Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reading material

The man who wrote the book letting Americans known that Europe has a Muslim problem is now telling Americans about Belgium's Walloon problem. (via)

19th C French Jews and American Jewish francophiles, and I only just found this? (via)

Tipping is a mystery both to visiting foreigners and to those just reaching the age where situations requiring tips become relevant. No one tells you these things! How are you supposed to know? A dollar per drink at a bar, doubling the tax at a restaurant, these become clear early on, but the rest? So when Prudence mentioned she tips newspaper delivery people $75 each, I was torn between appreciating that someone finally addressed what's appropriate in these situations, and thinking that perhaps this is a bit above and beyond. (Also, the first letter of this set has to be a joke played by someone against letting gay couples adopt.)


Matt said...

If we don't take action now, we'll all have a Wallon problem soon enough.

When I used to deliver newspapers no one came close to giving me a $75 tip, even back when I first started and cared enough to get done on time and to get the papers on the doorstep. I was just a kid, though, and it was a long time ago, in a place less wealthy than where Prudence lives, I'd guess, so maybe things have changed. (In Philadelphia, if you have home trash pick-up, I'm told it's highly prudent to tip the trash men at Christmas, but I think the rate is less than $75, more like $30-40. I can't speak on that with great authority, though.) It's taxi drivers I really am never sure how much to tip.

Phoebe said...

Real-life discussions of the $75 tip lead me to believe wealthy or not, generous or not, this is not something people do.

Anonymous said...

Quibble re: doubling the tax to tip a waiter -- possibly correct in NY, with its very high tax rate, but likely to get you a dirty look from the waiter in most of the rest of the country. 5% tax is far more typical, and would need to be at least tripled, not doubled, assuming acceptable service.

Phoebe said...


Yes, I do think people realize this when going from place to place.