The Two Kisses // The Sinking Smoothie

A woman should wear perfume wherever she wants to be kissed.

– Coco Chanel

The kisses that are the subject for today are most probably not the ones Coco Chanel had in mind. It’s about the kisses on the cheeks used to greet friends and family.

Sometimes it’s a confusing issue, depending on which country you are in, or who you are greeting. It may be two kisses, either beginning on the left cheek or beginning on the right. In Spain you must reach over to your left to simultaneously kiss on the right, then reach over to your right to kiss onto the left. In France it’s the other way around. In some countries it can be more than two kisses. In other countries, none at all.

The first time I was exposed to this conundrum was when we moved to New Caledonia. Having previously lived mainly in Australia, I had never ever had to do the cheek kiss greeting thing. Upon arrival in New Caledonia we went for lunch at some friend’s house. Their daughter, who was my age, came and did the cheek kiss greeting with no warning. Ok. I recoiled slightly but my instinct told me that this must be normal in their culture. Now that I live in Spain and it has completely integrated into my personal culture, I remember the episode each time I greet a foreigner this way (who does not have it integrated into their culture) and see the surprise on their faces.

Now, however, a new cheek greeting confusion is being installed in my life, and not only in my own life but in the Spanish corporate world in general. It’s suddenly common to arrive for a meeting in a company and be greeted with the two cheek kisses. The anglo saxon part of me still automatically darts out my right had for a handshake in corporate circumstances. In a fraction of a second I can see confusion in the other persons face, as in maybe I won’t be friendly enough to be trustworthy. So a simultaneous handshake and two kisses take place. I don’t mind if it’s with people I already know pretty well, but I must admit that for a first professional meeting, I find it bizarre.

Even though cheek kissing greeting in the corporate field is taking over Spain like a storm, I know that many people also still feel confused about it.

What are the greeting protocols where you live?

Strawberry and dark chocolate smoothie

The Sinking Smoothie is called so basically because the tiny pieces of dark chocolate it contains are in suspension but quickly sink to the bottom of the glass. For the future, my bet to remedy this is either to use powdered chocolate, or to use a thicker fattier medium to create a thicker emulsion, like mascarpone cheese for example.

The good news is that when you finish drinking it, you have a nice crunchy chocolatey surprise waiting for you!


6 strawberries, 1 chunk dark chocolate, 1 glass milk, 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Wash and cut the strawberries. Put everything in a blender. Mix. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Thank you for reading!

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  1. laurasmess 2014-05-01 at 02:10

    Wow, whenever I visit you everything’s different Sofia! I do like this layout though, shows off your post beautifully. I love a good smoothie too… this one looks delicious! I’ve never put an actual chunk of chocolate into a smoothie before though, just cocoa powder or cacao… did it blend up easily? Maybe my blender just isn’t good enough! Lovely post x

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-05-01 at 08:37

      Yeah it was different all the time because I wasn’t satisfied with it so kept on changing. I’ve had this layout for a few days and am very satisfied 🙂 The chunk of chocolate did not blend well but you get a choc surprise when you finish 😉 XX

  2. Dalo 2013 2014-05-01 at 04:35

    As an American, the two-kisses on the check really throws me for a loop…even when people in the group I am in meets someone and does this routine, I do not know if I should partake (as maybe they are just all really good friends), so I always wait to see whether it is a shake of the hands or a kiss. Such drama 🙂

    Hugs are nice though, and when in a business environment, hugs are a good sign of trust and friendship. Smoothie looks great, the chocolate being the best part.

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-05-01 at 08:49

      Interesting! Here a hug in the business world would really throw us off the loop! And in the friendship world only reserved to bestest friends (my piano teacher) or friends you haven’t seen in ages because they live far away.

      1. Dalo 2013 2014-05-02 at 00:47

        I think I would also have to agree, hugs are rare in the business world…and I suppose only occur when we have seen each other for awhile ~ and business is going well 🙂

  3. Mabel Kwong 2014-05-01 at 07:56

    Outside of the working world, I find a handshake or extending your hand when you meet new people very formal. But also very polite, which is a good thing as it shows manners. With really good friends, we greet each other with crushing bear hugs (when tall friends hug me, short me never fails to get lifted off the ground!).

    Love the simple smoothie recipe! Chocolate surprise waiting at the bottom 🙂

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-05-01 at 08:53

      Haha even though I’m not really short but my brother is 1.98m tall (!!) so I know that lifted off the ground feeling too!

  4. Tala Ghalayini 2014-05-01 at 18:34

    I read ur post and realized, I have all these ingredients right now!! (Which is rare) so I’m enjoying my sinking smoothie as I write this :)))

  5. Amanda 2014-05-01 at 20:20

    What a beautiful smoothie. Strawberries and chocolate in a drink? Can you beat that? I think not. I love your musings. You really do bring up a funny cultural point. I can’t imagine being kissed in a meeting here. My mother-in-law goes in for two kisses and she’s Colombian, but sometimes she’ll stop at one because I just can’t…So funny. I think here in the States it just depends on the person and where he or she is from.

  6. Helen @ Scrummy Lane 2014-05-02 at 18:39

    Mmm … that sounds lovely! I like the fact that it’s mostly strawberries with a little hint of chocolate. I wouldn’t mind at all if the ‘bits’ sank to the bottom. As you said, there would just be a nice surprise to spoon up at the end!

  7. Tashiana 2014-05-28 at 08:49

    I found this post pretty hilarious! I’m from London (But seriously wish I lived in Aussie ha!) where everyone tends to either shake hands or just not do anything until they know each other well. My mums family however are from Portugal + India…even though they live here, every single greet involves a 2 cheeked kiss and a tight hug. All my life I have never gotten used to this – the 2 cheek thing really annoys me – i never even know which way to go and it doesn’t work out well when the other person doesn’t really know either and they end up kissing your ear-hole! Me and my brothers joke about it a lot. I wish a hug would be enough! It’s interesting to hear your perspective 🙂

    Smoothie looks yummo!

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-05-28 at 09:35

      Hi Tashiana! It sounds like you’re a bit like me from different cultures and having to live around them all. How are the greetings in India? I know that when I go to Indonesia the politeness is is always so complex, I’m afraid I’m being rude if I don’t know something. Haha that’s funny, kissing your ear-hole! Here in Spain often elder men say: don’t kiss the air, you have to kiss me! (what a cheek 😉 ) In Spain hugs are more intimate only for your best friends when you haven’t seen in a while! But then because I’ve lived in too many places, everything goes for me 😉


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