Thursday, September 5, 2013

French Kissing

I don't know how deeply I've delved into the subject of kissing in France, but this is the stuff that this Culture (yes, culture with a capital C!) is made of...   So, here we go!

This morning I was sitting in a coffee shop/bar/newsstand/convenience store around the corner from my new digs looking like a total tourist in my shorts and tennies with socks, writing postcards, and drinking a cappuccino (which looked like a McDonald's ice cream cone and an espresso got in a brawl and the ice cream won) and - I'm not even joking - every single customer said hello upon entry to pretty much everyone but me.  The men shook hands with each other and everyone kissed the women (2x minimum - first the right cheek then the left cheek - though I witnessed a four kiss situation which, at this point, is my worst nightmare...).  Ha!  No matter what is going on, you drop everything and walk straight up to people with a gender specific greeting and this is a HUGE part of the culture here that I have yet to fully embrace (ahem ahem).

So, if you can imagine my practice last night - there I was being introduced to the core of the Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire Men's Regional team (seriously 7 French guys just totally blankly staring at me) and no one knew how to say hi.  Do we perform the usual ceremony (two kisses - no eye contact - no hesitation, just literally stick your neck out and go right on in for it)?  Do I just take the lead and spit on hundreds of years of their cultural tradition by swapping their kisses for a sweaty yankee handshake?  Running away screaming was taken into consideration...  Eyeyey!  I ended up asking if it was possible to institute a strict high five policy...  People agreed this was fine.  So, our salutation involves a high five plus an exploding fist bump (it's sporty and kinda like knuckles kissing with fireworks at the end).

Greeting aside, it was pretty obvious from the start that at least half of these guys were not excited about having a young, female, American coach...  Oh man, that's so many counts against me here it's a little ridiculous, but once we got started they were all cool and there's no doubt about it - this team is athletic with strong fundamentals.  My role is clearly just to work them out hard and give them game-like drills that challenge specific areas where they need improvement.  I thought practice went pretty well, but we'll see who shows up on Friday!  :)

Today I went to see a cool and competent podiatrist who made me custom insoles!  Now every time I take a step it feels like a baby is punching me in the arch.  Haha!  He said wearing the insoles should clear up my foot pain completely in ten days and to come see him again any time.  We talked for a long time about feet (doy!) and athleticism (one of my favorite topics!)...  His office was super high-tech.  He really helped me.

I feel great - which is good because I have practice tonight!  Yay!  Okay - that's all for now.  More later!


  1. Hilarious Amy, I can feel your discomfort from here! Once you get your wardrobe and get out of sports clothing you MIGHT start to blend in more. Just get some alcohol wipes for your cheeks.