Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Wonderin’ USA

812 words on

More little remarks and observations on my stay in the U.S.

March 29, 2004, 17:38

Tagged as country:us, travel, USA.

Comments

Comment by d.w.: User icon

March 30, 2004, 0:51

Comment by ssp: User icon

Everybody recommended Krispy Kreme donuts, but I just didn’t se them at the right times :(

The large tips are actually another thing that irritates me. I am generally not in favour of tipping, and the tips given in the U.S. are just ridiculously high. And everybody seems to expect some. Even bartenders. I did find most waiters friendlier than their German counterparts, though. But I tend to find them being very attentive a bit intrusive and annoying at times.

I was also told that waiters tend to be paid below minimum wage… nice interpretation of the ‘minimum’ part.

March 30, 2004, 16:46

Comment by d.w.: User icon

Yes, waiters are paid significantly less than minimum wage, and are taxed based on the presumed amount of tips the Internal Revenue Service expects they’ll receive.

March 30, 2004, 17:11

Comment by gummi: User icon

This may be sacrilege, but if there’s one thing I really miss in France it’s good Fish and Chips and my Krispy Kreme donuts. Tim Horton’s aren’t too bad, except a good donut requires a decent cup of coffee, and the KK I used to frequent had a brew that wasn’t too far off day old dishwater, but at least it had caffeine.

Actually, I’d like to know if you found ice with everything a bit weird. I’ve been told it’s more of a European thing, and everytime I asked for a Coke or Water without ice I’d get an odd look.

April 2, 2004, 17:22

Comment by ssp: User icon

Yes, I do find ice with everything a bit weird. Particularly lots of ice, which seems to be fairly common in the US. What’s nice about many burger places is that soft drinks are simply self-serve, so you can have however much ice you want.

Perhaps ice isn’t as common her because it’s not so hot frequently and people don’t see the point of having ice in their drinks in winter. Also, ice spoils the drinks - I once read that when drinking a Perrier or suchlike the ultimate snob would take care the ice is made of the same water. In fact, in some places they seem to use pure tap water for the ice - and as I found the tap water to be rather disgusting an with a distinct smell of chlorine in the US, I’d object to having that in my drink.

Another aspect may be the following: If you don’t have free refills and drinks are generally much smaller, having a generous amount of ice in there will mean you have even less to drink. Thus, having ice in there may be a bad idea.

Closing anecdote: On my way back on the plane to Frankfurt, the stewardess by accident put too much ice into the little plastic glass (plastic glass?! what kind of nonsense is that? I’ll have some rounded corners please…). Actually the whole glass was full. She realised this after serving the glass and asked if I minded. Which I did - mainly because of the prospect of spilling Coke all over myself. Then she gave me another one, mumbling something about ‘you Europeans’.

April 3, 2004, 16:18

Comment by Tim Buchheim: User icon

Oh, and I find Krispy Kreme donuts to be awful. But I seem to be in the minority. (I much prefer Winchell’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and just about any other donut place over Krispy Kreme.)

April 10, 2004, 4:26

Comment by ssp: User icon

Tim, thanks for filling in a lot of background. Ragarding the wall sockets – make that numerous and easy to reach. I found them to placed so they may actually be handy for vacuuming, but not good for charging all the devices you carry around. I prefer not to place my computer, digital camera &c on the ground as I am bound to accidentally step on them before long. Of course the trend to have all those gadgets that frequently need to be recharged is quite recent – but I really hope new buildings will pay justice to that.

Re Showerheads: Usually we have showerheads that aren’t attached to the wall but on a hose and with a height adjustable holder.

April 11, 2004, 14:55

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