Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 35


Oh the tax thing here does my head in.

For example. There is a piece of ‘candy’ in the store. It says it is $2. However, it is not $2 because it does not include tax. When you go to pay it is $2 and 12 cents.

So, children cannot go out and get some candy for a dollar here – they have to carry small change to include the tax. Craziness.

I asked an American about this, and she said it was good for ‘math’ purposes, which I guess is true. I just find it irritating, and despite the whack in UK tax, I’d rather just know full out price of what I’m paying. When they advertise (for example) “get 4 new car tires for $80” what they mean is – plus tax, which isn’t really such a good deal.  It’s sort of false advertising. Anyway, I don’t need 4 new tires as Lady Miss Tilly came with fresh ones, so that’s all fine then.


The lovely, friendly (sometimes over-friendly) people who work in restaurants here, I found out last night, are not even paid the minimum wage it appears, because there is no minimum wage. The restaurants can pay whatever they like, which is not very much at all.

So the workers rely on tips, which, the aforementioned American lady told me, is why they are so attentive and bring the food out so v v v quickly. They want to serve you and get the tips and get the next people in. It all makes sense now.

The tipping culture is kind of a new thing for me. Apparently it’s between 12% and 18%, depending on service etc. And you tip whatever. I shall tip more now. They probably thought I was a right tight old Brit tipping at just 10%.

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