Who knew about French overtipping?

Apparently for the last three days Melanie and I have been overly generous on our tipping, in some cases adding an extra 5euro to a 30 dollar bill.  It was only last night when having a late night dinner with friends that also just happened to be passing through (Simon and Helen, for those of your former Tekion colleagues) that Simon asked my why we dropped a fat tip on the table after dinner?  The service charge is apparently already included.

Damn you french teachers of elementary and high school.  You teach me the words ‘voiture’ and ‘manger’, but never essential travelling knowledge tidbits…like an included tip.  The bright side is our daily budget for meals has just gone up by 15-20%, and our waiters must have been really happy.  The dark side isn’t really all that dark…just that we’re down another 50euro and will need to feed ourselves on leftover cereal and day old baguettes for a few days.  I think there’s a few stale nuts in the bottom of Melanie’s purse that will keep us going in a pinch.

Friendly faces are always a welcome sight.  This means that anyone with the means to pop over to this side of the world for a dinner, or to share an apartment for a week is more than welcome.

As for the rest of our ventures…I have to say that Napoleon character must have had that ‘little-big-man’ complex that required creation of really big open plazas and spaces.  Very impressive, and everything seems really far away…until you walk the 45-60 minutes in the direction of a building only to realize that isn’t far at all (if you’re at all able-bodied, or on a Segway).  There must be one of those mini-trains, the kind that roll around Stanley Park, that you can get on and ferry you around to the key points in these plazas…we just haven’t found one yet.  This aimless strolling for hours was a result of realizing the Rodin and Dali museums are closed on Mondays.  D’oh!

As a general observation, Melanie pointed out the direct correlation between size and price of cones of sorbet in proximity to the Louvre.  The closer you get, the smaller your personal dessert becomes.  You may notice the sorbet in the pic was a mere 3.50…and almost the size of her head!  Mmmm…framboise.

There also seems to be a distinct lack of toilets when you most need them.  If I only also had that nearest free toilet app.  There’s only so much pinching back a person can do.  A few more months of this and the intestinal control will be black belt status.  Maybe we’ll stop at a brown belt.

And when does a Perrier exceed the price of a beer?  Yesterday appeared to be that point, but it also came with the option for a bowel release…consider it the price of tuition.  Regardless, another supposedly slow and relaxing day turned into a 12hr adventure through gallery lined stress, sweets, dinner with friends, and only getting turned around about three times (you may also read this as ‘lost’).

The romance is here though.  Sure we aren’t the couple making out on the stairs with cigarette in hand, empty bottle of wine and that smooth slow talking Frenchies seem noted for.  We aren’t the relaxed pair lain out in a grassy stretch next to busy motorways with tongues down each others throats.  We aren’t the obvious vacationing couple that can’t take their hands off each other in the Metro between stops.  These all seem like great second date options though.  We’ll keep our romantic details to the imagination, not for busloads of Chinese tourists each with two cameras.

Once again the pics will tell the tale.

One response to “Who knew about French overtipping?”

  1. […] That nightly promenade that we became accustomed to in other small Italian towns now seems to resemble panic shopping.  Possibly the case, however here the end goal is for those wandering participants to make their way, strollers and all, through the narrow rows of shops to Piazza Erbe.  Here the dimly lit streets empty onto a plaza filled with fruit and vegetable carts, along with many gift-like goodies.  Ties, scarves, puzzles, fridge magnets…pretty much anything you could think of as being kitschy and overpriced for buying off the street is right here.  Florence definitely had better volume and prices, but only an hour away and according to census stats 100,000 people more.  Maybe it’s that proximity to Venice that jacks prices up, like the gelato theory. […]