Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Faire les bises

I guess it's probably because I'm half-Swiss and I've spent a fair while in France that I appreciate the confusion that cross-border kissing can cause.  The Swiss rule is a triple peck, the most common French rule is a double peck, though in some rural areas it can stretch to four.  And most English people just do a single peck.   Because I'm very familiar with that moment of feeling a little lost, I've been enjoying the embarrassment that Tour de France cyclist Andy Schleck has managed to cause whenever he gets the maillot jaune.  That's twice now that he's managed to confuse a podium girl by insisting on his Luxembourgeois right to treble pucker.  In the screengrab below she's just realised that she can't just stop at two and hand over the stuffed lion. He's waiting to close the deal.
I now want him to win a few more yellow jerseys out of simple curiosity about how long this cross-border comedy of manners will go on for before the message finally gets through.

UPDATE after Stage 11: Kissing chaos continues.  For a start, the Manxman Cavendish won the finishing sprint and gained the green jersey.  He gets up on the podium and kisses the two girls in threes - and they seem to be ready for three - and then afterwards he repeats the triples with the 2 dignitaries to the side of the podium.  Then comes Schleck again, having retained the yellow.  The first girl imposes a 2-cheek limit and he then turns to the stuffed lion lady and he reasserts his treble.  He then wanders off to shake hands with the male dignitaries and faire les bises with the 2 women.  The first woman, perhaps preconditioned by Cavendish offers her left cheek, then her right cheek, then her left cheek for the finale...only to be left hanging because Schleck has gone straight on to the 2nd woman.  The first woman, an ex-French time trialler, looked a little discombobulated.


Sebastien Ardouin said...

Even in some large cities, like Bordeaux, you'd give four pecks. Four kisses to almost every girl you know when you arrive at collège, lycée, or uni in the morning. Living on the other side of the Channel has its advantages but you'd better arrive early enough!

CarolineLD said...

The treble is always confusing - I either stop too early or worse, having realised we're continuing, assume I should carry on to four. Thankfully, in Cotes d'Armor two pecks generally suffice!

CarolineLD said...

Thanks for the update, it made me smile!