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I hate kissing.

Spanish/European greeting kisses, that is. I'm such an awkward kisser, never knowing when to go in for the kill or hold off. I don't want to be too eager, or too "RESPECT my personal bubble"-American. Even after three years, I still can't get it right. I miss handshakes! I had that one down pat.

 

Are there any local customs you folks just can't get right?

Re: I hate kissing.

  • HAHA. I know the feeling! The Swiss do three kisses. It takes hours to say hello or goodbye to a room of people and it's a bit awkward when you first meet someone :D
  • AHH! Three? Gosh, I'd explode.

  • image ktkl09:
    HAHA. I know the feeling! The Swiss do three kisses. It takes hours to say hello or goodbye to a room of people and it's a bit awkward when you first meet someone :D
    It's the same in Lebanon and I feel so weird when I am there visiting fil and he's introducing us to his friends/etc.  
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  • image ktkl09:
    HAHA. I know the feeling! The Swiss do three kisses. It takes hours to say hello or goodbye to a room of people and it's a bit awkward when you first meet someone :D
    Not to mention that there are so many foreigners here that you never know if a new person is going to do two or three. Getting caught going for a third when the other party stops at two is beyond awkward.
  • image Publius:
    image ktkl09:
    HAHA. I know the feeling! The Swiss do three kisses. It takes hours to say hello or goodbye to a room of people and it's a bit awkward when you first meet someone :D
    Not to mention that there are so many foreigners here that you never know if a new person is going to do two or three. Getting caught going for a third when the other party stops at two is beyond awkward.

    I was just going to say the same thing! In our play group there are Americans who don't kiss, Australians who do one kiss, non-Swiss Europeans who do two, AND random non-Swiss people in the group who do three because we're in Switzerland. I never know what to do! SO confusing and awkward :)

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  • image Publius:
    image ktkl09:
    HAHA. I know the feeling! The Swiss do three kisses. It takes hours to say hello or goodbye to a room of people and it's a bit awkward when you first meet someone :D
    Not to mention that there are so many foreigners here that you never know if a new person is going to do two or three. Getting caught going for a third when the other party stops at two is beyond awkward.

    OMG totaly this!! 

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  • image Emily and Martin:

    image Publius:
    image ktkl09:
    HAHA. I know the feeling! The Swiss do three kisses. It takes hours to say hello or goodbye to a room of people and it's a bit awkward when you first meet someone :D
    Not to mention that there are so many foreigners here that you never know if a new person is going to do two or three. Getting caught going for a third when the other party stops at two is beyond awkward.

    I was just going to say the same thing! In our play group there are Americans who don't kiss, Australians who do one kiss, non-Swiss Europeans who do two, AND random non-Swiss people in the group who do three because we're in Switzerland. I never know what to do! SO confusing and awkward :)

    This!  Cambodians bow, so that's an easy one, but our group of expat friends includes people from all over.  I triple kiss the Dutch, double kiss the French, hug the Americans... it's exhausting!

    Now jumping domestically.

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  • Germans don't touch much, if they do they shake hands.

    MH is Cuban though and they only do the one kiss, you basically touch your right cheek to the other person's right cheek and air kiss. It's not an actual kiss on the cheek. It's funny to see normal (non hispanic/married to a hispanic) American try to do this. It's always just awkward, they never know which side to go to and they actually try to kiss the other person's cheek, which is impossible if they are also kissing your cheek. I just sit back and laugh at this whole custom. I hate it too btw. I think it's so fakey. I don't want to kiss people I don't know and I don't want to do it every time I enter or leave a room. LOL I'm used to it now.

    Now I just get confused with the friends we've made here from Spain and the French because they do the two kisses and I always forget that last one. :o*

  • Yeah, our friends are super international so I never know what's coming. And I swear they switch which side they go for first, I inevitably go the wrong way and then it just gets difficult!

    There's also this way people have of knowing who's turn it is at the bar - like, if a bunch of people are waiting, everyone instinctively knows who goes next and it's a huge socially awkward moment if you let the bartender get you drinks out of order.

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  • My biggest problem is starting on the correct side. After 3 years in Italy and being married to an Italian, the actual kissing part doesn't bother me anymore. However, after moving to Spain it always ends up in an awkward moment because they start on the opposite side and generally I forget and it ends up in a near miss kiss on the lips. 
  • I'm used to 3 and always go in for 3. If it's a 2-kiss-country I just tell them 'In NL we do three' and laugh about it. That works. My FH's cousin (Italian) has started kissing everyone 3 times as well now when I'm around, stating that's what the Dutch do. It's funny :-)

    I kinda like the kissing though, better than the hugging. Sure with close friends and family I don't mind hugs, but too many Americans just hug everybody and their dog, which makes me uncomfortable. If I don't know you very well hugging gets in my bubble waaaay more than kissing. If I don't like to actually kiss someone I'll just do the motions and barely touch, more of an air kiss, with hugs, there's no way of getting out of bodily contact.

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  • I never get this right. Ever.

    I can't count how many times I have accidently planted one on the lips of DH's aunts and uncles. .

    Two on each cheek is standard here I think.  Some of my expat friends do it, some don't.  Some Israelis do it, some don't. 

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  • image halydia:

    Spanish/European greeting kisses, that is. I'm such an awkward kisser, never knowing when to go in for the kill or hold off. I don't want to be too eager, or too "RESPECT my personal bubble"-American. Even after three years, I still can't get it right. I miss handshakes! I had that one down pat.

     

    Are there any local customs you folks just can't get right?

    Tell me more about that. I mean, they HUG in the US. Your whole body is against someone. Your breast is rubbing against someone else's lol. At least with cheeks, you can just barely touch the cheek and you just make the kiss sound. Actually, I never have my lips on someon's cheeks.

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  • Where I grew up in the US, people didn't hug. And where I live now, people don't cheek kiss. I do occasionally have to hug people but they're always related to me or my husband, and it's more likely to be because they're wishing me a happy birthday or something rather than a general greeting. I have my personal bubble and I am able to maintain it. It's one of the things I like about Denmark.
  • image LandOBiscuit:
    Tell me more about that. I mean, they HUG in the US. Your whole body is against someone. Your breast is rubbing against someone else's lol. At least with cheeks, you can just barely touch the cheek and you just make the kiss sound. Actually, I never have my lips on someon's cheeks.

     

    I hug friends and family. I do not hug coworkers before and after Christmas/Easter/Summer break. I do not hug people I'm meeting for the first time. I do not hug people I kind of know but haven't seen in a long time. 

    I'm ok with my friends and family getting close. I'm not really comfortable with others doing the same.

     

    Then there's always the question of - where do the hands go? Elbows? Arm? High-five while air-kissing? I feel a whole heck of a lot better knowing I'm not the only one over here who's lost!

  • Yes, I'm always confused about what to do, so I usually awkwardly shake a hand/half kiss someone's cheek, switzerland makes my life so awkward!
  • image ktkl09:
    Yes, I'm always confused about what to do, so I usually awkwardly shake a hand/half kiss someone's cheek, switzerland makes my life so awkward!

    This.

    I got so embarrassed the first time someone did 3 cheek kisses on me. I got so red! I don't like my bubble being broken. Even DH goes to far for me if I'm out of my element.  

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  • Late to the party but I have to comment because it confuses the heck out of me too. I just offer a handshake regardless of where they come from with a huge smile to make it friendlier. 'Hi, how are you? Great to meet you!' /backs down /space /handshake /big smile. I like my personal space. 
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