Tipping / Sunday openings

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Jun 11th, 2005, 07:50 AM
  #1
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Tipping / Sunday openings

Folks: My group is leaving this Wednesday, 6/15 for S.Africa. We will be in Cape Town the 17th-19th. Sunday has been assigned as a free day, but we are having trouble finding things that are open on Sundays in Cape Town. The guide books list a lot of places that are closed on Sundays from May to August--and lists other shops without saying what days they are open. Does anyone know?

Secondly: a member of our group wants to know if cigarettes can be given as a tip. She does not smoke, but on a recent trip to south america, she noticed that some people were giving guides cigarettes as tips. She has asked me to ask my fodor friends about this---
Thanks.
birder57 is offline  
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Jun 11th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Is cigarette smoking common/prevalent in South Africa? Just curious.

When we were in Kenya, I was surprised to find so few people smoked. Even though we live in southern California where smoking is virtually taboo, I'm used to traveling to countries where smoking is very common place so I kind of expected the same in Kenya. I asked my guide about this and he said it wasn't that common. He said some men do smoke but not a high percentage and that it wasn't really socially acceptable for women.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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BTW even if cigarettes are a welcomed item, I wouldn't consider giving it in lieu of cash as a tip. Maybe in addition to, but not as a substitute. That goes for any tangible goods over cash. They might then have to turn around and try to sell it in order to get the cash they needed and were expecting to earn.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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birder57,

Ask your friend if they would consider giving an American or a European person cigarettes, in lieu of a tip.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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Your replies are good--and I will pass yours on, Patty. Rocco: Your reply sounds as if you feel the question was offensive. It wasn't. In the countries my friend has visited, notably in central, south America, offering cigarettes as a tip, or part of a tip, is acceptable. Her question, then, has validity. Since none of us has ever been to southern Africa, and because the cigarettes were so welcomed by those they were given to where she had travelled, she requested I inquire about this. Judging from the great amount of smoking I observed in Russia, I would think giving cigarettes was acceptable, but as I do not know this, I'd have asked too. I think the measure of one's respect for a culture is in asking before doing so as not to offend; and who better to ask than the folks who post on fodors, who for the most part receive inquiries without taking offense.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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birder57,

In answer to your first question I think you will find most of what you would be looking for on a weekend to be open. Certain museums might well be closed however most would be open. Everything in the Waterfront area would be open. Overall I can assure you that if you are looking to keep yourselves occupied with interesting events be it on a Saturday or Sunday you certainly will not have any problems doing so. If there be anything specific that you would want to do and are unsure as to whether they will be open or not then please list these events in this thread and I will respond to you soonest telling you whether it will or will not be available on a weekend.

With regard to your second question I want to start by saying that I do not find your question offensive; as a matter of fact I find it quite an interesting and important question because quite a number of people might think that tipping with cigarettes could be a norm in South Africa. In answer to your question the answer is that is not the way to go. Another reason as to why I find the question interesting is because if you had to offer someone a cigarette in lets say a township they would not regard it as a tip, they would regard it as a sign that you want to be friendly with them and would follow this line by trying to start up a friendship while you share a puff or two. This might not be your desired goal so be aware of this. Overall my opinion would be that you should steer clear of the practice of tipping with cigarettes or for that matter dishing out cigarettes altogether.

Just as another sideline comment you will find that when you arrive in SA that there is a huge antagonism to smoking and lighting up in public places is virtually 100% forbidden by law. In summary it is not easy to be an addicted tobacco puffer in South Africa anymore.

Enjoy our country when you visit us next week. As a proud South African and for that matter proud Capetonian too I am sure that you will have the time of your life.

Hope all of the above helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Jun 12th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Selwyn,

Gotta disagree with you on this one. Just as you would not wish to be paid for your services in cigarettes, I highly doubt that those earning tips from birder57's group would wish to be paid in cigarettes.
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Jun 13th, 2005, 04:09 AM
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Rocco
By getting so offended at the mere question you only serve to show your own ignorance of international travel rather than the original poster's.
There are many countries in which decent cigarette brands are hard to come by and people very much appreciate these items, sometimes more than cash.
Provided one has determined that this is definitely the case in the destination one is visiting, it's not offensive in the slightest to tip with these. What's more offensive is assuming you know best and imposing your values and beliefs on others.
What you might prefer as a tip has no bearing on what might suit someone else.
I visited Easter Europe and several destinations in the Soviet Union back in 89/90/91 and at that time, Western brand cigarettes were highly sought after both as tips and as gifts because they were hard to buy locally and had enormous value on the black market.
Likewise, they are still considered to be valuable in some parts of the world.
All economies aren't based on cash all of the time.
Whilst it's been pointed out that the situation is not the same in Africa, it's certainly not an ignorant or offensive question to ask.
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