Victoria came home from school on Wednesday saying that her teacher told her she could bring a cake or cupcakes to school on her birthday (the next day). Actually we had this conversation at around 5:30 or 6 that evening. I asked her if she wanted to bring a cake, and she did, of course, what an idiotic question to an 8, now 9 year old, but one has to try, it's a 50-50% chance after all... Being the amazing and perfect mother that I am, cough, cough... I took her to the supermarket to get a pre-made cake. Yes, you heard it right, pre-made.
Earlier this year
I wrote a post about the different phases of cultural shock, where I showed a chart and explained what each phase represented. It's funny because the longer you live abroad, the easier it is to identify these phases on people around you and the easier it is for you to deal with your own emotions. We all miss home, some more than others, and it's inevitable that at some point longing for our home doesn't have the same effect that it did years before. Not that you don't miss home, or don't ever want to go back, but we all have a way of dealing with these feelings and we bury them somehow.
The whole point is,
I was looking on YouTube this morning (if you can call 4am morning when it's dark outside) searching for a video while I was having breakfast and the video below was on the fist page. The name caught my attention, so I started watching it. It's about this girl's first impressions of NY, after a few weeks. I thought it was hilarious because it's so true. Not only for NYC, but London and in my opinion, anywhere you move to. When you decide to move, your mind is your enemy. It creates these fantasies on how life is going to be and it turns out the learning curve is steep. Not that it isn't worth it, if you've read any of my posts, you know that I believe that moving anywhere is totally worth it, but you will be disappointed at some point.
Like Tess, the girl in the video, you watch movies, you see all those photos on social media and you have a completely misconception of reality, the way she made the video was very smart and funny. It doesn't mean she doesn't like it there, it's just that she moved and her expectations were completely off.
Any other major differences you guys can think off?
Here is the link back to Tess Christine on YouTube.
In most places I've lived, 10% of the final amount is added to the bill in a restaurant. If you go to a hairdresser, manicurist, you tip, but it isn't a percentage of the bill, just a flat amount (small), if you don't leave a tip you won't be chased down the street by a mad waiter/tress, yeap, I've seen it happened. In the US (& Canada) it's customary for you to leave a tip. It's not mandatory, but it's expected (read the last line on the paragraph above). After working in the hospitality and restaurant industry for so many years I understand why it's expected. Restaurant staff earns about $2/hr, who can live off of that?
I've learned to leave good tips. I always do, be it at the hairdressers, restaurants, bars, etc. And if someone from another country comes and visit, I always tell them to tip good. It wasn't always like that, I didn't realize how important it was, until I was managing a restaurant.
So, here is my little guide to tipping in the USA, you can print it too!
Note: I don't tip bad service, fast food joints, coffee shops where you stand in the queue to order or anywhere where there is no table service.