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Thread: Americans Reveal How Life in Britain is Different

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    There's countries where people don't put a coin in their carts? Down here in Austria it's so customary that a common gift by clubs, political parties et. al. is specially designed cart coins so people can use the carts even if they're out of change.
    The only one I have seen that require a coin for a cart is Aldi ( a German company )

    Here it's customary to pay about 25 cents for either a plastic or a paper bag. I prefer buying paper bags where they're available (not all stores have them) and regardless of which I end up buying, I always use them a second time to double as a rubbish-bag ---- and in case of the waste-paper, I use them until they tear.
    There again Aldi

    I was surprised to learn a few years back that it's semi-mandatory to tip near 20% in the US, and that this is because the customer basically pays part of the waiter's wage that way. Here "drinking money" (i.e. tipping) is basically a tax-free extra.
    The standard tip is 15% for good service, of course you can tip more or less. I would not call it semi-mandatory. If it is incredibly bad service I leave a few pennies just to show them they sucked and that I was not trying to stiff them on the tip.

    Most servers only report a portion of their tips to avoid paying taxes.

    Sure, pay for waiters is bad everywhere, but the idea the customer must come up of it instead of the employer completely contradicts the idea of a tip, which here is meant to reward for particularly friendly service rather than help to pay the waiter's bills.
    I know several waiters/ waitresses that make $1,200.00 to $1,500 per week in night clubs, casinos and resorts, that is not bad wages. Of course there are ones that only make $250.00 per week if that, it all depends on how good they are and where they work. They have to work hard to earn their pay.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonCeorl View Post
    Nah, we have cart boys instead! People can just leave their carts in corrals situated in the parking lot and Cart Boy goes and retrieves them.
    We also have cart boys at larger retail stores & parks that will oft redistribute carts if let's say upstairs has a full bunch and downstairs is empty. Typically, they're also entrusted with other tasks at the warehouse, so they're not technically cart boys, but warehouse guys who happen to be referred to as 'cart boys' ("Waglschiaber") by their colleagues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Is this really true? [...] Can't it be tricky to ascribe a class to someone just by observation?
    It's very true. Class difference can be ascribed in manners by things so banal as behaviour at a Chinese take-away.

    Underclass will order fries as a side dish.
    Working class will sometimes order fries, but usually order fried rice as a side dish.
    Lower middle class will sometimes order fried rice, but usually order boiled rice as a side dish.
    Middle class proper will always order boiled rice as a side dish.
    Upper middle class will go to a Chinese restaurant instead.
    Upper class won't go to any such restaurants, but have their servants prepare and bring it for them.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

  3. #23
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    Closest I ever usually get to tipping is if I'm in the pub and ask the barman to take one for himself.

    Funny thing about class, and I remember my father mentioning to me that when he was young you had three distinct classes..working...middle and upper, which all shared the same basic understanding of manners and social norms. but, these days we have a dedicated underclass as well.

    I find that the underclass lack even the most basic senses of social order, refinement and accepted behaviour and are often quite a dysgenic lot. Your typical 'chav', which is short for 'Council House Average Vermin' are most often low IQ (not necessarily from poor schooling either), rather plain or ugly looking, easily follow trends, listen to the most basic thumping 'music', watch the most mentally vacuous television, inherently lazy (unless its a trip for cheap cider and some weed) often are very argumentative and confrontational, are rarely in committed and dedicated relationships (absent fathers and single mothers) but with lots of children, often by different mates..etc etc

    I suppose this is 'Trailer Trash' or the Blacks in the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs vonTrep View Post
    That's also something I notice in America, you people don't put a coin in your carts. In Sweden we do it so people will actually bring the cart back (you get that coin back when you do, so it's not like you actually pay to use the cart), but in America the carts are left all over the place because you don't use the little coin trick.
    I think we have an Aldi where that happens. Otherwise, where I shop, people generally put the carts in the cart corral out in the parking lot. No one wants those things rolling downhill and smashing into their cars.

    Also at Walmart you get tiny bags with crap quality for free (you have to use a shitload of bags for only a few bought items). Here you get big plastic bags of good quality, but you have to pay a little for them - which has proven to be good for environment as people don't throw the bags everywhere like they do with the tiny free ones in America.

    The cities that are full of lesbians and spineless leftists (Austin, Seattle) have banned those bags. I actually use them for many things... cleaning the cat box, can liners in bathrooms and bedrooms, wrapping up banana peels and other wet garbage before tossing it so it doesn't attract flies, and carrying things to people (fruit, nuts, ammunition) where you can just hand them the bag and be done with it. I actually hate the natural grocery store here because they never give you bags and I don't think to bring one, so I never shop at that trendy-commie-obnoxious upper-middle-class snob greenie establishment.

    These are the people I'm talking about. I know this is satire, but it seems spot on to me:


    The Goodes


    I cannot put into words how much I LOATHE these people. I wish they would all get Anthrax and die.

    Those two things are negative to me - what I do like though is that they help you pack your bags in the US (well at least the stores I've visited), here we do all that ourselves. It's nice with that extra help, and probably helps someone get a job. People are very service minded over all I think, and very friendly.
    Yes, that's a good thing. It's very handy. Those are the people who also go out and bring back the carts from the corrals. By the way, I also never go to the automated check-out stand because it's so damned impersonal. Soon there will be no jobs left at all...

    I don't think I'll ever get used to the people behind the counter asking how you are (that's very odd ) or that you tip when going out to eat. Maybe one day, we'll see.
    Yeah, the only thing worse is the ebonics version ("'sup.") It's really superficial and non-Germanic. I'm not sure how tipping got started, but it's true, waiters/waitresses get paid very little for working very hard, and it's good manners to tip them if they have taken care of you. On the other hand, when they make a point of ignoring you, I will sometimes tip five cents to be sure they got the message.
    Most people think as they are trained to think, and most people make a majority.

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    The one thing that has really stayed with me about a visit to the US I made about 15 years ago was the warmness of the people to me, my wife and my kids. We were visiting friends in a small midwest town for several weeks and everyone bar none was friendly, genuinely interested in where we were from, asked what I thought of their town and were keen to make us feel at home and more than welcome - they were even patient about my interest in the rules of US sports and suffered me explaining the rules of cricket (what! They can play for a draw?! ... after 3 days!)... There are of course cultural differences but it was clear I was around people of fellow European descent (I saw virtually no one of other ethnicities except on a day trip to Chicago). The one thing I did see was that compared to these small town 'midwesterners' we are much more cynical (sadly). As for house prices, well it's interesting to hear that they are less expensive in the US. We've been renting for some years now here in the UK and I doubt we could afford to buy a house big enough for my family now, I've been off the property 'ladder' for too long and am in my fifties. Even though I have a well paid job in academia I would need a huge chunk of money for a deposit if I wanted a mortgage at my age. I wouldn't mind living and working in the US for a few years though if they'd have me
    “unless they know, mystically, that beneath the concrete lies the earth which has nourished their race for a thousand years and ... that it is their own earth from which their blood is shed and renewed, then they are a lost people, and easy prey for those who have lacked roots for many centuries"
    A. K. Chesterton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorbrand View Post
    The one thing that has really stayed with me about a visit to the US I made about 15 years ago was the warmness of the people to me, my wife and my kids. We were visiting friends in a small midwest town for several weeks and everyone bar none was friendly, genuinely interested in where we were from, asked what I thought of their town and were keen to make us feel at home and more than welcome - they were even patient about my interest in the rules of US sports and suffered me explaining the rules of cricket (what! They can play for a draw?! ... after 3 days!)... There are of course cultural differences but it was clear I was around people of fellow European descent (I saw virtually no one of other ethnicities except on a day trip to Chicago). The one thing I did see was that compared to these small town 'midwesterners' we are much more cynical (sadly). As for house prices, well it's interesting to hear that they are less expensive in the US. We've been renting for some years now here in the UK and I doubt we could afford to buy a house big enough for my family now, I've been off the property 'ladder' for too long and am in my fifties. Even though I have a well paid job in academia I would need a huge chunk of money for a deposit if I wanted a mortgage at my age. I wouldn't mind living and working in the US for a few years though if they'd have me
    But this is, as you say, a small town. In a small town or in the country people have time for you and you are something new and they do want more information from you. This is probably true in a similar situation everywhere. But it is not true in a big city. There, people will ignore you. You and your family are in the way UNLESS you have money in your hand for them. Then they are nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs vonTrep View Post
    That might be true.. BUT, whenever I go to Los Angeles I still notice a huge difference from my little village in Sweden. In LA neighbours are nice and friendly, they talk to you, as do strangers in the stores, even if it's just a few small words it's still a big difference form Sweden. Here nobody talks to each other, we're perfectly happy walking by each other not saying anything as it might seem "intrusive" and we don't want to bother each other.

    No matter what size the city or town is - America is still over all much more friendly than what I'm used to. One part of me really likes it, another part of me is thinking "I hope they won't become too intrusive", haha.

    I don't think I'll ever get used to the "kissing cheeks" thingy they do when they greet each other either. That's way too personal for me, but to them it's all normal.
    The air kisses are a Latin American import. I grew up in the L.A. basin so I am glad you think we are friendly. Personally, I can't stand L.A.. You can talk to the people there for me because I won't.

    Oh, it just occurred to me, are you talking about "Hollywood nice"? This is when people are friendly and happy and phony around you and will say things and make promises they have no intension of keeping.

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    Not all of us Americans are so huggy and the like. Folks from Europe say I personality-wise (as well as my body language, etc) fits more either in Scandinavia or among some English than the stereotypical "LA Nice" (as someone pointed out) American. It does always make me cringe when Europeans say they can spot an American in their home countries for their loudness, and the like.

    I assure you, we're not all like that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OlafTheStrange View Post
    Not all of us Americans are so huggy and the like. Folks from Europe say I personality-wise (as well as my body language, etc) fits more either in Scandinavia or among some English than the stereotypical "LA Nice" (as someone pointed out) American. It does always make me cringe when Europeans say they can spot an American in their home countries for their loudness, and the like.

    I assure you, we're not all like that!
    I don't know why you say this, I can usually spot an American in a foreign country, say in an airport, from some distance away without ever hearing him speak.

    A German friend and I once sat in an American airport and he saw a woman walk by. He turned around and told me she was a German. Naturally, this seemed a bit too supernatural in terms of prediction so we got up and followed her to some sort of snack bar were she ordered verbally. Yes, he called it correctly.

    The only question in my mind is can I pose as a Canadian.

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