SJ on the Move

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

St. Goar

After the tour of Castle Rheinfels and a ride down the mountain on a miniature train - much to SJ's delight - we settled down into an outdoor cafe for dinner.

Strangely enough, St. Goar seemed incredibly deserted for a Saturday night. Maybe it was a function of the fact that the last cruise boats had already left, we don't know, but it was very nice.

On this particular evening, we were treated to quite exceptional service. Exceptional for Germany, that is. Our waitress was polite, took our order, delivered our food, and even came back to check that everything was in order (this is pretty rare in Germany). Service in Germany is very minimal, because tipping in Germany is very minimal. It's a pretty basic lesson in economic incentives.

I don't have a very good sense of exactly how much you are supposed to tip in Germany. For a meal less than 10 Euros, I know that most people tip at most a Euro, or just round up their bill to the nearest Euro. On this particular evening, I think I was in a bit of culture shock from my recent return to the U.S. and tipped somewhere around 4 Euros. This resulted in quite a ribbing from my family for my "excessive" tipping. It's funny, because when I was in the U.S., I got a ribbing from one of my colleagues that I had "been in Germany too long" because of my minimalist tipping.


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