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11 Reasons To Tip Your Waiter With More Than “Don’t Eat Yellow Snow”

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  • Because funnily enough being a waiter isn’t their career goal, it isn’t even their backup plan. Those people that serve you~ they’ve all got insane talents. Some fire throw, some belt Broadway show tunes, some tap dance, and the lucky few can even handstand like there’s no tomorrow. They are the Frankie Valli’s, Patsy Cline’s, and Spike Jones’s of their era just waiting to capitalize on your tips, and erupt around the world.
  • At the beginning of the meal I give your child crayons and a smile. Upon clearing the table, all that remains is colourful shavings from your woodchuck in training. Don’t think of it as a tip, consider it a deposit on the art supplies.
  • Because I spent a lot of time distracting your Mother-In-Law with the specials, so she didn’t notice the fresh ink on your left arm.
  • I just missed my last bus because of your heart to heart. Surely you could spare a little taxi money.
  • Have you ever gone on a food shop on £6.21 an hour? Tinned cold cuts and cabbage were made for waiters.
  • Your gluten aversion, that shellfish allergy. Your life, my hands. 50 pence doesn’t seem so steep now does it?
  • Couldn’t find the lint roller, so I spent the better half of thirty minutes rolling double-sided tape around my collared shirt in a halfhearted attempt to look presentable for you (and your tips).
  • Because I laughed at all your jokes. Even the one about the man and the bar.
  • I have neither dreadlocks, nor ink, nor obscene facial piercings, nor anything remotely impressive to the average noughties twenty something. Please compensate my social losses with remote financial stability.
  • Who was that handing you loo roll under that stall door in the ladies?
  • Because I didn’t point and laugh when you repeatedly use the wrong cutlery. Well trained in the dark art of tolerance and biting my tongue, I simply bring you more. For future reference~ outside in, and a steak knife isn’t necessary for buttering your roll.
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DUSA Media: A Legacy

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Craig, Felix, Myself, and Doug at The Presidents Dinner

 

Was it just the tiny office with no windows that made us crack? Or was there some bit of us, however small, that would have been friends regardless? We four were of the most peculiar creatures with naught in common. Craig was posh, Felix, gay, and Doug, nice. As for me? Well, I was American.

Twelve months gone, and we couldn’t be closer. That being said, two and a half square meters isn’t a lot of space. Just enough to accurately shoot a rubber band and hit target every time.

It was Presidents Dinner, one of those many end of year balls where they stuff you in suits, force feed you food and wash it down with a bath of free wine. Paid for by the tuition fees of yours truly. When I realized this was very nearly it. This was the beginning of the end of us, but less beginning and more end.

They’re an odd bunch. To be patronized is to meet Craig. Craig’s the type of guy you can’t say everything to all the time; however he can say anything he wants whenever he wants. But that might be on account of his first class degree, and how he’s already secured a job teaching physics in Edinburgh. Also, I’m sort of skating on thin ice after the mince pie incident. It’s nothing big, just that I lobbed a mince pie across the office at Craig for some reason or another, and it hit him in the eye. Anyone else would have probably just eaten the mince pie, Craig went to see a doctor, and later informed me that I’d scratched his cornea. I felt kind of bad about the cornea, but now he’s got moaning rights that he takes complete and utter advantage of to this day.

My own boyfriend has taken to calling Felix my “gay boyfriend,” not without a twinge of jealousy. Felix took me along shopping to find a suit for graduation, we were both standing in the aisles clueless staring at one another when he exclaims, “You’re a girl, you’re supposed to know all about this stuff!” to which I responded, “You’re gay, this is like your thing!” With the help of Mr. Sales Man, Felix got sorted with the smallest shirt they had, that ended up being only two sizes to big for him. A complication I quickly solved with a handful of safety pins and a precautionary advisement to keep his jacket on all evening. I remember the first time Felix called me one of his best friends, I was shocked- I’d thought he hated me. I think it’s that cool and collected German affection I’m still figuring out. It’s a bit different from my instinctive zealous excitement of OHMYGOD WE ARE GOING TO BE BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE!!!!! That I tend to demonstrate. To everyone. Janitors included. Felix is a bit more, selective, with his friendship.

And Doug. Well, Doug’s just nice. That’s about it. This is Doug’s second degree, his father’s studying for a degree at Dundee University as well. They frequently meet up for coffee breaks, and study sessions. Because that’s the kind thing that nice people like Doug do. Doug also has a fierce ginger beard, and is more of a pushover than not. He’s a great person to be around when you’re fifty pence shy of a coffee.

Our office is decorated only with the momentous Wall of Fail. A tribute to each and every time we gaffed this year. Needless to say, it’s pretty crammed. There’s articles that sent an entire school of the university in uproar, denied permission to content references or images, our dissertations, our social lives, a picture of the union president wrapped only in cling film, numerous rubber ducks, and Campbell’s license plate fallen from the car he totaled from crashing into a bollard out front the union.

Hours, days, months, and innumerable chunks of time spend stuffed between those four walls. The afternoon Felix wanted us to come up with a new DUSA Media slogan was a particularly grueling one. He locked the office door and naught was allowed in or out until we came up with our slogan- marketing had made us posters that looked literally like black holes, so Felix took it upon his own small shoulders to sort out the world, or at least to get us better posters. Things got messy. I was a personal advocate for, ‘DUSA Media, better than Facebook, bigger than Jesus,’ but things don’t always go my way. Two hours later we were let out for a coffee break, and I made a run for it. We still don’t have a slogan to this day.

Come Dine With Media was our collaborated genius- a four night dinner party hosted amongst ourselves. Initially I was certain it’d be a continuous buffet of dry cereal and burnt water, but come mealtime I was shocked at how a little competitive spirit brings out the Jamie Oliver in us. From spaghetti bolognese, to a gooey ratatouille, and some (STORE BOUGHT) pigs in blanket -CRAIG. The episodes consisted of under-the-bed snooping, and behind the back bitching. Precisely what we do best. Ah right, forgot to mention that yours truly cooked up the winning feast (bacon cheeseburgers, fries, and chocolate brownies -it’s all about knowing your audience) and we left Doug with the wooden spoon.

And that’s a long story kept short with so much kept out (mostly for the sake of my own dignity). Four unconventional best friends. One uncomfortable office. And some pretty top-notch banter.

 

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Keeping up with the Joneses.

With all due respect, sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side of the street…

Photos taken directly across the street from each other in Bangkok.

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Hey Shane…

Ever since I met Shane, from Kunming China, I have persistently pestered him about the length of his left pinky nail.

It’s excessively long, for lack of a better description, and stands proudly above all his other trimmed fingertips.

But I feel as though I’m wearing him down.

It’s been a couple of months thus far, and I’m not too sure as for how long he can keep his resistance up.

The aura of mystery must shatter sooner or later.

“Hey Shane…..” I tried again; he was trapped this time sitting next to me at the back of the bus, “About that long fingernail of yours….”

“When I get home, I will cut it.” He simply said.

“Wait? Why?” I quickly flustered, uncertain how a long pinky nailess Shane would fit into my definition of what it was to be Shane.

“To avoid you asking again.” He clearly stated in his monotone manner.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know it was offensive or anything, I’m just super curious as to what you do with that extra inch of pinky nail of yours….”

“I use it to pick my nose.”

Oh.

After so much harassment, and daily wonder it was that simple.

“I find it very efficient.” He defended. Then after a second thought and a beat of my unknowingness how specifically to react, he added, “But I no eat it!”

Thanks Shane, you know, at your peak of twenty-six years old and all one would hope…

“What about you?” He wondered, “What can you do?”

Good question. I thought. After that little self-sufficient Swiss pocketknife trick of his, I was feeling pretty inconsequential.

So, as a last resort, I reached up to my eye and plucked my contact lens out.

That seemed to do the trick.

Shane began to freak out.

No, really, and he did a great job of it too, for a guy with such a long pinky nail.

Apparently he’d never seen anyone touch their eye before, nonetheless “take it out,” as he phrased it, and he certainly wasn’t expecting such a gross performance from the little American girl sitting next to him.

Feeling triumphant, I flattened my contact out to pop back in before settling down into my faded pink padded seat.

A mutual silence of comradery spread between us.

Him and his long nose picking, not for eating, pinky nail.

Me and my grossly removable eyes.

Just a couple of freaks.

Stuck in the backseat of the bumpy bus.

Trying their hardest to one up one another sickeningly early before first period on a Monday morning.

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Thirsty Thursday.

Bars are never my favorite places to hang out, due to the fact that it typically involves ample amounts of alcoholic intake and overexertion at the pool table, neither of said activities in which I partake.

But this Thursday night, I guess my stars were aligned just so, because unknowingly I’d come prepared with the perfect remedy to cure my illness.

You see, unfortunately I had the intelligent insight to head straight to Tesco Grocery Store after school and load up on all the essentials. On the bus coming back from Tesco I got high jacked and dragged down town as usual.

Groceries, backpack, gym shorts and all.

Which unfortunately for me, the groceries part included my half gallon jug of Meiji low-fat organic milk.

Desperately calculating in my head, numbers flying as I tried to recall whether it was four or six hours mom always said items could remain out of the fridge.

Unwilling to risk it, and un-wanting to sacrifice a half gallon of freshly purchased milk to the gods of the garbage disposal, I figured I may as well just take advantage of my milk situation while I could.

After all, the circumstances of cereal consumption are never slim.

So, procuring a spoon and an old beer stein, I began to settle in and serve myself a meal.

Much to the drunken confusion of many a spectator, I haggardly sliced open the granola, and the bag generously erupted into my mug, followed by a couple of hearty sloshes of milk over the top.

Sinking back into the booth, slipping off my shoes and twisting my feet up beneath me, I began to munch.

Anticipating one of the most enjoyable evenings I’d experienced thus far.

Really, with a little bit of beer flavored granola there wasn’t much that could go wrong.

They looked and looked and looked.

Tilted their heads a bit.

Then looked a little more.

Apparently that just wasn’t something that one did.

You know, the whole sitting in a bar on a Thursday night completely sober consuming granola thing.

I tried to play it off with the cultural card.

“We, ah, we do this all the time in America.” I cooed expecting an easy escape with the wide breach of cultural understanding.

“Ummm, no we don’t.” Stated the kid sitting next to me from Nebraska.

Shoot, I’d forgotten about him. Everybody always forgets about Nebraska anyhow.

“Well, it’s more of a California thing.” I retorted.

You know, surfing, movie stars, eating cereal in bars.

That’s how we roll.

After ample amounts of peering, I began to get approached by the joyfully curious folk.

“Are you eating Muesli’s with milk right nooooow?”

They slurred with thick coated breath a little too up close and personal for my liking.

“That’s so bitchin!!!!! You’re awesooooooome!”

Apparently my inherent cereal craving and quirky location had instantly elevated me to a status of awesome.

I wasn’t going to complain about my newly attained rank, however I was slightly skeptical about the power invested in them with which to grant said titles.

Though the legitimacy of my apparently awesome ranking is a debate of which we can undertake another evening.

Immediately.

It became the thing.

Not quite as big as Furbies, but I’ll modestly make the comparison to Pogs.

Screw chugging beers in a bar, it was obvious that the newest trend involved Mueslis’ and a half gallon of milk as we passed the substance up and down the aisle and all took hits of granola.

“Delicious maaaaaan.” Chorused the tipsy individuals who somehow happened to really be in the mood for the munchies.

Not five minutes later the box was empty and it seemed like a unanimously agreed upon trip to 7-11 was in order, this time for some Cocoa-Puffs.

As successful as my granola had been, the management had made complaints as to the overwhelming health factor and lack of sugar in the product.

Standing outside the store, munching on dry cereal, we were informed that the real show this evening was down at the beach.

Apparently Ed, the new bald headed student from Upstate New York, had spent 7,000 baht on fireworks to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

There goes someone’s college education up in flames.

Literally.

While traipsing down to the beach, we heard the hovering squeal of a bush of bats intermingling with the squeak and crack of an eventual bursting firecracker.

Squeak. Squeak. Squeak. Sizzle. Burst.

It made quite the chorus of noisy explosion in the night.

Lighting up the sky inches away from our faces with crimsons and golds and sparkly light as we laughed about on the beach, running around with our sparklers dancing like it was the first time we’d ever laid eyes on balls of fire.

And at the end.

After the fireworks gently traipsed into the sky, dissolving overhead.

And the sparklers sputtered to a stop in our hands.

The only light left was the small glow dripping from the end of cigarettes.

As the bats continued to squeal, uninformed that the show was long gone.

And we sank back into the sand looking up at the empty sky, slapping anxious mosquitoes from our legs.

And debated the meaning of life, and time, and all that jazz.

 

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Globalization.

With my neon Nikes and Eminem cursing into my iPod

I feel like the essence of globalization

as I pass monks and monuments to the king on my morning run.

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A Phone Call to Home.

There is nothing in the world so sweet as calling home.

It reminds me that not everything is a crisis.

In fact, there is very little that can’t be cured by a long distance phone call and my mother reminding me to check the expiration dates on the items in my fridge.

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