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Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

overcast 17 °C

The phrase being in the wrong place at the wrong time would very accurately summarise the experiences of most England supporters when "Green" forgot how to "keep the goal" and let the ball casually slip past him in England's opening World Cup match against the USA. This oversight on his part was met with rapturous heckling and from the way it was received you would have thought the USA had just scored the winning goal of the World Cup final itself with some kind of exceptional skill never seen before, not had the door opened into the game for them by a defensive oversight. They all just need to calm down, but I think the experience of calm would be difficuly for a people who are permanently on one high or another (whether it's from coffee or sugar, chocolate, deep fat fried and stuffed with Orios glazed Dunkin' Donuts) to experience.

Before this calamitous event I took part in a hostel trip up to Cambridge for a tour of Harvard University (somehow muggins here was appointed the group leader and like an alert teacher keeping an eye over all the children on the school trip, had to make sure everyone got on the bus). Harvard is evidently a very interesting place and I'm determined to get up there for a full day so I can explore it properly.

The topic of this tour leads nicely onto another theme I've encourtered whilst over here: tipping. Tipping is evidently part of the culture here, and I am content to succomb to accepting that the bill I see on a menu is only part of what I'm paying, as tax (10%) and tip (15%) must always be added at the end. However, what remains unacceptable to me is the direct requesting of tips. At the end of the Harvard tour approximately 90 seconds was spent by the student guides explaining that the tour was free, having recently dropped the $20 tour fee, but that a minimum tip of $20 was oh so unpolitely requested. Well as you can imagine I wasn't too impressed by this. Why if a minimum of $20 was requested did they not just charge the fee? Obviously it was because no one would be so gulible as to pay that much for what was a group of students walking them around a University for an hour, but that's besides the point. I consider myself unlikely to change the view I have that a tip remains a gratuity that I can give at my discretion. So to cut this observation short I made the standard percentage deduction for me being in a state of unemployment, but also added a 50% reducation for the direct and unashamed insistance that I not only tip, but tip a minimum amount. Don't spend it all at once guys.

A group of Brits and Australians are exploring Boston's nightlife tonight, so I better go get ready.

M

Posted by MattOGrady 07:08 Archived in USA

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