The Greeting Grind
The start of the season can be a truly stressful time. For a lot of people, these are new surroundings full of strangers with different customs and greetings.
For starters, how are you to know who you will ever actually meet again out of the hundreds of people you meet in these fateful first weeks? You’ve given your number to countless people who you say you will shred with, but how much of this social graft is actually worth while? Only time will tell (none of it).
But the real barrier is not language or whether you ski/board/snow scoot, oh no. The real trial of your social abilities is tested in the greeting. The possibilities are endless but here are some of the options available to you:
A simple handshake
A hearty fist bump
A slappin slap tap
A super cool high five
A high ten with savage eye contact
One of those weird grabby handshakes where the thumbs go above
Same again but then you pull it in for a bro hug
A very British nod of the head from a safe distance
A short awkward hug
An overly long hug
A hug and a kiss
A hug and a kiss on both cheeks
A hug and a good tonguing (don’t do this)
You should practise a few of these in the mirror before heading out into the wider world. AND NOW IT IS TIME. You are at the bar, being introduced to some geezer or lass that your mate has some tenuous connection with. You go in for the hug and double kiss but feel their fist in your ribs as you lean in because they were hoping for a fist bump. Your kisses do not hit their target - the whole bar goes quiet and everyone starts staring at you as if you made a crude, slightly racist joke.
Here is a three point guide on how you avoid these types of conundrums -
Come in strong and slow with your greeting, make your intentions clear.
Try to have done the necessary reconnaissance, if the subject is french or has lived here for a while then the hug double kiss may be the best option.
If things do go pear shaped, excuse yourself from the situation and leave town.
Hopefully this helps and we can all avoid any unnecessary mishaps. The awkwardness from a grabbed fist bump can start avalanches many miles away so it is in everyones best interest to get clued in.
Final note: If you see me about, I am privy to a hand shake or a hug, if you try any alien shit on me you will end up being shamed in The Echo.
Lots of love,