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Questions Not To Ask In Foreign Lands

John Lee
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Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
By
Gerhard Reinke

IRELAND
�Are you magically delicious or just angry and drunk? This beer is black- did a leprechaun crap in it?�
FRANCE
�Can I get a side of Freedom Fries with that? Aren�t the French just Germans who can make sauces?�
ITALY
�Is the Pope Polish? Does he have super powers like Jesus? I could sure go for a can of Spaghetti-O�s! �
POLAND
�Do you hire foreigners to screw in your lightbulbs?�
GERMANY
�Is this bratwurst kosher?�
TURKEY
�Where�s the hash at? It�s cool to recreationally slaughter Kurds?�
KOREA
�Can you watch my puppy for a minute, or must you people deep fry him?�
CHINA
�This wall isn�t so great.�
ENGLAND
�Did you ever get a piece of ass from that Diana chick?�
SWEDEN
�Do you have any normal meatballs? Want to hear a dumb blonde joke?�
YEMEN
�Yemen? That�s a stupid name for a country. What�s it mean -- �Land Of Fanatics And Dust' ?�
INDIA
�You don�t live in teepees? Where can I get a good juicy steak around here?�
ETHIOPIA
�After a long day of travel, I�m famished. Hey � those flies sure love your pregnant son!�
CANADA
�You�re like Americans without money.�
SPAIN
�So, this is the country that�s not Portugal? Wow. Your women can shave if they want to, right? Where can I get some Cheez Whiz nachos?�
SOUTH AFRICA
�I liked it better the other way.�
MEXICO
�What's that smell?�
SAUDI ARABIA
�Would you like to see my designs for a solar powered car? Is it legal to beat your wives here, or what?�
RUSSIA
�Is it always this cold and economically devastated?�
UZBEKISTAN
�Can you spell Uzbekistan?�
GREECE
�I hear this place is a less expensive version of Italy."
AFGHANISTAN
�Seriously, where is the real country� where is everything?�
JAPAN
�What�s Hiroshima? Is that a kind of sushi?�
AUSTRALIA
�How can we stop Mel Gibson? Is there a cure?�
AMERICA
�Was John Wayne gay?�
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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    6

Cool. If it seems mean to jokingly insult one country, why not insult them all?
I love it.


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Marcus Green
arch rival
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Joined: Sep 14, 1999
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An American was telling one of his favorite jokes to a group of friends. "Hell is a place where the cooks are British, the waiters are French, the policemen are Germans, and the trains are run by Italians."
The lone European in the group pondered all this for a second and responded, "I can't say about the police and the trains, but you're probably right about going out to eat. A restaurant in Hell would be one where the cooks are British and the waiters are French - and the customers are all Americans."


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Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
at all of the above.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
One thing must be said for American customers... they tip much better than the British or French.


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Marcus Green
arch rival
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Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
One thing must be said for American customers... they tip much better than the British or French.
As my little Yoke suggests,(generalization coming up) American customers are more inclined to complain and have high service expectation, on the up side they tend to tip. However tipping is partly a cultural expectation rather than an issue of generosity or individual choice. In some nations tipping is seen as an optional activity for unusually good service.
Personally I dislike the whole issue of tipping, I like to know "What does this cost, tell me the cost and I can decide if I want to pay it". If it is �15 plus 10% then tell me, don't let me guess my way to the price, don't let me dissapoint someone because I didn't know the unwritten rules. If the rules are not written down, please somebody write them down.
Marcus
Mark Howard
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Joined: Feb 14, 2001
Posts: 285
Tipping in Australia and New Zealand is definitely not the norm. Painful if you're a waiter/waitress trying to make some extra pocket money, but ideal for people like Marcus (above) - the price you see is the price you pay.
Axel Janssen
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
In Germany it changed in the 70ties/80ties. Think we adopted customs from the south of europe where lots of people spend their holidays.
Unfortunatedly changing our customs didn't have any positive effect on the weather.
[ March 23, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
MArcus, the idea of the tip is that you tip based on the quality of the service. If the service is good then it's 15%. if it sucks then no tip. If it's exceptional then 20%. With no tipping, waiters can be as surly as they want (an God know that waiters need no excuses to be surly) because they know that it has no effect on their paycheck.
Marcus Green
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Posts: 2813
Thomas highlights my point, he suggests one set of percentages, I could speak to 10 other people and get 10 other percentages. Why only tip waiters, what about the people in the grocery store, the person behind the counter at McDonalds/KFC, how about when I go out on a technical call. Which people do you tip who do you not tip? If you tip the waiter, what about the chef?
Note that Thomas suggests waiters have a reputation for being surley and I assume he is commenting on the US where tipping is the norm. Are tips taxed?
Of course there is an upside to tips, the money may (and I stress may) go directly from customer to employee, as Thomas suggests it can be directly in proportion to quality of service received. But this assumes that the terms and conditions of service of employment tend to not be appropriate to the work performed.
In some places I visit it will say a discretionary 10% gratuity will be added to the bill and will go to the staff. Fine by me, I know what I am getting in to, I can decide not to pay if I want, none of this guesswork.
Marcus
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Tipping here in Korea is just not done. I used to get strange looks while trying to get restaurant staff keep the change so now I don't bother except for taxi drivers. They're easier to tip, maybe because they see more foreigners than the average Korean. The only other places I've seen tip jars are in the US/European style bars in the foreigner areas, and they're probably put there to make the clients feel more at home! Its a funny old world ...
Mohanlal Karamchand
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Joined: Jan 14, 2003
Posts: 189
where is it unsafe to ask this question?

"is free press some kind of sexual harassment?"

[ March 23, 2003: Message edited by: Mohandas Karamchand ]
David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

After such a build up, I wasn't offended by the Australian entry at all.
Can I offer: "Are any famous Auatralians real Australians?" (many were born in England or New Zealand. We just claim them)
Anyone who was missed out that we can have a go at?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
My niece is in college and she works as a waitress. On a busy night she can make about $15 an hour with tips. Obviously that is far above the minimum wage. She makes good tips because she is a good waitress.
I'm not sure what Marcus' problem is. We know who we are supposed to tip. There is no secret about it.
And tips are income and must be reported. The IRS has a formula they use for calculating tips based on the income of the restaraunt. If a waiter/waitress reports below a certain threshhold then they might get audited.
SJ Adnams
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Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
The english tipping 'rules' are probably a little different to the US.
IMO they go something like this.
You don't tip in a bar, even if you get food. However if a bar has table service (very rare in UK) then you're expected to tip.
You don't tip in shops, not even the people who pack your bags or push the trolly to the car.
Some resturants (mostly japaneese) may have a sign asking you not to tip.
Some resurants automatically add the 'service charge' to the bill & if you try to pay less than the total the staff get angry
I make a habit of always paying cash for meals (credit card cloning) so I tip usually 10% rounded up to the nearest �5 when the total is over �50, whatever seems convinent otherwise.
With a taxi always round up to the nearest �1. If the fare is exactly to the pound, dont tip.
Some bars in london will give you your change on a small plate. I interpret this as being a french custom (they don't want to put the money into your hand) rather than an invitation for a tip. However I could be wrong? :roll:
More likely they realised all the US tourists will tip them if they do that!
omar khan
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Joined: Feb 01, 2001
Posts: 183
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
With no tipping, waiters can be as surly as they want (an God know that waiters need no excuses to be surly) because they know that it has no effect on their paycheck.

Speaking about cultural diversity...
In the country where I live people tend to be kind regardless of how much they are get paid.
SJ Adnams
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Posts: 925
where do you live? bouvet island?
Marcus Green
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Posts: 2813
Thomas said :-"I'm not sure what Marcus' problem is. We know who we are supposed to tip. There is no secret about it. "
Who is this "we" Thomas, where do "we" live and who reveals the secret to the initiates.? As I indicated (and other posts have confirmed), tipping is cultural, things are done differently in different parts of the world. How do we "know" who to tip, and who and why and where are the decisions made. The set of rules that Simon suggests are plausible but by no means an accepted standard. I can certainly confirm that I have never heard of any one tipping a person who packs bags or pushes a trolley to a car in the UK. Maybe this is done in some other parts of the world.
As another example, take for example taxis. In the UK there are two different kinds of Taxis, one is a "Licenced Hackney Carriage" and one is "Private Hire". The "Hackney Carriage" is a Black cab in London and they charge like the proverbial wounded bull. I would never tip a black cab driver. A "Mini Cab" taxi operates under entirely different rules.

PS where is bouvet island and does anywone know what the first two leter w's stand for in www.
Marcus
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
The "we" is the people who live in the US! Everyone who lives here knows that a standard tip is 15%. Visitors just need to get a guide book and it will tell you the rules. A google search reveals all:
http://www.usa.worldweb.com/TravelEssentials/Tipping/8-424.html
I can't imagine someone going to a foreign country and not doing some research. Do you expect the rest of the world to conform to you?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
And here's info about your homw country in case you weren't sure when to tip:
http://www.wales.worldweb.com/TravelEssentials/Tipping/8-418.html
Axel Janssen
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
was not offended by german entry neither.
Here's better one:
Hasn't Renault beaten Mercedes in this years car breakdown statistic?

Hasn't yet happened. But they are heavily catching up.
Would cause weeks of panic inside Germany.
Don't use.
[ March 24, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
[ March 24, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Marcus Green
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Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
Thomas, you may live in the US, but the audience of this forum lives most places on the planet and I strongly suspect that the the majority does not live in the US. That first w in www stands for worldwide, Tim thought he was being a little grandiose when naming it but he was right.
I have been a waiter in the UK. We were delighted when we got a tip but did not expect it and when we got them we had to split them with the other staff. As the other commentators have indicated tipping is cultural and varies in different countries. I lived for in Australia for many years and they have different expectations of tipping to the UK.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Personally I dislike the whole issue of tipping, I like to know "What does this cost, tell me the cost and I can decide if I want to pay it".
As I pointed out, everyone knows that 15% is the standard tip so you just add that to the cost. And since I was talking about how Americans tip I assumed you could figure out that I was talking about Americans.
Imagine you go into a store and a sign says that all the prices are 10% lower than marked. Do you get upset because you don't know what the price is? Everyone who lives in the US knows how to tip. Visitors from foreign countries should find out.
SJ Adnams
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Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
Thomas, you really need to come to london
As you can imagine there are plenty of tourists out shopping. It always makes me smile when the (seemingly) italians/spanish start haggling with the sales staff over the price. If a jumper is marked at �50 they'll ask if the store will give it them for �40.
Thinks are a little different in street markets, but they should know not to haggle in shops - right?
Marcus Green
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Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
"Imagine you go into a store and a sign says that all the prices are 10% lower than marked. Do you get upset because you don't know what the price is?"
A terrific example of how you are specifically told how to calculate a price, note the bit where you mention a sign. Now when it comes to tips people magically know its this figure of 15%. I have just browsed a web site that gives recommended rates of tipping in the US for about 32 categories of employee. Perhaps they could have just replaced those categories with "15%" (or not).
Visitors to the US often find it confusing that they get quoted a price for something and then they are presented with a bill that includes additional taxes. In many (most?) parts of the world this is not the way things are done.
If you go back to the start of this thread you will see it began with a commentry on different nationalities/cultures.
Simon: - You can negotiate anything... if you have the nerve. However they do get a bit antsy in Marks and Spencers when you ask "is that your best price".
[ March 25, 2003: Message edited by: Marcus Green ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
Visitors to the US often find it confusing that they get quoted a price for something and then they are presented with a bill that includes additional taxes. In many (most?) parts of the world this is not the way things are done.
There I agree with you. I find this especially annoying in NYC where very high hotel taxes are tacked on to the bill and garages have very high parking taxes that get tacked on.
As far as tipping in the US, everyone who lives here knows it's 15% to the waiter. The other 31 categories I don't have a clue about. I guess these are referring to the guy who parks your car or takes you coat at the hat check. There is no hard and fast rule for them. It depends on how fancy the place is. Usually a buck does the job.
Cindy Glass
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The problem is, Tom, that only YOU were talking about American tipping, the rest of them were just talking about tipping in general around the world :roll: (as in non-American). AS evidenced by them pointing out the "world-wide" comments etc.
Then when you INSIST FIRMLY that everyone knows how to tip in America and if you don't you should find out - you begin to sound a bit "provincial" (is that the correct use of that word??).
You have your shoes firmly glued to America and it sort of obscures your viewpoint from the rest of the world .


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Tim Holloway
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Joined: Jun 25, 2001
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  21

The original idea behind tipping was that the person waiting on you didn't get paid by the establishment (and often, in fact had to PAY the establishment). Over the years it's come to being more or less a "bonus" to allow you to comment in a tangible way on quality of service. Since these are low-paying jobs, that's in the finest capitalist tradition to spur workers on to excellence. Please don't laugh.
In actual fact, I don't find even U.S. tipping to be straightforward. I'd been hearing that 18% or even 20% was the expected amount for dining service. At some grocery stores you tip the person who takes your groceries out and some forbid it.
About all I can say is no matter where you go, it's a good idea to do some homework.
Either that or stiff everyone and get out fast, never to return


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Waiters/Waitresses in the US are generally paid below minimum wage because they rely on tips. (This is legal in the US.) My niece gets paid a base salary of about $2.25 per hour.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
Then when you INSIST FIRMLY that everyone knows how to tip in America and if you don't you should find out - you begin to sound a bit "provincial" (is that the correct use of that word??).
The first part I agree with you but this part I disagree with you. Anyone who travels to a foreign country has a responsibility to find out what the standards are in that country. That isn't "provincial". That is common sense.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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True - you should find out.
So, if you find out that the rules are different in another country - do you feel QUILTY for not leaving the proper 15%?
Ta Ri Ki Sun
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Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 442
its easy enough to say you have to find out, but its pretty hard and you'll eventually have to suss out and decide for yourself in south africa where tips for waiters/waitresses range between 0 and 30% depending on service , thats simple enough tho, but people who take groceries out to your car are tipped by some and expected as part of the service by others, then theres the guy that parks your car, i dont mean valet parking i mean someone who guides you in and out of the parking lot as if you dont have a drivers licence, now do you tip someone for a service you dont want/need ?
this is often the same guy who'll watch your car in a busy parking lot, and obviously stand by and do nothing should anything happen to your car, which is expected considering he's not a trained security guard, but then should you be paying him to watch your car at all?
surely thats why you pay insurance, if its stolen replace it, too bad, and if you dont have insurance chances are no-one wants to steal your car.
now lets move on to the petrol jockeys, these guys are also underpaid, not below minimum wage but by anyones standard they're underpaid, and someone who "replenishes the propellant of my motorised vehicle when I cordially request of him to transfer, from his subterranean
reservoir, a sufficient quantity of combustible fluid of the highest octane" (shamelessly swiped from a joke), such a person gets squat, i'm paying for the petrol anyway, if he however offers to check oil/water/tyre pressure, then i'll tip, even tho this service is expected as well i dont mind giving him enough for a pepsi or something.
Melvin Menezes
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Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
First of all, here's a little tip on tipping the cab drivers in NY if and when you are on a business trip with travel expenses paid for by the other party. Smart as they are, these cabbies will tip your hand when you tip them a little extra and they will tip-the-balance-of-favor by adding extra amount on the receipt. Later, when you encash it, you can tip-over (a few beers) with the extra sum . Well, that's just the tip of the iceburgfull of tips that you can gather.
And didn't you read privacy sign at the ranch entrance that said they won't tip the anybody off about your tiptoeing in and tipping the cows around? You got to be grateful about it and tip your hat a little.
So you all probably misunderestimated Tom. Go figure what he actually meant when he said Americans tip much better than the British or French before you tip your posts with bitterness about the whole tipping thing.
Note: All the ocurrances of the word tip were purely (p)un-intentional
John Lee
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Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
I heard the standard tip is 15% in US. Someone told me a simple way to calculate it: just double the tax, and round up to $0.10, so if the tax is $0.56
0.56 * 2 = 1.12 -> $1.20
Isn't it simple?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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That works in some states and not in others. In NY the tax is 8% so doubling the tax works. In other states the tax rate is different.
John Lee
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Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
Well, in that case, I guess you have to use round down.
 
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