A funny and revealing incident yesterday.
I invited some friends down for lunch which is a rare event. I usually make the expedition to town, where as is the custom, we greet each other with cheek kissing (lips making contact with skin when warranted – air-style reserved for less-intimate acquaintances) and varying degrees of hugs (I prefer the two hands on shoulders minimalist version to the full-on arms around the neck drama).
Yet when my friend John was leaving yesterday he laughed heartily when I offered him my hand to shake. “What are you doing shaking hands with me?” I realised it was because we were in Enfield – where we shake hands and do not kiss, or hug, ever, regardless of who the meeter or greeter is – be they friend or relation.
Same person but different location! Automatically I reverted to type when in my own kitchen, but in Dublin 2 where we would normally meet in executive restaurants, it would never have occurred to me to shake hands. In fact, it would be odd and bizarre…
Our unconscious little ways….