Yesterday I was at a meeting with some of my fellow Singapore Writer’s Group (which is an amazing group of writers, seriously! But 505 members on Meet-Up is not exactly functional). Being Singapore, we are a fairly culturally diverse group. After serious discussions about our future as a group, we parted ways.
I actually was NOT the token Yank at the time. There was one other. Note this. It’s an important fact.
So the three English women and one French women started hugging and kissing each others’ cheeks. Then it was my turn. This is kind of what I wanted to do:
Obviously I went along with it but did not actually kiss. Also I didn’t start crying, don’t worry. I’ve been through this plenty of other times, but still it makes me feel a bit awkward, especially since I don’t know them super well.
“We’ll turn you into a European yet!” one of my writing friends said. We all had a bit of a laugh.
Me and the other American looked at each other and laughed. We just waved.
We definitely don’t do the hug and kiss each cheek thing in Wisconsin. I was thinking about it, and my friends and I back home at most would do an awkward side hug farewell but that’s about it. My English and Scottish friends here, apart from those at the SWG, don’t do that either.
Will I turn European before I leave Singapore? Only time will tell. I’ve been told I’m practically British so I guess I’m getting closer 😛
Have you encountered cultural differences in greetings that made you feel uncomfortable? What is your culture’s method of saying good bye? (Americans, we DO have our own culture, which I didn’t really realize until I left haha)