A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random adventures through South America,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

people i have kissed

here in buenos aires it is customary to kiss everyone you meet on the cheek.  everyone.  men, women, everyone.  and it does not matter what your relationship to this person is.  if you speak to someone for more than about 2 minutes, you are now on kissing-terms with them.  if you walk into a party, random people you have never met will kiss you first, then tell you their names.

although the bolshevik finds this highly uncomfortable (being a cold-hearted anglo-type), i find a sort of comfort in knowing that there will be no awkward  goodbyes, no wondering whether or not you are going to hug, shake hands, kiss, etc.  or worse, no going in to kiss someone on the cheek only to realize that they were planning on shaking your hand.  i like a good steadfast rule.

with that said, here is a list of random people we have had to kiss:

1.  our realtor - a woman showed us ONE apartment that we absolutely did not want to take, and then afterwards we had to kiss her as we tried to excuse ourselves from the situation.  uncomfortable.

2.  my students - i kiss all of my students both hello and goodbye.  it's just odd to be that friendly.

3.  our banker - the bolshevik had to kiss his banker after a fiasco with a lost ATM card.  i'm sure he had not expected this level of treatment when he became a premiere member of HSBC.  for a while, this was #1 in awkward kissing situations, but then today i had a winner with ...

4.  my gynecologist - yup, i had to kiss my gynecologist today, as well as her receptionist.  very strange.

although odd, i am kind of getting used to this level of affectionateness with everyone.  the other day, the bolshevik and i were watching an episode of mad men, and i was amazed at how stiff and unemotional everyone was.  at first i thought, "oh, that's what conservative late 1950s/early 1960s america was like."  but then i realized, no ... the reason everyone seems so uptight is because people are shaking hands and the entire office of Sterling Cooper aren't kissing each other hello.  (which i would imagine in a large office takes a long time ... it must be at least 9:30 am before everyone has kissed everyone and can commence with the work day)

1 comment:

  1. i like learning about other cultures from you. it makes is much more real and memorable.

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