Two kisses? Or one?
This is the centre of my universe at the moment. As you would know, Hong Kong is a double kiss zone – one on each cheek – while in Australia; it’s strictly one kiss only. In some countries, three, others, none at all. It can be terribly confusing.
This is a serious issue. I was recently in Australia and went in for the double kiss with an old friend. Both totally unprepared for the different kiss cultures, we suffered the awkwardness of me moving in, and her moving on.
It’s an issue I would like to see standardized. I accept that countries will drive on different sides of the road, and railways have different gauges, but kissing surely needs to be sorted out. It will be hard, I know. Take the metric system of units. The uniform version of this was first introduced in the 1960’s, however, there are still two countries refusing to budge and adopt it: Burma and the United States… go figure.
Kissing etiquette may encounter similar stoic refusal to bend. Perhaps it should be a popular vote, or should we just defer to the proclaimed experts, the French? The world has never before, as far as I am aware, voted on a single global issue of such importance. This could be groundbreaking stuff. I am certainly not advocating a worldwide plebiscite, but the United Nations Security Council could certainly vote on our behalf. And if you think this issue is too frivolous for such an esteemed body, read on:
I refer now to 2006, when the UN Security Council voted on sending peace keeping troops to the Sudan, to stop the Sudanese government killing of civilians – with one proviso attached – the resolution needed to be approved by the same Sudanese government to take effect: Strangely, they did not approve…. So I think the Council has plenty of time to weigh up kissing.
If it does get sorted out, it naturally follows that peace will descend on the Middle East, in my mind, anyway. On being told at the 1993 Israeli/Palestinian peace deal he would have to shake renowned snog merchant Yasser Arafat’s hand, Yitzhak Rabin famously said that he would, “…but no kissing”. Maybe a peck on each cheek would have done them both some good. Come on UN!
Once kissing is fixed, then in Hong Kong, we can move onto more local issues such as the problem of commuters rushing onto the MTR train before passengers have had a chance to alight, and even the weighty issue of Chinese mainland tourists going to the beach; men dressed in suits, the women in high heels. These issues need to be addressed.
Imagine a world without kissing malfunctions, a world where you can get off a train, without being jostled by a 90 year-old lady trying to get on. Imagine a beach full of people in swimmers rather than evening wear. Too much, too soon?