Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Again, apologies for the slow posting. We've been busy getting ready for next week, and tomorrow and Friday I have a two-day Fulbright Enrichment seminar, when all of the American Fulbrighters meet.

Saw this article on MSNBC on tipping. As a fomer restaurant worker myself, I have a hard time leaving anything less than about 17-20%, and usuall tip more than that.

In Australia (as in most other parts of the world), tipping is not the norm. You don't normally tip waiters, taxi drivers, or even bellhops. We were even cautioned that some people get offended when offered tips, as it reinforces the servile status of whomever you're tipping (one other example of this: when you ride in a cab, you sit in the front seat, not in the back like some fancypants snoot who needs to be chauffered around). It's a hard habit to break.

In restaurants, it's pretty easy to calculate the U.S. equivalent of whatever bill we're presented: knock off 20% for tipping and taxes, and then take 3/4 of that in the conversion from Australian dollars (works out to about 0.6 of the bill). That means an $80 tab (not unusual) would be $65 before tips, and then converted to about $50 as the baseline U.S. bill. Not sure that this means anything, but it makes me feel better.


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