I am always surprised by the little cultural things that freak me out when I return to what should be my home culture. This time it was the hugging.
I am use to physical contact with Uyghur woman... in fact sometimes they are a little more touchy- feely than I am use to. It is not unusual to sit on the couch holding hands with a Uyghur girlfriend... sometime she is holding one of my hands and using her other hand to stroke my knee or pat my back. This sort of interaction is normal... even expected between female friends. Every time they greet each with an embrace and a kiss on both cheeks. Women often walk down the street arm in arm, or swing their hands like school girls. I remember finding all this physical touch stuff hard when I first arrived, but now it seems normal. In fact when I am back in Canada I often wonder why my friends sit on the opposite side of the couch, or why they just give me a quick embrace as a hello greeting.