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Things I'm Looking Forward To Doing Now That I'm British: Number Four - Sauntering Vaguely Downward [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Things I'm Looking Forward To Doing Now That I'm British: Number Four [20130919|09:50]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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4. Greeting people awkwardly. When I lived in the States, it took me years to learn to greet people using the appropriate firm handshake or hug (depending on the situation and/or level of familiarity with the greetee). I never felt like I was doing it right.

Then I moved here, and it became totally unclear how to greet anyone no matter what the situation or level of familiarity. People would often fail to introduce themselves or shake hands. Even after a lengthy period of conversation we still somehow wouldn't get round to exchanging actual names and I'd be reduced to asking others in private afterward who that was. If I couldn't remember (or failed to discover) their name on the second meeting, I'd feel uncomfortable going for the more familiar kiss on the cheek - and of course if you've decided that one kiss is appropriate, the other person will inevitably lean in for the second on the other cheek and then you have to do follow through but there's this pause that makes it clear you misjudged and oh, the embarrassment. And if you've decided to go for two kisses, maybe because you've already been at the pub for an hour and they've just arrived and you're overflowing with sauce-induced love for humanity in general and they've just finished a rotten day at work, they'll pull away and oh, the embarrassment.

The saving grace of this fiasco was learning that this is the right way to greet people in Britain. Now I have an excuse to do it forever. Hurrah!

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/892425.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jixel
2013-09-19 13:12 (UTC)
i remember reading once someone commenting on an etiquette post that "only vampires" reach for a kiss on the left
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-09-19 19:34 (UTC)
You know, I never thought about it before but I do always go in for a right-side kiss first. Guess I'm not a vampire.
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[User Picture]From: purplecthulhu
2013-09-19 21:25 (UTC)
No - that's not vampires that's the french (or at least parisians).

Edited at 2013-09-19 09:27 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: impix
2013-09-19 17:42 (UTC)
Haha, this is so true!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-09-19 19:35 (UTC)
My favourite thing about it is that it comes so naturally to me! :P
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[User Picture]From: purplecthulhu
2013-09-19 21:26 (UTC)
Oh great Cthulhu that is all so horribly true. I remember meeting you for the first time at some postdocs gathering and never finding out your name.

I must be english... Oh - I am! That's OK then...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-09-20 13:01 (UTC)
We had a lot of wine at that postdoc gathering and talked for about an hour, too. Terrible!
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2013-09-20 03:46 (UTC)
OH MY GOD THE ACCURACY.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-09-20 13:07 (UTC)
Innumerable times. Innumerable.
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[User Picture]From: dangermouse72
2013-09-20 07:44 (UTC)
I'm really bad at introductions (esp remembering to introduce other people)............and I'm also really bad at remembering who people are..
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-09-20 13:08 (UTC)
Sometimes I wonder if not being able to do these things is somehow built into your educational system.
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[User Picture]From: dangermouse72
2013-09-22 07:22 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean?
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[User Picture]From: void150
2013-09-24 12:01 (UTC)
Hahahaha!
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