Friday, June 5, 2009

cross-cultural conundrum

Situation: you live in a country where tipping is considered rude. You live on a US Military installation. You bring your child to the salon on base to get a haircut. The girl who cuts his hair does a truly excellent job, but she is a resident of the host country - where, remember, tipping is considered rude. Do you leave a tip? If so, how much; and do you leave dollars or the host country's currency? The haircut cost $10.


Mother Hoodwink said...

I would tip if it's on base. It's customary in our country and a US military base in a foreign country is like a little piece of the US. I would tip with dollars because you don't know her situation. She may be married to an American service member or she may not even be Japanese. (Not saying you can't tell Asian people apart or don't know a Japanese person when you see one, but a lot of people have trouble with it. I'm part Korean and I sometimes get mixed up.) But yeah, I would give her two bucks if you love the haircut that much.

k^squared said...

I would ask her if she was ok with you tipping her. I'm sure she'll understand that you are new to the area and that you did not want to offend her but wanted to recongize the awesome cut. If she declines, you can write a nice thank you note. That way she'll remember you guys and always do a great job!