Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nice to meet you too........?

Some of you might have heard that the greetings south of the US are a little more friendly then us Americans are use to.  A handshake is always accompanied by a kiss on the cheek.  This did not phase me when I arrived to Mexico because it seemed to be only something done between women.

Flashback to my third week in Mexico.

We had to go and pay the rent lady.  An event that I fully expected to have no participation in because my Spanish was still quite pathetic.  However, small talk started up and she began to ask me the classic questions like, where you from, how old are you, the usual.  When I mentioned that I only had three weeks in Mexico, her son, who had been chill-in out on the couch, butted in the conversation saying that my Spanish was really good for such little time.  Turned out that he was fluent in Spanish and English, so we began talking and I explained what we did as missionaries and what not while my companion paid the rent.  

Time came that he had to leave and he went to his mom and kissed her on the cheek to say goodbye.  My thoughts were, Oh thats so sweet, he loves his mommy.  But didnt think anything else of it.  Then he turned to my companion and I to say goodbye as well.  Another typical Mexico and below custom, you say goodbye to everyone in the room individually.  Sitting in my chair I reached out my hand with the words Mucho Gusto about to come out, but as he shook my hand his face started to move in closer as well.  Thats when time started to move in slow motion.  

All I could remember was not being able to move (cuz I was sitting in a huge chair) and thinking in my head, OH NO, OH NO, OH NO, WHATS HAPPENING? WHAT DO I DO? IS THIS A SIN?  I couldnt pull away because it is EXTREMELY offensive if you dont shake hands or say goodbye to people.  And although it felt like it was in slow motion, it all happened so fast.  On the sidelines my companion was repeating over and over, NO NO NO! NO PODEMOS! NO PODEMOS!  But she was too late.  He kissed my cheek.  Im still not sure if it was a sin or not ha ha.  As a missionary these things become so foreign to us.  Not to mention he was about the same age as me AND had some serious 5 o'clock shadow going on.  The sensation of that fuzz lingered on my cheek for sever minutes after he left.  

Ever since then I have been very careful to stay away from possible situations like that.  It nearly happened again about a month later.. but with a man quite significantly older... like in his 70s and who weighed about four times me.  No thank you.


  1. What? You don't want to be bussed by a 70-year old man with a scruffy cheek? I had better alert silly ole Grandpa. You would think the black badge on your shirt would keep people at a sensible distance. I'm thinking that young man wanted to get a little too close.

  2. Love it. One of Hadley's friends has a European dad and I just CANNOT get used to him kissing me on each cheek every time we say hello or goodbye. Can't do it. Never will get used to it. NOPE. And I'm not even a missionary.