When I first landed on the lowland, I hesitated many times on when I should and should not give that famous three kisses which the Dutch would give each time the meet and greet someone. I wasn’t sure when is the best time to give. I wasn’t even sure if I should really put my lips on that face or just stick my face on the other and pretend it was a kiss. I’d get really anxious when anyone I meet move a step too close, grab me on my shoulder and press their lips (i think – sorry I forget) on my face. And, it has to be 3 kisses, no more, no less, no matter how much you like that person.
I’ve asked Jos before, why 3 kisses? why not 2? He said, because we are Dutch. Good enough to differentiate themselves from the Americans or British since those gives 2.
Today, being in the Netherlands for over a year now, making new friends and my extended family, the 3 kisses to me now just come so naturally. I know who I should perform that kissing act and who I should refrain from forcing my kiss on them. The key to performing this “kissing” act is how close you feel to that person. In the Dutch context, for as long as you meet the person for the 2nd time, that is consider “Close” and you are on friendly term. So, please do not resist but enforce your kissing act. But then again, what if you think you are friend with this person and that person doesn’t feel the same way? I have no answer for you…. I guess it’s a matter of the heart and it comes naturally, you will know if the person is close enough to earn 3 kisses from you. And as a matter of fact, now being stuck in Singa, sometimes I wish someone could give me a nice warm hug with 3 kisses. 🙂
The first city I explored when I landed for the first time was none other but Amsterdam. What catches my attention all the time was the symbol “XXX”. It’s almost everywhere in Amsterdam City and no, no one told me why XXX but I figured it out myself that it must represents the 3 kisses! What else can X means in this internet era, everyone writes XX everywhere, on postcard, on personal email, on SMS and anywhere you can imagine.
The picture on the left is something you will commonly see in the city of Amsterdam. Almost everywhere. Whenever I see them, I would think to myself, that’s like 3 kisses on a dick! Although that “dick” i am referring to is clearly a divider or barrier alike to distinguish the path.
But I insist it is shaped too much like a dick. Don’t you agree? And because it is everywhere in Amsterdam, it is already engraved in my mind that it is a dick with 3 kisses.
Amsterdam in my opinion is a very vibrant city. It is nothing like the other part of Holland. It’s crowded, happening and also very sexual. The more I explore, the more it gives me the sexual vibes.
Besides the XXX on the colorful dicks, sex shops are line up everywhere. Every 20 steps I take, I would spot Sex Toy Shop and next I see Coffee Shop and finally…………………… a skimpily dressed woman posing in shops window. And I realize, I’ve landed on the red-light district in Amsterdam.
It’s quite funny to see naked woman parading in shop windows especially when you are expecting to see some products (non-living) and then to realize .. “oh she is for sale too!” Quite a innovative way to promote a service I think.
I cannot agree that all the girls or woman are desirable within that little box because the first one I saw, I remembered, was a black and really really fat. I hate to criticize but that really isn’t desirable or anywhere close to tasty. I wish for her to get some business upon turning away from the district.
Sorry, I digressed as always. The purpose of this post was about the 3 kisses. Anyway, I need to now clarify, the truth behind the XXX all over in Amsterdam does not really represent kisses. The symbol was around way back 500 years ago of which they call it “coat of arms” when the city was a fisherman’s town. But today, the symbol kinda link it back to the sex industries in Amsterdam. Even so, I prefer to refer the XXX to the 3 warm kisses the cold dutch expressed. I miss XXX!