No, not what you're thinking. I'm talking about the French custom of greeting (and saying goodbye) with a kiss. Or rather a minimum of 2 kisses, one on each cheek. After 2 years and 2 months here I am totally used to it now, but it in the beginning it was like a comedy of errors.
It was a while before I realised that whereas men who don't know each other well shake hands, women are always greeted with a kiss, even by men they don't know. So that the time we were introduced to our neighbours male friend, and I shook his hand after seeing Lucas shake hands with him, I was being totally rude. Luckily he understood after we explained that it was just because I wasn't used to the kissing culture.
I used to dread going to parties because I knew that meant making the rounds to kiss everyone present (on arriving and on departing). It's now second nature to me thank goodness. What I am still trying to get the hang of, however, is how many kisses need to be given, depending on where we are. In the mountains in Haute Loire it's 3 and sometimes 4 kisses. I instinctively stop after 2, so it can be quite funny when the other person continues. Luckily everyone knows that the number of kisses differ, so we just have a laugh and continue on.
Now when I am back home I feel like something is missing when I go out and meet people, I want to kiss them but it's just not part of our culture really. We really only kiss when we haven't seen someone for a long time, not on a daily basis like the French do (yes in France you kiss to say good morning even if you're staying in the same house and saw the person just last night before bed).
What I still have to work out though, is how the kissing translates in the work context. When I start working again I'll have to ask Lucas how it works, to be sure I don't commit any faux pas by kissing (or not kissing) my male boss by mistake.