Saturday, 17 March 2012

I prefer a kiss!

Since the appearance of new age diseases like SARS, Bird flu and swine flu etc..., the world has gone a bit “sanitary”. The Orientals with their face masks and the rest of us with the anti-bacterial hand gel (both meagre efforts if you ask me).

Where there’s a disease, there’s an opportunity
Pharmacies everywhere stocked up on the “miracle” gel, a lot of people came down with the flu (the regular kind, the other two are medical myths – I reckon), sequestrated themselves at home, consumed ungodly amounts of paracetamol and other pharmaceutical products with different names but same ingredients, employers lost colossal amounts in sick leaves and in health and safety compliance procedures etc…my company supplied us with tubs of 500ml Alcohol Hand sanitizers per desk, installed all sorts of hygienic tools in bathrooms and kitchen and provided free flu jabs to all employees costing further thousands of pounds, but you no amount of anti-bacterial can prevent imaginary flu or man flu for that matter!

All this because people insist on shaking hands! I was never a big fan of hand shaking;
As one of the oldest greeting rituals ever to exist, it has many meanings and benefits, is a universally used and recognised gesture, I always wondered if the Orientals had it right all along with the slight bow form of greeting, requiring minimum effort or manigance, hypocrisy or calculation of hand firmness or required pressure to crash someone’s hand, or leaving an impression, we are always taught to give a firm handshake and make eye contact but never told to wash your hands afterwards! surely they go hand in hand - pun intended.
I wonder do all these people not realise it's the perfect way to spread germs? Almost as bad as sex.

Hera and Athena handshaking, late 5th century BC
To think it was women who started this!!

If we found ways of protection against sexually transmitted diseases, how come we cannot abolish the handshake!
Coming from a Mediterranean culture where we give and receive between 2 and 4 kisses on the cheeks, and men shake hands (and kiss on the cheek) on a daily basis (after shaking hands they lightly touch their right fist to their heart, a ritual I find endearing and also very revealing when playing “spot the Algerian abroad”), you wonder, how many hands does an average man shake per average day?
How many germs are exchanged through these handshakes?
And can you safely say where their hands have been?
I can: scratching their private parts or someone else's , no doubt.

President Obama bowing to the Emperor of Japan
Shaking hands and bowing a the same time! where is the sense in that!
When I moved to England I enjoyed the difference in greetings, although not hugely disparate, men still shake hands and kiss (only women) on the cheek, it remains much less passionate, frequent or as warm as our Mediterranean greeting, but not as hypocritical or forced by tradition.  Personally a nod or a peck on the cheek would suffice in fact if not preferred, I always think kissing a cheek is more hygienic.
Now at the risk of sounding dolally, I came up with a list of things to keep in mind:

- Upon meeting someone for the first time, unless he or she is an interviewer/candidate, try not to extend your hand for a shake unless you have to.
- Quickly nod and say hello without moving your upper body, your body language will quickly inform your interlocutor that you're not up for a handshake and you can swiftly move on to how are you's?
- DO NOT kiss on the cheek AND shake hands at the same time - that's just ridiculous and excessive body contact.
- DO remain polite and discreet when pulling out your anti-bacterial gel to smear over your hands.
- Try not to make grossed out faces when you're applying the hand gel.
- Excuse yourself and walk slowly to the bathroom, do not run, the soap will still be there.
- DO NOT offer the anti-bacterial gel to the person you just shook hands with, that's just rude, but can be a funny and effective way of getting the message across.
- If you have to shake hands, at least make it a memorable gesture, make it firm but gentle, no need to crash my hand or give me a limp, wet handshake with the fingers rather than the whole hand, this makes me gag and loose all respect.
- And finally - if you insist on shaking people's hands, Please try to keep your hands clean for god's sake.

And now going back to the Pharmaceuticals mafia; Pharmaceuticals can be summed up in one sentence, I will quote my favourite from the movie Cold Mountain “They made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining’” except it never rains on them as they already have the cure and they don't have to pay for it.

In conclusion, you either wash your hands or you stop shaking peoples hands and spearing your germs.

If you think I am off with the ferries, then I'll be pleased to tell you I am not the only one...take a look here even the British Olympic board attempted to ban handshakes, also look here and here!

Dz-chick…prefers a firm golden handshake….anyday!


  1. Haha Hot Subject.. I still find it laborious dividing people i kiss, people i shake and people i avoid skin contact with...turns out its mostly hormonal. I also still get the few seconds stress and rush when meeting a fellow Algerian for the first time.. what's appropriate,still get it wrong 90% of the time. You go start the campaign of using protection before shaking and we are behind you. Let's just hope ur local pharmacist doesn't read this and hands u gel before he takes your next prescription x

  2. Some people are religious and prefer not to shake hands with women! it suits me just fine.

    In algeria, all my sister's friends think me rude because I say hello and not lean in for a kiss, then when they realise I live in England, find me cold...ha! I think it's just sense and hygiene and perhaps a little OCD.

  3. Coming from a small town in Algeria, my grand ma use to say: "my little girl, always be courteous to people; acknowledge and greet them" but she would often add "but always wash your hands and face thoroughly afterwards, my little one". To me, it sounded like basic hygiene advice, sometimes well over the top (re the face), until I started practising in hospitals as a nurse and taking care of people where I saw shocking hygiene standards of some of the patients and medical staff (most of the former not even in a critical state to warrant lack of mobility and/or hygienic initiative). However, the worst thought came to mind when I gradually started to hear about people's "bedroom antics" in girls' magazines, which hit me like a boomerang and suddenly my grand ma's advice of "....but always wash your hands AND your face thoroughly afterwards, my little one..." made much more sense! Now, I shake the hand, alright, but wash as soon as possible or use anti-bacterial gel and avoid kissing at all costs, with exceptions, especially men (no offence, guys; you are the worst culprits!) and I am not even paranoid about cleanliness. I am -just like a male friend of mine who adopts the same attitude puts it: "weary of milk shakes" -his words, not mine.

    Fehla Ou Nouss

  4. lol @ Milk have no idea how hard I resisted the urge to say something along those lines! I am happy you did or rather your friend.

    Sahiti bent a small town - fahla ou nouss :)

  5. "with exceptions, especially men (no offence, guys; you are the worst culprits!"

    you mean without exceptions or either I don't get it?

    Double Fahla I'd say.. :)

  6. Not so anonymous19 March 2012 at 18:12

    Question is right?

    Have you got the midas touch?

  7. @DZ-Chic: you are most welcome. Keep on the good writing. You make us, (Algerian) women, proud.

    @anonymous: thanks. You must be a man. My punctuation makes it very clear. (gentle smile)

  8. @DZ-Chick: sorry, I misspelt your pseudonym in the above post. Your writing is so stylish, sister, that, unconsciously, I dropped the "k"! :-)

  9. Not so Anonymous to some extent yes ;)

    Fahla I think it was the correct spelling I is so Chic!

  10. We can pls everone & settle for hand-kissing..

    How about starting a new trend and greet women w/ le Ramadan we stick to handshaking then after the Eid we get back to it..

    Kiss it forward

  11. I am up for kissing it forward! But it's s bit too sensual for us women of 2012 we're just not used to that kind of romantic grand gesture! I will be freaked out... But willing to try!

  12. I don't mind, really, the cheek-to-cheek kissing, whether it's chick-to-chick or chick-to-chuck. I guess it all depends on context, familiarity and ...ahum...hygene (perception).

    In terms of hygiene stories, I've got to tell you this one, DZ-Chick: I was buying meat from a "tawa3na" (DZ) butcher in town one day and, whilst standing at the counter, I saw a guy in the back of the shop coming out straight from the toilet. In my mind, I said to myself: "OK, so far, I can give him the benefit of the doubt". But then, he plunged his hand well deep inside the front of his trousers with a kind of scratching gesture -almost in front of all- and then into a bin to recover some bone or a piece of meat/fat, which he then gave to the dog that was sitting in the outdoor backyard, after having cuddled the "klibou" "belbezzef" (poor doggy! allah yarrahamou! :-)). He then came straight to the counter, and towards me. By then, my knees were already trembling in a Hitchcockian suspense, whilst I was repeating quickly in my mind "not me, not me, ya rabbi", dreading the ultimate question: "an3em, khti, wesh en'sserbilek?". He did. I almost fainted. But then, I quickly recovered myself and replied in English (in order to mask my identity -how dare he know my nationality!.... well, yes, it was a DZ butcher but I could be any Mediterranean girl, really! May be). I asked him if they sold bison meat -just to get out of it. He replied: "huh?". I said again, clearly and succinctly (although surreally): "b i s o n". The guy being a too-proud DZ man said to his mate: "wesh mel ham* heda, khouya; ma 3andnesh?! His friend, a bit irritated, for some obscure reasons (mad cow? possibly) just replied "hadi lengliziya rahi t'habbel fina. Goulelha makansh ou khlass".... and that's how I escaped eating on that day beef-a-la-wof-wof-scratch-scratch. And you want me to kiss such a guy?! :-)

    Fehla Ou Nouss

    *: meat, in Arabic -usually Halal- not pork!)

  13. Not So Anonymous19 March 2012 at 21:00

    i would go even further and says:

    kiss it backward

    Midas touch: does it work if you touch you?

    éemmm, last thing, fahla will overtake your blog if you doesn't watch her. she got potentials.

    P.S. did you miss me?

  14. Yeah Fehla has got potential definitely!

    I got the Midas touch for sho! I am what they call a good Omen!

    I think I did miss you - yeah...but the question is did you miss ME??

  15. Not So Anonymous19 March 2012 at 23:17

    not much.i think about you from time to time but i don't miss you much ;) . take carings. much loves.

  16. Hello DZ-Chic(k),

    I just wanted to share with you this programme on BBC Radio4 (podcast available on iTune, too). I love it; the tone of the programme, the subjects, the host and the whole of the discipline of Sociology, with added British flavours (humour and surrealism at times). Enjoy!

    Fehla Ou Nouss

  17. I totally missed you! But I know you're lurking in the background keeping an eye on me because you luuuuurve me ;)

    Fehla thanks for sharing, that's brilliant, might get done ideas for ze blog x

  18. DZ-Chick,

    Thank you Gal! :-) Sorry, I am just slowly getting to read and enjoy your blogs. Soo many of them! Brilliant!

    Here is a sample of that programme. Normally, Laurie, discusses one or two subject at a time - a joy!

    "Muslim Women and Basket Ball"....:

    Fehla Ou Nouss

  19. @DZ-Chick

    If ever I was to kiss you, you'd be mine for an eternity. Neither the devils below, nor the gods above, would be able to break the seal!
    I'm afraid you would experience the overwhelming sensation of doom. Your senses would spiral off into blackness, and your body would give up its spirit.
    Till then, my prized possession to be, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood, my body, my mind, my spirit and my soul on fire!

    Ever yours most affectionately,


  20. @Fehla Ou Nouss:

    A mere handshake from yours truly will get you pregnant!
    My Love (Blue) will testify to that truth.




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