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book coverA Year in the Merde

Book Review - Excerpt 1
Continued from page 1

Paris tipping

"[Jean-Marie] explained that the waiter wanted to cash up now because, like all the other unionized waiters in Paris-that is, most of the blokes in black waistcoats, and they are, strangely enough, almost all male--he was going on strike now, 'thirteen hours.' The middle of lunchtime, just to be awkward. They were striking because, although French bills almost always included a 15 percent service charge, waiters also needed tips to make a decent wage, and since the arrival of the euros, tips had gone down. Before the euro, a standard lunchtime tip was a10-franc piece, but many people were now leaving a 1-euro piece, which was worth only 6.5 francs. The fact that almost all café prices had been rounded up during the conversion into euros didn't seem to compensate."

  - A Year in the Merde, by Stephen Clarke

Read Excerpt 2: The Paris Metro


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