Travelers know that half the fun of visiting a new country is experiencing new customs. But British comedian Paul Jones refuses to get onboard with the traditional French greeting of kissing each cheek—even though he lives in Paris. Now he’s made a video documenting the many, many reasons he disdains the practice known as “La Bise.”
In the nearly four-minute long rant, Jones lays out the complicated nature of the practice. As it turns out, the tradition varies depending on the region of France you call home. Some places consider one kiss customary, while others prefer up to three, and once you add in variations on which cheek to start on the process, it seems like the kissing version of rocket science. "If I meet a girl that I've never met before, I don't know what to do," says Jones in the video. "Do I shake her hand, do I give her one kiss, do I give her two kisses, do I give her three kisses, do I give her four kisses, do I give her five kisses... How many *@#-ing kisses should I be giving you?"
His exasperation with the occasionally confounding practice is evident throughout the video. While he claims it’s easier for women who can just kiss everyone, as a man it’s more of a guessing game. “Before moving to Paris, my face had never touched another man’s face,” he explains. Things go from bad to worse for Jones when he realizes he has to greet all his friends individually with a kiss before getting a drink at a bar and don’t even get him started on what happens during a French birthday party.
Watch now and you’ll never think of French kissing the same way.