The Idiot’s Guide to the USA – Money and Measurement

The Idiot's Guide to the USAOn the naming system
– yes, America does in fact use decimal currency
– remember these names:
.       – a “penny” is 1 cent
.       – a “nickel” is 5 cents
.       – a “dime” is 10 cents
.       – a “quarter” is 25 cents
– there are no 20 cent or 50 cent pieces

On the notes
– they are called “bills”
– $1 is a note and not a coin
– the notes al look the same – there is no useful colour scheme to distinguish which is which
– the notes are made of paper, and thus crinkle, tear, and dirty very easily

On tax
– this is added to the advertised price
– in other words, when you buy an item, the cashier will ask for more money than was advertised on the shelf
– the consider this normal, and give you an odd look when you say that GST (VAT) is already added to the advertised price everywhere else

On paying at restaurants
– one should ask for the “check”, not the bill
– the bill can be paid from the table
– you don’t need to go up to the counter, just ask the waiter to bring the bill to you

On tipping
– tip everyone, everywhere
– except when you don’t have to
– tipping someone doesn’t mean grabbing them and tilting them on their side

On dates
– these are written as month-day-year

On temperatures
– take thirty and halve it
– it’s not perfect, but it will give you a basic idea

On distance and weight
– take a pounds-kilos converter with you to all museums
– take a foot-metre converter with you to all museums

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