Friday, October 17

Kissing in fours

Is a "preserve of Paris," as this article says. It is also usually reserved to family and really close friends. The French are known to be oscillation oriented people, but the kissing map also defines how many kisses one may give or receive depending on the geographical location. Some kiss only once, in the more conservative Atlantic region of Charente-Maritime. Go the Teutonic Alsace and you get the normal two: one on each cheek. But go somewhere near the Cote d'Azur and you will get three.

Here in Manila, depends on where you are and who you're with and you will be invariably be greeted with: [a] Oy! With matching taas ng eyebrows, [b] A short primal scream, followed with air kisses which suffocate you in the other person's parfum, [c] A hug with matching "Where have you been all my life?!" After which you run away, or [d] A nod, begrudgingly given and then you go ahead with minding your own businesses. I don't. Maybe as a collective we're really not just the kissing sort, unless you count the "mano," where you bring your elder's hand to your forehead.

Prior to working, I never was one for making beso. I only learned to live with it when I had older friends who insisted on making them. Now I'm fine with it, but of course it still depends on the closeness with which I relate to them. And oh, some people really just value their personal space, which may be like 3 inches or 3 feet.

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