As a foreigner, you’ll encounter all kinds of baffling things abroad. For me in France, la bise tops the list. These pesky French cheek kisses are the norm but as an outsider, sometimes you’ll just be confused… and rightfully so. French cheek kisses ARE confusing.
French cheek kisses: La bise explained
First, let’s tackle the la bise meaning. La bise is a cheek kiss, what you do upon meeting and saying goodbye to a French person. The faire la bise meaning is to do cheek kisses.
If you’re not familiar with the whole French kiss on the cheek thing, here’s why la bise can be confusing:
- What side do you start on?
- How many kisses do you do?
- Who do you kiss?
- For how long?
- Every time you see them? When you leave too?
I was even schooled on my French cheek kisses by someone at the gym! It can give a well-meaning foreigner a complex. We’re just trying to fit in so take it easy on us, OK?
In this hilarious video that’s been circulating on the interwebs, British comedian Paul Taylor points out why la bise is a royal pain in the butt and he nails it on all counts. I wholeheartedly agree about his take on French cheek kisses (don’t even get me started on when you wear glasses). Oh and if you’re offended by foul language, you may want to skip this.
Hope you loved that video on la bise in France as much as I did.