Sunday 21 October 2012

The terrifying thought of tipping.....

This time in a fortnight we will be landing in the US of A.  We are all very excited about this once in a lifetime trip...though I am actually hoping that it won't be only my lifetime!

Anyway, there's lots to be excited about...seeing the many real life....that you've seen so many times in movies and TV.  Eating the food...everything seems to be bigger and better over there....must remember to pack my elastic waisted pants.  The shopping.....sigh....the shopping....everyone says "You're going to the States....well you'll love the shopping"....and I'm pretty darn sure I will!

Amongst all the anticipation, I must admit there is also a measure of trepidation.  I'm a homebody...I'll admit it....I like my surroundings to be familiar and safe....I'm trying hard to just live in the moment and not worry about anything else.  But there are a few anxieties...those little things that niggle at the back of your mind and can sometimes keep you awake at night.

Packing - I hate packing...even for a weekend imagine my consternation at packing for three weeks.  Hubby has given me strict instructions that I can't take too much.  But what's too much? His idea of too much and my idea of too much are sure to be much, much different.  I don't want to leave out the one thing that I really need...whatever that may be.  I don't want to take everything....just in case....only to find myself hopelessly overweight at the airport check-in and then be told I have to discard things....and whatever I take out is bound to end up being that thing I really need.  Yep.....the thought of packing makes me anxious.

Flying - For a start that great big heavy thing should not be up in the's only logical.  The threat that the littlest malfunction could send us careening to earth and our certain also not a particularly comforting thought.  I'm not a good flyer...I've never done enough of it to become comfortable with it.  So I tend to sit on the edge of my seat...listening to every noise and feeling every jolt...and asking anyone who will listen...and after the first 30 minutes I'm pretty sure nobody will be...."What was that?  Is that normal?  Is it meant to do that? Can you smell smoke?"
All of these feelings will escalate during take-off and landing....I'm thinking a large glass of wine and a couple of sleeping tablets might just do everyone on board a favour.

Going where I shouldn't - I've watched enough American TV to know there are certain areas and places,  you don't want to go too.  Problem is, I'm not too sure which ones they I may inadvertently go there.  I really don't want to find myself on the next episode of the goofy tourist that stumbled upon something they shouldn't...yep....another anxiety.

This might help

Tipping - And finally, my biggest terror of all.....tipping.  Now in Australia, you really don't have to my entire tipping experience is limited to "Keep the change"....and that only happens rarely.  I struggle with....when do you tip and when don't you tip? I'm guessing if someone carries your bag or performs a service like driving you in a tip.  If someone waits on you in a tip. But do you tip when you buy a Big Mac at McDonald's?  Do you tip if you pick up a coke at the Petrol Station...oops Gas Station?  And very you tip the salesgirl when you buy shoes or handbags?

Even if I can sort out when to tip...I'm still only halfway through this minefield.  Because I am then faced with the dilemma of how much??  How do I know what each sale or service is worth?  Is there a rule?  I don't want to be seen as that "Stingy Aussie cow".....but I also don't want to spend my entire budget unnecessarily...I've put that aside for my "I love NY" t-shirt, my Grand Canyon snow globe and my Mickey Mouse ears!  I wonder if it's okay to wear "L" plates?

So if there are any lovely Americans reading this post....could you please leave me your comments and advise how I go about handling this very confusing state of affairs!!

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