December 9, 2014

Personal Space...

There is no such thing as a definition of personal space. As a German living in Spain I realize this all the time. In Northern Europe we like to have a certain distance between ourselves and other persons, unless we are very familiar with them. When we get to know new people we shake hands. In Spain, you kiss cheeks. While I got used to the cheek kissing ritual (which is actually rather some kind of cheek rubbing with kissing sounds), there are certainly occasions where I would rather prefer to shake hands ;)

When talking to another person at work or randomly on the street, I like to maintain a distance of approximately one meter between me and the other person. Not because I am afraid they bite, but because I feel that less distance creates a rather intimate situation that I want to avoid. Usually people get way too close for my taste in the southern hemisphere. Which immediately makes me wonder frantically if they are counting the large pores on my nose, when I last brushed my teeth, if I used deodorant and if the person below me (because often they are a little smaller than me) is just staring up my nostrils ;) At this point I will usually step back, which doesn't help much however as my interlocutor will respond with a step forward in my direction. In some situations I have repeated this until I found myself with the back against a wall :)

Of course, there is always the other site of the coin and I have heard countless times that Northern Europeans are perceived as cold and distanced around here. Speaking of different cultures, there is of course no better or worse but just different. Have you had any similar experiences?


  1. Lol- this would be my worst Nightmare- I'm not to huggy and touchy! My hubby always makes fun of me!

  2. Such beautiful scenery! Love how you decided to take your photos by the water! <3