Budaya Tipping di USA

25 June 2013
In USA, I have earlier been warned that the service sector depends a lot on customers' tips as a gratitude towards the services.

Kalau kat Malaysia, byk tempat mkn akan ada service tax..except if u pegi food court gitu..and the service tax will go to the restaurant. On top of that kita ada gov tax kan. Kalau kat sini, ada gov tax tapi takde service tax. Tips tu la yg menggantikn service tax dan brp byk kita nak kasik tip is voluntary.. Tapi kalau u kasik sikit, nampak la cam kedekut sgt and ada waiter tarik muka masam kang. Tapi on the first day we weren't sure and we tipped the bellboy who brought our bag (bag kami sampai satu hari lmbt dari airport huhu) only 1 dollar!




Macam gmbr ni, diorang dah ada guideline utk berapa byk tip yang mereka expect..they call it Gratuity Guidelines. It can be 15, 18 or 20%. So bila you kasik kredit kad and mereka dah swipe (in case you use card), it will have a blank space utk you fill up berapa banyak tip u nak kasik. Strangely bila I dah tulis brp byk tip, they will take the paper and customer simpan satu lagi copy tapi they dont have to reswipe my credit card to reflect final value.. Tak paham how that works actually..
Selain restoran, taxi service pun ada tips. Walaupun tak faham sbnrnya why we need to pay for tip for taxi drivers.. For waiters I can understand sebab the patrons dia macam2 ragam..but taxi driver? They just bring people from Point A to B. Yang saya dengar lagi, taxi ada butang yang you kena pilih sama ada tip nak kasik 15, 18, atau 20. Kalau u tak kasik, they will ask for it. My colleague siap kene kejar mintak tip!

On the night we just arrived in Houston, kami kena naik bas untuk dibawa ke complex bangunan untuk pilih kereta sewa. Waktu tu pukul 10 mlm lebih, dan pemandu bas tu sgt friendly..when we left then I saw salah seorang passenger salam dia and I saw that a tip was given. We didn't give any because we were not prepared with money..sbb simpan somewhere susah nak ambil. Agak bersalah di situ sebab dia friendly.

My other encounter tentang tipping ialah bila beli beg, dekat factory outlet. Promoter dia sangat best, dia suggest2 I apa yang sesuai dengan I, apa design..she even coaxed me to buy 4th bag..haha. Bila nak bayar, saya tanya cashier macam mana nk bagi tip..rupa2nya untuk kedai2 you don't need to give a tip but the cashier will ask you did anyone helped you today..mungkin mereka dpt credit in the form of komisen kot. Jimat duit hehe.
Walaupun tipping ni bagi orang tourists cam I nampak macam ntah hape, tapi ada jugak bagus nya..you are free to pay as little or as much as you want (excpt taxi, but who rides taxis in US anyway) dan tak payah bayar service charge. Lagi satu, service dia bagus..senyum and pleasant, sometimes it can make your day..Takde la masam aje kan..

Memandu di Texas Amerika Syarikat

20 June 2013
Kat Houston, Texas ni, mode of transportation dia ialah kereta. Taxi mahal n public transports lain are almost nonexistent. Kami pun sewa kereta (under business expense, but kami tambah car seat utk baby bcoz its mandatory in Texas).

Kereta diorg sume besar2.. My first impressions on the cars were that kereta2 dia byk yg macam so garang..u know, garang as in when u tengok kereta tu dari depan.. Their cars, a lot of them are those which yg takde kat Malaysia. Our car, we chose Chrysler. Lain kali I post gmbr.

Kereta Japanese pun byk gak, which are more familiar ie Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Mazda 3 like my hubby's car (kereta ni tak garang, yg ni kereta senyum hehe). Jap cars are cheap here..actually harga kereta sini sume murah2.. Toyota vios I takde jumpa..again, their cars are besar2 so vios is not an option haha.

Ths is how the drivers berenti between each other during traffic lights.. Jauh kan.. They do this all the time...





Sneak Peek Travel ke Houston, US

18 June 2013
Sebelum kami sampai kat Houston, kami transit di London dulu.

Sekarang dah hari ke-2 kat Houston, pukul 5 pagi kat sini and everyone is already up sejak pukul 4 pagi x boleh tdo.. Smlm mengantuk gle masa training, tertido2..

Ni gmbr kat Travelodge Feltham, London. 2nd pic kat Thistle London, Hillingdon (near Heathrow, also my Hubby's birthplace Hillingdon ni).

Knp smpai 2 hotel padahal transit 8 jam je? Pjg betul cabaran travel kami dari kat Msia sampailer kat Houston..huhu. Lain kali la



Money Changer Paling Murah?

13 June 2013
Lagi berapa hari je nk berangkat ke US ni..beg dh nak siap pack, tiket and documents dah siap, tuka duit dh siapp..

Cakap pasal tuka duit ni, I expect akan belanja agak byk la kt sana..byk barang branded sana murah2. Sambil training kita shopping aa hujung minggu ke malam ke hewhew.. lagi2 dh mengangkut family (Hubby + Aisyah). I hv asked a few colleagues how they bring the money..ada yg bwk cash dan ada yg pakai duit plastik je ie kredit kad. To me I of course nk jimat selagi boleh, sbb krdt kad tukaran dia maybe tak murah cam tuka cash.

Anyway 2 mggu lps I ada survey2 kedai tukaran mata wang asing atau money changer gitu.

The most recommended by colleagues are kat ampang park. So on the week of 24th may, I pegi time lunch, survey2 money changer dia, harga tukaran dia camni:

1. Kedai-tak-ingat-nama sebelah kedai laksa, kedai laksa tu dkat dgn mcdonalds. Ni kt ampang park. McD tu u boleh nmpk dari jalan ampang:
1 USD = RM 3.075 - all of these kalau "we sell" tau, meaning kita ada RM n nk tuka to USD

2. kedai Daily Perfect Rate Sdn Bhd sebelah kedai gmbr:
1 USD = RM 3.065

3. Kedai Antaraduit Agensi Sdn Bhd sblh kedai bunga:
1 USD = RM 3.055

Kedai2 lain yg disurvey melalui telefon on the same day ialah:

4 & 5. Midvalley punya money changers, MV Forex and satu lg tak ingat. Both of these mmg rate diorg slalu sama je:
1 USD = RM 3.08

6. Arc Money Changer Jln Masjid India:
1 USD = RM 3.09

7. Kedai kt Jalan TAR, nama taktau, tp ni no phone: 03-2692 0000 :
1 USD = RM 3.06

8. Haniffa Money Changer, Sg Wang:
1 USD = RM 3.07

9. Libra Jaya Sg Wang, 03-21484723:
1 USD = RM 3.07

So kalau nak compare semua ni, the most value for money during that time was Antaraduit tu la, kt Ampang Park. Senang la keje i sbb dekat dgn ofis. Parking kt situ dlm Rm 2.20 for setgh jam kot..although my colleague kata boleh je parking free dpn MCD, but i'm not sure it's legal or not tp mmg nmpk byk kereta.

Anyway, I made further calls about last weekend, (sbb time tu masih blum tuka duit lg) showed that, (a) kedai Antaraduit dah naik rate 1 USD = RM 3.075 and (b) both kedai kt Midvalley yg i sebut tadi pun sama rate 3.075. Time last week i tak survey tempat lain dah, tiga ni je sbb nak cpt.

So kat sini we see that haritu waktu i first survey rate kt ampang park lain dgn midv tp skang sama. I conclude, there's no such place as "money changer murah", u just hv to rajin survey n call n observe the fluctuations. Selalunya try survey Ampang Park, Sungei Wang, Midvallet, Jln TAR dgn Jln Masjid India.

Ini kalau kes nk tuka duit byk aa kan..mula2 bajet ai nk tuka duit byk kt Msia, tp last2 i pikir i nk tuka 100 USD je kat Midvalley alang2 dah ada kt situ last week. Selebihnya i taknk pakai kredit kad, tp i akan withdraw my duit ££ kat UK tuka ke USD (offshore account). Cash permulaan ni buat bayar tol ke, tipping ke (org US mmg tradisi dia in service industry meng expect tipping, kalau u tak tip atau sikit, mula aa muncung).. So tak berbaloi sgt aa research ai ni to myself..haha.

Sebab i akan transit UK, i dah siap2 tuka.. 100 USD dan 40 pound.. Tu dia presiden america (nama xtau!) dgn queen elizabeth.

Ok sambung packing!







Survey Periuk Nasi Kecil untuk Travel

02 June 2013
Untuk ke US nnt, cadangnya nak masak nasik sendiri dan bawak bilis sambal kering. Makanan halal dengarnya susah nk jumpa kt area Houston tu..except for a couple of restaurants.. One of them nama Bismillah. But I think mungkin berguna utk bawak periuk nasik memandangkan takkan tiap2 hari nk keluar mkn, and Aisyah may want to eat bubur2 ke.. Tapi I'm glad makan is claimable (business trip)

Last week we went to a few places utk survey periuk nasik kecik.. Pegi ke Giant Cheras dan periuk nasi yg paling kecil was 1L..i know there is a smaller periuk. I used to have this yang boleh muat 2 pot je, but before I left UK, I threw it away (nyesal..)

Ni yang paling murah kat Giant, tgh sale smpai smlm..


Dekat Jusco Midvalley pun sama, harga lg mahal n takde yg kecik drpd 1L. Also went to Carrefour (Aeon Big) Midvalley pun takde yang berkenan sebab yang paling kecik pun 1L.

Finally, surprisingly, we found our desired periuk nasik kat kedai nama TF Temerloh (kat Temerloh, of course)..of all places.. My husband jumpa yang 0.6 L punya, harga pun ok. Tp brand Midea.. dont really care about the brand kot, the lesser the brand is the bttr kot..sbb takut nnt byk sgt bershopping, ntah2 terpaksa buang kt airport huhu. Harapnye tak la..





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