Wednesday, April 2, 2014

To Kiss Or Not To Kiss?

I was driving last night, and Austin tells me, "Mom, I don't really like meeting people from South America."  I of course, asked why.  He replied, "I never know if they are going to kiss me once, twice, or three times.  And if I stop at two and they go for the third kiss, it can be awkward when they get my mouth!"  I then said, "Well, maybe that was their intent all along."  ;)  But Austin does bring up an interesting point.

For simplicity, I call myself American, but I really am Puerto Rican (Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking commonwealth of the US).  Being Hispanic, I grew up greeting people with a single kiss.  As I grew older, I adapted to the more American style of a handshake or a small wave.  Well, that just won't do here in Oman!  I learned very quickly that the proper greeting here is two kisses.  I have been greeted with three kisses a few times, but I don't remember where they were from.  Now I don't mind the two-kiss greeting.  It is kind of nice.  The problem is when you encounter a group of people all at one time.  Double-kissing takes time!  Another problem is when one is in a hurry.  I am the Class Administrator for our Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class here in Muscat (Tuesday mornings at 9:15 at the Ghala Church).  I am usually greeting the ladies when they come in.  It gets a little funny when they are rushing in a bit late.  You can see the hesitation in their face.  Do they stop and greet me with double-kisses or do they rush to their class?  Kisses usually win out.  :)

I have friends from all over the world here in Muscat.  From Holland, Egypt, Kuwait, Brazil, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, England, Scotland, Philippines, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Peru, Nigeria, Botswana, Russia, Turkey, and Hungary.  I know I am missing a few places, but you get the idea.  Pretty much double-kisses all around.  Now here is the funny thing.  What happens when you get a group of just Americans together??  Do we double-kiss?  Sometimes we do, out of sheer habit.  But sometimes we catch ourselves and laugh, and skip the kisses.

So, if you see me in the States this summer, don't be surprised if I go in for the double-kiss.  But I promise I will not greet you as some Omani men greet each other.  Nose taps!

I know I said my next blog post was going to be about spring break.  Well, I should go pack now!

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