Bonneau Services

Comprehensive translation, interpreting, relocation and administrative services. Your Helping Hand in Brittany / France.

Covid complications causing concerns

Martin and Nadine haven’t been to France since January, and Covid complications certainly are an issue and a constant worry. It seems sorting out a ferry crossing isn’t the only hurdle. Is it better to go or to cancel?

Requirements for driving in France – Breath Test Kits

On 1st July 2012, a law was introduced in France: all drivers had to carry a breath test kit in their car. Find out why and if or how that law was implemented. Read more about the driving requirements in France.

Kouign-amann vs Lardy cake

Kouign-amann is a beautiful, buttery, traditional Breton cake. During the current lockdown, unable to travel to Brittany, we have found an alternative: the British lardy cake. Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

Kissing in France is terribly complicated. Do you kiss on one cheek, both cheeks, three times, or four times?

Technically, I suppose, it is not actually a kiss: cheeks are touched and a kissing sound is made.

In some parts of France, I believe one or even three kisses are exchanged, but in Brittany it is either two or four. Phew, the possibilities are halved!

There are some ‘rules’, but I find these change from one day to the next.
It is a little easier for men as they only have to worry about the women: men with men always shake hands.
The general rule is, if you don’t know someone very well or if they hold a responsible or respectable job, like the mayor, a lawyer or a doctor then you always shake hands. NEVER try and kiss your child’s teacher. Huge mistake!
If you know someone quite well you kiss them on both cheeks. Very good friends and family kiss four times.

I am finding that some French women are getting a bit bored with all this kissing. If you are the last woman to arrive at a meeting or social event it can take you fifteen minutes to kiss everyone! Women are now more likely to say: Bonjour tout le monde!

There are some embarrassing situations which will happen…..

If you wear glasses beware, especially if the person you are kissing also wears glasses. It can get a bit clanky !

Yesterday, when you met you kissed. Today, you launch towards their left cheek only to be presented with a handshake. You are now off balance and fall into their arms.

I have two pieces of advice. The first is to arrive at any meeting or social gathering early. It is then up to the people arriving after you to approach you with either a handshake or a kiss.

The second is to forget how you were greeted yesterday or last week, it will be different this time.

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