Faux Pas Friday: La Bise, Part Deux

Boy, oh boy, did the bise ever go over big. Thanks everyone for the comments – the most ever on any post!

:: Flying kiss  ::

Kissing is obviously a hot topic, and we all have a lot to say. Merci, Partager Paris for backing me up with a similar (crude) baiser mistake. In an elevator with a good-looking French man, she announced she wanted to baiser the elevator, not lower it (baisser). “But Madame, I have not gotten to know you yet!” the cute Frenchman replied.

Many pointed out another bise pitfall: how many to give? Paris is mainly 2-kiss territory, but with my in-laws it’s more. If I complained about the round of bises before, don’t get me started when everyone gets four!

General agreement about possible mishaps depending on which way you start. I tend to veer right (kissing, not politically!), but it’s good to get a sense of which side your partner is headed. If not, an awkward lip-lock lies ahead. (Or maybe that’s what you’re after. Thanks, Adam, for sharing your brother’s story of an old woman taking things into her own hands: grabbed the face and laid a big one on him. You go, old lady! That may be me someday).

Karin requests a pronunciation guide with this Friday series, but I’m afraid phonetics is my failing. I can’t even pronounce my own husband’s name (pesky French ‘r’ in the middle!) But there’s no doubt that wrong pronunciation causes many a faux pas.

Like Rachelle saying “ass” (cul) when really she meant “cool”.

Or Montpellier Miss’ several slip-ups, though I think they’re just sweet. Like ordering “un pain aux raison (bread with reason) instead of raisins (raisins) at the boulangerie.”

Isn’t the bread in France wonderful? How much more awesome would it be if it also had reason!

Have a great weekend y’all. If it be not faux-pas less, at least let it be fun.

2 Responses to “Faux Pas Friday: La Bise, Part Deux”

  1. 1 Marianne Renoir April 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I can’t pronounce my husband’s name either, grrrr. I’ve tried, I really have. It’s just not gonna happen. It seems as though whenever I’m with my in-laws I always end up saying the most embarrassing things….

    To add to the list: In Luxembourg it’s 3 kisses, as I was told recently after giving a Luxembourgian only 2 kisses.


    • 2 parisimperfect April 4, 2010 at 11:02 am

      Yeah, isn’t it embarrassing? I keep thinking that *someday* I’ll be able to pronounce his name correctly, but so far it hasn’t happened. I just call him ‘cheri.’ There’s still an “r” there, but the word sounds more sweet than mangling my husband’s actual name 🙂


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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