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10% service charge + +. Thank you!

January 7, 2008

I wouldn’t mind giving tips especially if the service is extra good. Especially if its being practised here in Brunei, not that I mind who or where, just as long as I found that the service is beyond expectations. Visitors to Brunei have been informed in many guidebooks that tipping is unnecessary here in the Abode of Peace. True. We don’t call it tip, we call them sedekah or the elders would say, to buy you a cup of coffee (not that you cant afford one, so don’t get offended when they do say like that).

Anyway, so how about our neighbouring countries? Singapore expects tips, in their hotels and restaurants. So do Thailand and the Philippines. In fact almost all of the ASEAN countries except the unique Brunei.

Who bring this culture here to our part of the world? The westerners I agree for they said that the ten- percent service charge is already included in the bill but that extra bucks or ringgit are for a better service provided by the personnel. In short, the unexpected.

Say for example in a hotel, you would expect the door boys to deliver your luggage to your room and in return, they expect some tips for that service. Me? It depend. I mean it is their job to bring up the luggage and why should I give them money unless they deliver the luggage before I arrive in my room and help me settle down like checking that everything in the room is in order.

During my first solo trip abroad, I didn’t know that I must tip a bellboy as tipping is not my culture. As I settled in my room, I was greeted by a bellboy with my luggage in tow and the biggest smile I have ever seen in this world. Not knowing what I should do with him, he stayed for a moment, just standing by the door grinning from ear to ear. After an uncomfortable moment, he asked if everything’s okay with the room and ANYTHING else that he can do for me.

Innocently I said no but thanked him for the luggage. His face dropped the very next moment and out he went. The next morning as I met my other collegues, one of them mentioned about a grinning bellboy and that reminded me of mine the day before. My colleague said that she just put a few dollars in an envelope to the boy. I told my friend what happened to me and they all laughed and said that’s very clever. Actually I didn’t know about tipping and felt sorry for the boy. So from then on, I make sure I have small amount with me as I arrive abroad for that extra service.

About a week ago while checking-in to a local hotel, my partner and I came across a very polite and nice bellboy. Yes we gave him some dollars just because he was nice (not that intrusive or rude) and we considered that as a sedekah or gift. The best part was he prayed for us in return. Nice! At the restaurant, the waiter was nice with a neat appearance but he wasn’t that good because he kept on forgetting our order and came back and forth to us (with a smile) but no orders. Others I noticed were either slow or rowdy while the waitresses were teasing each other as if to grab attention. Ewww… So, sorry no tip from us. 

Another example is my pedicurist. Boy, she really know how to swing her mood, maybe she is going to menopause soon or forever in a mood swing, I don’t know. If she is cheerful and sings while she is doing her work, she would easily win the word’s best pedicurist. That’s when I give her extra but at times, when she has a long and sour face, better not go to her or else you would see blood coming from your toes. Ouch!

So there you are, extra $$$ if you give me that extra OOHHH-OOOHs.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2012 8:50 am

    I adore the comments on this website, it really gives it that community feel!

    • Eva Wanda permalink
      May 14, 2012 12:21 pm

      Thanks 3ds… This is a free world. Comments are free.

  2. May 16, 2012 11:48 am

    I just added this weblog to my rss reader, great stuff. Can’t get enough!

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