Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2 - Almost Done!

Whew. Check out is 90% done. Tomorrow we have our 'bag drag' which means we take all of our check on luggage to get searched (customs) and taken away to hold for the plane. So after 4:00 pm tomorrow, I will only have my carry on items. :) Or anything I plan on throwing away. It's so surreal to me that this is finally happening! 

I have totally slacked on exercise this week. I know. Bad Katy. But today I washed my running shoes, so it's official. The next run I do will be in Virginia. :) (We have to wash our shoes because customs won't allow any shoes with dirt on them to pass. They make you throw them away.) I plan on having a nice (cold! Remember I'm used to Africa heat, and anything under 80* is downright frigid for me!) run in Norfolk on Saturday!

Last night we went out to dinner for my going away dinner, and it was super fun! We have a dress code for going out into town (the military is very strict on keeping a professional appearance in foreign nations), and it's pretty simple to follow. Collared shirt, tucked in, belt, closed toe shoes with socks, no shorts above mid thigh, etc. Nothing too complicated, and they aren't super strict on enforcing it anyways. But two of the guys who were going needed to buy a new collared shirt, and let's just say our selection here on base is quite limited. So they ended up both going to the Exchange yesterday (separately!) and buying - then wearing! - the same shirt. We made fun of them all night, it was hilarious! I had to get a picture with the Bobbsey Twins!

We went out for Chinese food, and it was delicious! I always get the same thing at this restaurant, the 'Beef with White Potatoes' and it never disappoints! Eating out here is so different than in the States. For one, the service is completely different. You have to request any refills on your drinks, and I always end up forgetting, and then sitting there with no drink for like 20 minutes! Haha. Also, they don't bring the food out at the same time. So there may be a 30 minute time difference in when the first person is served and the last is served. So we all agree that the rule of 'waiting until everyone has their meal before eating' doesn't apply here, since most of the food would be cold! 

It's also very obvious how America is always in a rush compared to here. They don't rush anything. This totally applies to restaurants. So when you are here, expect a very long wait for your food after ordering. It definitely takes some getting used to! Especially since we have set galley times, so it's always been hours since the last meal, and you are usually starving before you even leave base. It's not uncommon for people to eat a small dinner on base right before going out to dinner in town. It saves on money, and keeps your tummy from growling!

I have no idea what they expect from tips, but I'm a total giver when it comes to tips, I very rarely leave less than 20% in America, and the service has to be bad for someone to get less than that. I don't think I can remember a time when I haven't left a tip at all. So here, I just tip like I would in America, since we don't really have any guidance.... Haha.

I wasn't as angry as I look. I had just taken a bite of food!

Well, that's all I've got for today, I'm going to try to think of my TTT subjects, and hopefully will get that post out today! I've just been so busy, I haven't had a chance to think of them!! So I'll ask y'all some questions!!

Are you a good tipper? Or are you very critical of the service? I'm always a good tipper, but it's not all because I'm nice. Mostly, it's just easier to figure 20% then 15%! Haha. A few of my friends are super critical, though. I usually over tip to compensate... Haha.

Have you ever been to another country and noticed a slower pace of life? Yes, yes, yes. And I'm from the South, where things are already at a slower pace! I want to visit New York so badly, but I think I'd be overwhelmed at first! :)


  1. I worked as a waitress when I was in high school. You live off of those tips! I always overcompensate. I'm not too critical.

    I've never lived outside of the U.S. so it would definitely be different for me!

  2. My husband was a waiter for the first 4 years of our marriage...we are great tippers! But it's so annoying cause he will pick out everything they are doing wrong.

  3. Your going away dinner sounds it was fun! I became a better tipper after working in a restaurant, its hard!! Enjoy your last days in Africa!

  4. Whenever I visit Italy the pace of life is MUCH slower! I pretty much prefer that but not always!

  5. I was a waitress so I understand the importance of tipping. I also think that it's hard for me to part with my hard earned money for crap service. If it's good service I tip well. :)

  6. I always tip a lot. At the hairdresser, restaurants, hotel housekeeping staff. I used to clean rooms in a bed and breakfast and it was so gross---whenever I got a tip I felt so good.

  7. I can't believe you're almost done! You must be so excited! I'm also a good tipper, unless the person is absolutely terrible..

  8. I used to wait tables, so if the service is good then I tip very well, but if the service if bad I won't hesitate to leave no tip and complain to the manager. There's no excuse for rudeness.

    I'm excited for you! You sound really ready to leave Africa.

  9. Im a pretty good tipper, unless I REALLY like the person, then Im a GREAT tipper ;)
    Ive never been out of the country (scared of flying!!) but I have ben to hawaii!! Things are totally more relaxed and laid back there!

  10. my husband is from New Zealand and I miss that way of life. So much slower than here. I love that! And we have to wash our shoes as well! Have a safe flight!!

  11. Yay only two more days! I bet your first run in Virginia is going to be amazing. I know when I was in Greece there was no rush at all when we were at restaurants. Everything was so slow, and you had to ask for everything that you wanted (refills, ketchup, etc.). Have a great last day!

  12. Yayy! It's totally okay to miss a few days of exercise and enjoy your last days there packing up & stuff. I'm usually a good tipper, unless the service is terrible.