For someone who share a similar background as me, it is unnerving to see people kissing each other in Paris. I'm not referring to a lover's kiss. If it was, I\m sure all of us would have ogled at it to learn and also to compare the methodology! While meeting someone or bidding adieu to someone, a kiss is a ritual here.
A man kisses a woman or the other way around. A man kisses another man. A woman kisses another woman. The third scenario of a woman kissing another woman is strangely calming! The first and the second scenario are unnerving. What do I do in such a scenario? Luckily for me, it is the fear itself. There never was such a scenario! But it is not the case with others!
My friend narrated his experience. While meeting his daughter's teacher, he shook hands with her first. After a few seconds of hesitation, he kissed her on the cheeks. The intensity of the dilemma was so acute that he forgot the presence of his wife next to him while committing this act. That is where he halted the narration. Being a good friend, I didn't press for a Q & A.
Anyways, it is better than an extended cheeks expecting to meet and greet the other person's cheek, with a stupid glee on the face. That is what another friend did at the end of a fun night with his team members. If we could predict the future, all of us would have been at different places. The lady extended her hands towards him and what would have been a kiss on the cheek ended up as a hand shake!
A kiss on the cheek is friendly and not intimate. But if you are not comfortable with the whole thing, a simple hand shake will suffix. If you are friendly with the other person and are too shy for a cheek-brush, go for a hand hug. A hand hug is when you wrap your handshake with your left hand. It works for me!
Picture Courtesy: http://www.expats-moving-and-relocation-guide.com