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?
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!