Monday, January 11, 2010

French kissing

I'll never forget what happened on the first morning of my first visit to France. I was staying in a family with a daughter about my age. The first morning she came up to greet me, put out her head in front of her and tipped it on the side. It looked completely ridiculous and for two or three very long seconds, I didn’t understand what she was doing. My mind was racing as I tried to figure out how to react. Then I realised, she wants to greet me with cheek kissing!

I felt extremely foolish. Especially since my French teacher had talked about French greetings.

Now I knew I had to cheek kiss, but it takes time to get into the finer details. How many kisses? One on each cheek, like most Parisians do, or a third one like people in Bretagne.... or even four, like in the south? And which cheek do you start with? Remember not to touch the cheek, the kissing is done in the air, with your cheek barely touching the other person's cheek.

One of our French friends always goes for four kisses - making the most of it!  Smack!

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