The phenomenon you mention is called Noncoalescence, and there are many beautiful experimental examples of it (see for instance ,).
Indeed, droplets of various liquids may float on the respective surfaces for extended periods of time prior to coalescence. The problem of explaining why this happens has been addressed by Klyuzhin et al. a few years ago, with some attempts to explain it better than had been done in the past.
I quote, from this paper:
When a droplet of liquid falls onto the surface of the same liquid, instant mixing is generally expected. However, even in everyday situations, small droplets can sometimes be observed to float on surfaces without instant mixing, for example, when droplets fall into sinks or during rainfall, when splashes create tiny droplets that may move swiftly across puddle surfaces. Despite such common experience as well as a number of relevant scientific studies, still, the concept of delayed coalescence remains counterintuitive.
A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain the delayed
coalescence. In 1900, Reynolds proposed that droplets can reside on
the liquid surface because a thin film of air becomes entrapped
underneath the droplet. However, Mahajan later reported that water
did not form floating droplets at atmospheric pressure but that
droplets could be more easily produced at higher altitudes where air
pressure was lower, the opposite of what was expected from Reynolds’s
hypothesis. The positive effect of reduced air pressure was more
recently confirmed in studies of oil-droplet lifetime. Because
diminished air pressure should diminish the thickness of any air
cushion, these latter observations have seemed difficult to reconcile
with the early air-cushion hypothesis.
They then propose an explanation for this mechanism:
Recent results from this laboratory show an interfacial zone extending
down from the surface sometimes by up to hundreds of micrometers or
more, enhanced apparently by incident infrared radiation and also by
oxygen. The presence of a substantial interfacial layer could work
as an effective barrier that prevents instant coalescence.
A possible mechanism based on the presence of this interfacial layer
is illustrated in Figure 13. Before droplet and bulk come into
contact, both entities are presumed to have significant interfacial
layers (1), which prevent immediate coalescence (2). Once they touch,
the interfacial layers begin to dissipate (3). When the layers have
dissipated sufficiently, coalescence begins, and water from the
droplet begins to flow downward (4). As the water evacuates, the
droplet diminishes in volume, creating a narrower entity between the
droplet and the bulk (5). The pinch-off creates the daughter droplet
(6). The process then repeats, perpetuating the cascade.