Over the weekend, we met up with our little group of international (read: not Polish) friends at the park so that our Spanish friend could serve us all “good” paella.
Anyone who’s traveled to Europe, or really anywhere outside the U.S. knows that upon greeting your friends you are supposed to kiss. The kissing confuses me totally. After all these years of being overseas, as soon as I see a non-American, non-Canadian, or non-British, these are the thoughts that run through my head: “Do you think anyone would notice if I just scootched up under this table?” “They’re definitely going to expect me to kiss them.” “Is it 2,3 or 4 kisses?” and when they come up from behind you with no warning “F**k! I’m caught!”.
We see the Spanish friends often enough that I remember upon approach all the kissing etiquette of Spain. Shortly after we arrived and greeted the Spanish friends, the Greek friends arrived. Unfortunately I was backed into a corner and unable to escape from the kisses (which I know is incredibly rude, but it really makes me uncomfortable). I kissed the Greek man and the woman was next. I assume it was my faux pax, but she started on the wrong side and we kissed on the lips. (Imagine you are leaning to kiss someone on their left cheek and they also lean to kiss you on your right. Yep, that’s a full on lip kiss!)
For the rest of the party, I did my alternative of parking myself in the center of a long table so that I could just wave, or at the most shake hands with people as they arrived. I was hiding out in trees (literally!) when the German arrived, because, unfair or not – I avoid her like the plague. It’s all fun and games until somebody touches my breast!