Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The kissing culture

Though I technically live in Switzerland, for all intents and purposes, I live in Italy. I could literally walk to Italy. And it wouldn't be a long walk. Italy is less than 6km from my door step. For now, I'm pretty happy to experience the warmth of the culture and people and the deliciousness of the food, all the while being in the safe confines of Swiss efficiency.

Growing up half Portuguese, half German, I've been exposed to both a warm touchy feely culture and one where saying "I love you" was reserved for special occasions". My portuguese family was part of the kissing culture and my mom did a great job of breaking the tradition of "I love you" only for special occasions.

So, I'm familiar with the kissing culture. The thing with the kissing culture though, is that each country/region/family have their own kissing ritual. If you've ever been to any Latin country, you know what I mean. You meet someone, you kiss them. Not tongue slipping action, but the polite cheek kisses. The thing is, if you get the ritual wrong, you look ridiculous. I remember being in Bolivia and assuming I was in a 2 kiss society. It turned out it was a 3 kisser and when I thought it was over, I was face to face with a 19 year old about to smack me on the lips. Awkward.

Living in Germany for the past year and a half, it's safe to say there wasn't a lot of kissing going on. Not that it was cold (in that regard) there just wasn't kiss greetings. Or hugs really. But I'm good with that. I'm not a hugger. It was odd though, because on your birthday, people would rush across a room and hug you. I felt awkward about the hugging ritual. there would be someone who barely said 2 words to you 364 days a year and then would rush you in an embrace one day a year.

So here I am. Living in kissing culture. And I have no idea if I'm meant to 2 kiss or 3 kiss. One of these days after carefully watching for the umpteenth time, I'll get it straight. Maybe I'll just tattoo the number 2 or 3 on my hand so I get it straight!


SussGirl said...

just keep on holding's spring after all.
ps: and sorry for all the unsolicited hugging i subjected you to while in germany...i will move on to kissing now, if you prefer...even at the beer festival next week?! ;)

Anonymous said...

no idea who you are. but it's 3 with luganesi
and 2 italians.