Anonymous’ Story: “No one should be shamed in front of others because they did not want to be touched”
I was visiting France with classmates and at one point was walking back to meet them. Some of the men and women (college age) were waiting for everyone in a group, and some saw me and waved. As I waved back, two young men came up to me and asked me directions in French. I tried to give them directions but eventually switched to English. Once I admitted to being American they starting pulling in closer and saying how good my French was, to the point I was very uncomfortable. By the time I was able to explain I did not know where they wanted to go, they both gave me a hug and kiss (on the cheek, which I know is cultural, but still). I was rather flustered and went to the group of known friends happily.
I can accept that and move on, but it was the next part that upset me the most.
After I told them what happened, one young man chastised me for being so culturally ignorant and close-minded that I was complaining and upset over being held and kissed by two strangers! He was French himself, and explanations of personal space culture in American were dismissed because I should be trying new things. No one should be shamed in front of others because they did not want to be touched by others!