The Nose-Kissing Problem
Visitors of Arabia are always confused by how homosexual the behaviors of traditional Arab men could seem, like holding hands and public embraces. However, perhaps one of the most revolting sites to foreigners is nose-kissing. Two men would stick their noses together then make kissing sounds with their lips. In certain cases, one would kiss somebody else's nose. Kissing somebody's nose is a sign of respect and a recognition of superiority. Look at the figure below for clarification.
hey...don't look at me that way!......i find it repelling too.....neither myself nor any member of my extended family do it.....
In the oilfield you run into interesting cultural phenomena. One of them I like to call: "the Nose-Kissing problem". Since workers in oil locations are required to wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), which include hard-hats, nose-kissing ability is impaired. See the illustration below.
Nose-kissing attempt with hard-hats, introducing the nose-kissing problem
The Nose kissing hard-hat trick!
The Omani Bedouins, being the brilliant problem-solvers they are, came up with a solution to this problem. It's simple! One party would tilt their heads to one side and the other would stand steadily to graciously receive the traditional greeting. Unfotunately, I couldn't convince any of my colleagues to perform the trick on camera!
By the way, I got an answer to why oil locations are given female names in Oman....cuz they're full of sexually-deprived men who are there to drill holes! :-p