Greetings - Kissing, Amsterdam
Kissing ¡V Three kisses starting on the right cheek & ending on the right cheek
I always get my right & my left confused ¡K.. No not on purpose :-)
If you are in a bakery, postoffice, deli etc make sure if there is a dispenser where you get a numbered ticket before joining a queue.
It is not the done thing to smoke dope in public so it is restricted to coffeeshops, same applies to drinking on the street this sort of behaviour is detested by the locals
In Holland (like in most European countries) it is common to greet people with kisses. Here, it is THREE times! Example: Left cheek, right cheek, then left cheek again!!
I think Americans should adopt a custom such as this!!!
Dutch people love kissing each other on the cheeks (3 times). They do it to congratulate their friends colleagues on their birthdays, when they meet each other after a while (especially good friends, not so much collagues I suppose) and when they wish each other happy xmas or new year. Observe and imitate! :-)
Normally men don't kiss each othet on the cheeks, but I have seen that happen as well. It's more a women's thing.
As a general rule the accepted form of greeting is the handshake. In business, the Dutch tend to expect you to address them by their titles and last names, unless they invite you to do otherwise. Outside business, people are less formal and usually address each other by their first names.
It is the custom when meeting Dutch friends & colleagues to kiss them three times on their cheeks (more than what I'm used in Ireland, that's if it is even done at all). It's pretty time-consuming if all you wanted to do was say "hello" :-)
Later on during my stay, I realised that they start the kiss from the Right-Left-Right cheek ... of course I got it mixed up and kinda ended up kissing one Dutch friend on the mouth by accident. (silly me!!)
Still, I did get to practise plenty of kissing elsewhere in Amsterdam, but that's another story ;-)
The Dutch kiss a lot more than Americans or Asians. It is very common in Amsterdam that friends and acquaintances kiss each other on the cheek. This happens between woman/woman or man/woman.
The Dutch gives three kisses on the cheek; and it's left/right/left or right/left/right (not all three on the same cheek is basically what I want to say).
Male family members will also give each other one kiss on the cheek, but this normally doesn't happen among friends.
Three kisses on the cheeks is part of everyday life in Amsterdam; more so than hugging, so next time the girlfriend of your buddy leans forward and offer her face don't hesitate to give her three kisses.