Monday, April 27, 2009

Goofed Greetings

Yesterday we met one of Albert’s school friends, and as we were introduced, I threw my hand out without a thought and almost instantaneously I saw him leaning in for the double kisses and then felt my hand being engulfed and thought ‘damn it, I forgot’ – and the moment passed.

Here, as in other Mediterranean areas, they do the double kiss, when greeting someone. Actually Albert and his friend didn’t kiss. But they are metal/hard rock fans, and maybe they are exempt from it since it’s a bit of a pansy kind of greeting, isn’t it? The fact is, the handshake felt like I was insisting on my reserve, on my difference and on keeping space between us. It felt masculine and like I was enforcing my equality. It didn’t help that he didn’t know how to shake hands with a strong personality. His hand was weak and a little crumpled and regardless of my rational thought, I felt the according symbology of defeated, unstable and insignificant. Yes, all in a moment’s handshake.

I’m in two minds about the double kisses. The biggest problem I face is that I don’t feel comfortable with kissing strangers. I have trouble kissing friends and family – and the prolonged hug is often uncomfortable for me.

However, I do wish, as they say, to do as the Roman’s do while in Rome, so, I would like to be able to do the double kiss.

I guess its just practice and getting used to the physical contact. And also, not taking it so personally. The British traditions really mess with your mind.


K said...

Hello my deep and lovely friend. I REALLY admire and like the way you think. You're one of these deep, yet, light types. Like it - like it a lot.

Welcome home? Hope it feels like coming home a bit. Would be happy for you to have a base from which to launch all your adventures from in the future - if that's what you want obviously.

Canada is now official, so you ca tell whomever you please. You may scream it from the roof tops and to complete stranger whilst tring to figure out the greeting.

Hmmm, that IS a tricky one though. I can really understand your thoughts on this. I'm not sure how I'd feel about kissing strangers. I suppose it's even difficult to know whether or not you even want to get used to it or not?

The British traditions really mess with your mind.

I know love - sorry about that.

Imagine that though, you're a born travel writer. You are very talented. Your stories and articles are all easy to read. And, as I said earlier, I like the way you think - a lot.

See you then angel.


Tiffany said...

You're such a sweetie.
Of course I'm feeling myself dripped in sugar after reading your post! :D
Please! Don't! Stop! :P
The problem here is, factually, people jump in and kiss you anyway, and some just shove your handshake aside. One understands this behaviour from 60+ women who are a bit on the beefy side, and one expects it, but when a young handsome Catalan pushes aside your politely offered hand to breath on your neck and whisper 'encantada'... oh! hang on. Wrong blog!!
I'll get used to it. The kisses that is.
Thank you for appreciating the writing. I think you're the only one reading it (apart from Albert - but as he's a partner he doesn't count for anything)
CONGRATS with Canada. When do you leave? What's the program? You're going to be gone before I get to Hamar. I think its a wonderful part of your life and something I whole heartedly support. Congratulations to you both.
And guess what!? I have an English student AND two yoga students! Already! Keep it coming prosperity, keep it coming.
Really hope to see you soon,
much love

thecatalanway said...

now I couldn't resist reading this one too! It made me laugh out loud - snort almost! that thing with a drippy weak handshake is so impossible to ignore. Why don't people realise it and just FIRM UP?
You are getting very good at the kissing and hugging - two years in Catalunya - 'not so much Catalan but I learned to kiss!'

Tiffany said...

I had an excellent opportunity to teach the 'firm' handshake at the recent English talks. :) I did learn to kiss!! and hug!
It's lovely to have you along and making me look a the blog a bit more. :)