpreter, but I charged forward and kissed her, which caused the usual domino effect. After all, she was on her home turf, it was only fair to play by her usual rules. I know the English partners probably cursed me inwardly when I did that, but I could see our French host was a lot more comfortable.
Check out this great kiss map of France to know how many kisses are expected according to different regions. I have no idea if it’s accurate or not, but it could prove very useful!
I’m off for a bit. I wish you all a great holiday, whatever it means wherever you are!