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I just looked at a graph, and the Norwegian krone has almost halved in value versus the dollar since 2012.

 

This vacation might not be as punishing as I thought it would be.

 

(Unfortunately, nobody's told my hotel.)

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That Bloomberg piece mentioned tipping.

 

 

Uh oh.

 

FWIW: http://www.whototip.net/tipping-in-norway

http://goscandinavia.about.com/od/norwa1/qt/tippingnorway.htm

and when you think you have a handle on it, an excerpt from https://aeon.co/essays/is-tipping-a-thoughtful-gift-or-a-demeaning-hand-out

 

"The idea that tipping negatively correlates with respect is a neat one, and could help explain why Scandinavians are among the lowest tippers in Europe. Indeed, Tore Skjelstadaune, leader of the Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet), which organises restaurant workers, waiters and hotel employees in Oslo, has spoken out against tipping except where service is exceptional. ‘It is a principle that you should have a salary you can live on in Norway,’ he told the Norwegian online newspaper Nettavisen in 2013.

This fits the findings of Michael Lynn, professor of consumer behaviour and marketing at Cornell, that the prevalence of tipping decreases as the percentage of national GDP collected in taxes increases. So in high-tax Scandinavia, respect requires that society as a whole is structured in such a way as to guarantee a good standard of living for all. To pay each individual their due respect means ensuring that everyone can earn a decent living by working hard, and that means paying a fair wage. That’s why at Noma in Copenhagen the average tip is just three per cent.

Viewed through this lens, tipping looks like an anachronistic hangover from a time when restaurant staff were the lowest of the low, with rights somewhere between minimal and non-existent. Shaun Hill recalls when diners not only ‘paid the bulk of the waiting staff wages through tips’ but chefs earned a significant amount through monthly brown envelopes from suppliers containing around five per cent of the produce bill. In the UK, dependence on gratuities was common until the employers’ practice of using tips to top up employees’ earnings to the minimum wage was ruled illegal in 2009. But catering has hardly become a workers’ paradise since. ‘Knowing the restaurant industry from the inside,’ says Redzepi, ‘living through how low the wages are – and believe me, most chefs and waiters just scrape by – tips make a real difference for the monthly budget of the workers.’"

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It's actually about the same as France, especially Paris. Without getting into the usual internet tipping joust, one usually rounds up to the next monetary unit. But if you received service substantially above your expectation or special "off menu" niceties, 5% is never out of line. (Note also that Redzepi is pimping for some level of tipping.)

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