French kisses, or: Cultural barriers

A Sijo

I thought myself conversant in French
until I tried to hug her;
Still, my American cheeks flushed
from being kissed in friendship;
She spoke so many tongues...
but American? Not so much.


A Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka and comprised of three lines of 14-16 syllables each, for a total of 44-46 syllables. Each line contains a pause near the middle, similar to a caesura, though the break need not be metrical. The first half of the line contains six to nine syllables; the second half should contain no fewer than five. Originally intended as songs, sijo can treat romantic, metaphysical, or spiritual themes. Whatever the subject, the first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a โ€œturn,โ€ and the third provides closure. Modern sijo are sometimes printed in six lines.

Twiglets #315

kiss on the cheek

Moonwashed weekly prompt


40 thoughts on “French kisses, or: Cultural barriers”

  1. Well done, David. Language, spoken or not, can be challenging at times. You’ve captured it brilliantly. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Body language varies across cultures. I had a hard time in Europe. French, Spanish, eastern Europeans.. everyone greeted me differently. You captured those feelings ๐Ÿ˜‚.. great stuff David.

  3. A true story? I think it is an issue in many countries which leads to confusion. At least there is a meeting of the minds even without a hug!

  4. I love how the french greet
    All this mustโ€™ve changed with the onset of covid

    Not American so much ๐Ÿ˜‚

    A woman with many tongues

    1. Well, yes, but sometimes people’s ways of expressing affectionate friendship are very different – and a hug in one culture may come across as transgressive in another (and so too with kisses!)

      1. Oh yes! It could be comparable to indecency. Let’s hope in this case that the heat remains confined to the flushed cheeks. Or things could get ugly….

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