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14
Sep 10
Tue

Tipping around the world

As the new batch of international students arrive for another academic year here, one common issue they have is coming to terms with tipping. This is an issue that causes actual, real stress: How much do you give? When do you give it? How do you give it? Failure to get it right can earn you an angry reprimand – something which is unheard of in most parts of the world. Ignorance is a poor defense.

Mint has an interesting comparison of tipping practices throughout the world. Even in places where tipping is a known practice, it seems that it rarely is an expectation (outside of restaurants).

Australia’s not quite so unaccustomed to the art of gratuity, but it’s still a far cry from the States. “Tipping’s not necessary because minimum wage there is a lot higher than it is in the U.S.,” says Bryan Silverman, a Californian who lived in Australia for the past two years. “Usually people just round up to the nearest five-dollar on the bill.”

Mint has also written another post on whether you should tip for bad service.

After two years here, I’m still not 100% used to tipping. When I was in NY at a restaurant earlier in the year, a server offered to put the duffel bag I was carrying off to the side. When I left the restaurant, I asked for my bag back, took it, and walked off, while the friend I was with turned around and whispered to me, “Hey, did you tip the guy?” A brief but sharp wave of dread swept over me. It hadn’t occurred to me at all.

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