Monday, 13 December 2010

Money Matters

In an attempt to get my head around all the currencies used in the countries we will be visiting, I have spent some time with . Below is a chart which should help us get to grips with the "value" of a basic block of currency.

100 Euros............ = £85
1000 Rupees .........= £14
1000 Thailand Baht. = £21
100 Singapore $..... = £48
100 Australian $..... = £63
100 New Zealand $.. = £48
100 Fiji $............. = £34
100 American $...... = £63

All values either rounded up or down to the nearest £ and exchange rate on 13th Dec 2010. Is it by chance that the US and Australian $ are the same, and the Singapore and NZ$ are the same? Or are they in some way linked? Either way, it should make our lives a little simpler.

Tipping.  I have been looking into Tipping around the world. Quite a can of worms! In some countries an absolute "must do" and in others a "must not do". To help me decide which is right, I have started reading up on the subject. Starting with a BBC offering. What is evident, is that when you arrive at an airport you must get some low denomination notes as a matter of some urgency and before you get into a taxi.  Otherwise you will end up offering far too much as a tip or nothing at all.  I have always given tips if (and only if) the service and quality of goods have been at least acceptable. If not, then the tip is not given.  If the service is outstanding and above expectation, then the tip offered is increased. As a guide I usually work on 10% (plus or minus as mentioned above). To my horror, I have discovered that to give a tip can be considered an insult in some countries. In others, 20% is the norm, always given, always expected and often for indifferent service. In the USA it is the way that some workers get their wage. Their actual wage is so low that they could not exist without tips. I'm sure we will survive, but will report any problems we encounter along the way.

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