Neverfail's North America notes.

For everything else for now
neverfail
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by neverfail » Wed May 30, 2018 11:49 am

Hi! This is our third day, our second full day, in New York city. With time I think that I could grow to like this burg. When you first arrive in a city you have never visited before - especially one as big and complex as NYC - you are "all at sea". You don't know the transport routes; your sense of direction is all awry; you need time to settle in. Unfortunately, I do not have such time at my disposal as we fly out to California tomorrow.

I have just come back from visiting the Guggenheim art museum this morning. We were unlucky in that half of the building was closed to visitors in preparation for a coming exhibition. But even the half we saw was quite impressive. The layout as well as the content is superb.

NY street life can get you in; it is quite colourful. New York manners are not as universally uncivil as I had previously been led to believe - a pleasant surprise. Yes, we have met New Yorkers who are very abrupt (in this town time is money pal!) but these have been outnumbered by the ones who turned out to be courteous and kind. (more later).

neverfail
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by neverfail » Wed May 30, 2018 12:08 pm

Other impressions of NYC include:

1. A uber-cosmolopitan place; lots of immigrants. If I or any other member of our party has so far rubbed shoulders with a New Yorker by birth then it has escaped our notice.

2. Citadel of competitiveness and not always in a nice way. Permanently positioned out front of our hotel where we are staying are a swarm of hucksters bearing signs and glossy brochures trying to drum up business for their dicey employers. I have never seen that in any other city in the world that I have visited. Also restaurant staff seem to be more aggressive in pursuit of tips and gratuities from customers. At a Korean restaurant we attended last night I swear that the waiters would likely have lynched up had we not paid up their 15% on top of the bill.

More when I have had enough time to assimilate my experiences here.

neverfail
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by neverfail » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:54 am

We flew in from NYC to LA yesterday (4AM wakeup to be on time for our flight). Rented a van and are now staying in the vicinity of LA as the guest of friends. The final, California leg of our North American adventure has just begun.

User avatar
SteveFoerster
Posts: 1481
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:17 pm
Location: Northern Virginia, USA and Dominica, West Indies
Contact:

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by SteveFoerster » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:30 am

neverfail wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:08 pm
At a Korean restaurant we attended last night I swear that the waiters would likely have lynched up had we not paid up their 15% on top of the bill.
In their defence, they live off tips and foreigners are notoriously poor tippers (even if from ignorance rather than malice).
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: http://newworld.ac

neverfail
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by neverfail » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:06 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:30 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:08 pm
At a Korean restaurant we attended last night I swear that the waiters would likely have lynched up had we not paid up their 15% on top of the bill.
In their defence, they live off tips and foreigners are notoriously poor tippers (even if from ignorance rather than malice).
You are probably right there. I cannot answer for other foreignors but I know (a New York cabbie affirmed this to us) my fellow Australians are notorious worldwide for being ingenerous tippers.

Not because we are in character tight-fisted mean but because in our country workers in the same relatively menial occupations have traditionally been paid a living wage under our minimum wage laws. So that makes the receipt of the occasional gratutity more like frosting on top of the cake instead of the cake itself as it seems to be in both the US and Canada.

We have been assured for the past 2 generations that (1) Australia is a developed country and that (2) the likes of Canada and the US are likewise developed countries. So it is natural for any Australian travelling abroad to presume that workers in the same menial occupations have made just as much progress in wage justice as our own have.

It subsequently comes as a rude shock to discover that people employed in the more menial of the service occupations in these countries often live desperate lives on the edge.

(posted from somewhere in southern California.)

User avatar
Doc
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:09 pm
Location: Cradle To Grave

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by Doc » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:37 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:30 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:08 pm
At a Korean restaurant we attended last night I swear that the waiters would likely have lynched up had we not paid up their 15% on top of the bill.
In their defence, they live off tips and foreigners are notoriously poor tippers (even if from ignorance rather than malice).
Asian typically take not getting a tip as a personal insult. And they remember.
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by neverfail » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:13 pm

Doc wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:37 pm
SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:30 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:08 pm
At a Korean restaurant we attended last night I swear that the waiters would likely have lynched up had we not paid up their 15% on top of the bill.
In their defence, they live off tips and foreigners are notoriously poor tippers (even if from ignorance rather than malice).
Asian typically take not getting a tip as a personal insult. And they remember.
Do they, doc? From past experience not in Australia nor in the parts of Asia I have been to.
,,,..,.,.,...,..

Presently we are in California in the hinterland of Los Angeles. We are enjoying a few days respite as the guests of old friends. The weather is magnificent. Warm and sunny by day and pleasantly cool at night. I believe that southern California has something of a reputation for that? We are in an area of lush lawns; magnificent hedges and blooming ornamental flowers. Yet I can see that it is all an artifice nurtured by garden sprinklers and irrigation water. The undisturbed surrounding hills, instead of being cloaked in forest trees are covered in a low growth scrub of bushes: a sure indication that this is a semi-arid region of low rainfall.

neverfail
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by neverfail » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:26 pm

Further to my previous post:

I have been curious about the appearance of the hills in this region. So I permitted the amatuer earth scientist in me to seize control and wandered up the hillside overlooking our friends' property to do an impromptu geologic survey. What I saw up there was nothing other than masses of solidified volcanic lava. Clear to me that once upon a time in the recent geological past this was an area of intense volcanic activity. The volcano's (as far as anyone knows) are all extinct but who knows? They thought the same about Mount Saint Helen before that mountain in Washington state came back to life and erupted back in 1980.

neverfail
Posts: 2377
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by neverfail » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:21 pm

Further to my most recent post:

Our friend, the owner of the house just returned and advised me against making any further investigative forays on to that hillside. "The area is infested with rattlesnakes". He also mentioned that on more than one occasion his security camera had snapped pictures of a mountain lion (cougar) walking up his driveway. It seems that one must beware of North American wilderness as there are hidden dangers there.

User avatar
SteveFoerster
Posts: 1481
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:17 pm
Location: Northern Virginia, USA and Dominica, West Indies
Contact:

Re: Neverfail's North America notes.

Post by SteveFoerster » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:56 am

neverfail wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:06 pm
We have been assured for the past 2 generations that (1) Australia is a developed country and that (2) the likes of Canada and the US are likewise developed countries. So it is natural for any Australian travelling abroad to presume that workers in the same menial occupations have made just as much progress in wage justice as our own have.

It subsequently comes as a rude shock to discover that people employed in the more menial of the service occupations in these countries often live desperate lives on the edge.
And here I thought it was Americans who had the reputation for thinking their way was the only acceptable one?

"Wage justice" is the sort of rhetoric that sounds good until the consequences are felt: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... s-workers/

Besides, waiters at higher end restaurants do very well. (Unless too much of their clientèle is Australian? ;) )
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: http://newworld.ac

Post Reply