Posts tagged with "culture shock"

The Unexpected Kiss

A while ago, Dan and I made plans to play some table ten­nis yes­ter­day.

It’s been a year since we went to the old recre­ation­al club. The venue changes every year, and this sea­son it was too much of a has­sle for me to go as it was buried some­where in the city. For Dan, the new venue was too far to be prac­ti­cal to go on a reg­u­lar basis.

When we arrived, there were all famil­iar faces. We greet­ed them with hand­shakes and how-you-doings. Yerka, from the Czech Republic, arrived when we were catch­ing up. Along with her Polish hus­band Andrei, Yerka was one of the new mem­bers last year. Andrei was on my league team, and even though I was cap­tain, Andrei was def­i­nite­ly the best play­er, with Yerka always there to sup­port him from the bleach­ers.

I extend­ed my hand to her, but in the European fash­ion she leaned in to kiss me on the cheek. I react­ed and adjust­ed for a kiss as well, but appar­ent­ly there’s a rule on which side to kiss first.

My friends and I nev­er faire la bise, and in my igno­rance, I went for her right cheek, she went for my left, and we end­ed up kiss­ing full on the lips.

Then prompt­ly laughed it off.