Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

I have just landed…



Picture this: I am somewhere between London and Singapore, on a plane obviously, and as usual I am struggling to get some sleep. I don’t sleep well in planes. So here I am, watching movies and reading a bit, trying to be as quiet as possible. Suddenly, I start hearing people grunt behind me. I take a quick glance. There isn’t much else to do anyway. That’s when I see them: a Chinese-speaking couple is passionately French kissing in the row right behind me. If things continue the way they have started, they should soon join the mile high club. He is already starting to try to put his hand in her shirt, and she doesn’t seem to mind (did you notice the British understatement here?).

At least some of us are having fun, I think to myself. The absurdity of the situation suddenly dawns on me: I am the quiet French lady in the corner, and these two are madly French kissing. So can someone tell me why the French kiss is French? If appearances are to be believed, it should be a Chinese kiss. Or maybe a Singaporean one, I haven’t seen their passport. Just saying.

So why is the French kiss French?

First of all, in France, the French kiss isn’t French. It is called a love kiss, a kiss with the tongue or some more colourful expressions such as ‘rouler une pelle’ (literally, to roll a shovel). In short, the French kiss might be French, but outside of France only.

The only reason why the French kiss is French is because we French (if there is such a think as we French, which I doubt) have the reputation of being more promiscuous than the rest of the world, right? Once again, we are supposed to be more passionate and adventurous. Think of a British kiss: what does it do to you? Well, not much, right? Think of a French one now, and it will send shivers down your spine. 

So unfair. Right now they are the one having all the fun, and it has nothing to do with us French. So can someone explain to me how we earned such a reputation? Right now I can vouch for the fact that it is totally undeserved. I am the reasonable one here. So reasonable it hurts, actually.

We French seem to concentrate all the cliches on love and sex. A friend of mine told me that a Brazilian wax used to be called a French wax in the 80s. On the other hand, apparently we French women are the only ones who can get away with not being perfectly groomed. Go figure. I will never understand.

Things seem to progress well on the next row. I so wish I were asleep right now. She stands up and seem to head to the toilet.

Will he follow her? Will he keep seated? I will never know, because my eyes finally start to feel heavy and I am dozing off.

A last thought crosses my mind before falling asleep: a kiss is never just a kiss. Good luck to them!

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London