Zrylw Discusses How to Tip Almost Anywhere in the World

Tipping can be a conundrum even in the United States. But it can be much more challenging in a country where a person barely speaks the language – let alone knows the local customs and mores. Here are a few suggestions regarding the proper tipping etiquette for popular and off-the-map vacation spots.

When someone is traveling in South America what should they tip?
Like most of the places we will be discussing today, it varies from country to country. For instance, in Argentina diners should expect to give wait staff ten percent of the tab and at least ten pesos to a porter. In Brazil, people shouldn’t expect to tip at all because that amount is worked into the tab. However, they will be expected to tip the cleaning crew about two dollars a day and porters two dollars a bag. Also, in Brazil American currency is welcome, so gratuities don’t need to be in pesos.

What about the Caribbean Islands?
Tipping in the Caribbean is akin to tipping in the U.S. Fifteen to twenty percent in restaurants that aren’t covered by a resort package. Also, if a traveler needs a special favor from the concierge, they should expect to hand out a gratuity. American currency is accepted for tipping.

When traveling through Europe do different countries have different expectations when it comes to tipping?
Yes, unfortunately there’s no hard and fast rule about tipping across Europe. In France, the term “service compris” at the bottom of a dinner check means that no tipping is required. However, the locals tend to leave about ten percent in cash for the wait staff. Tipping at a bar isn’t customary in France, however in Germany, bar patrons are expected to tip up to fifteen percent. The most important thing though is to tip in Euros, because dollars aren’t preferred.

Is it true that tipping in China is frowned upon?
It is true. However, within the last decade or so tipping has become slightly more acceptable. So, if a traveler really feels the need to give someone a gratuity they can do it. However, they need to make sure that they do it out of the employee’s supervisor sight, because receiving a tip is still discouraged.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays | Best Places to Visit in Europe

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays is a travel club specializing in resort vacations at wholesale prices. Because they are also a full-service travel agency, they are knowledgeable about areas all over Europe and the world. Today, Pierre Bennett Global Holidays reveals some of the best places to ski, visit and find mineral water springs in Europe to the Zrylw blog staff.

Zrylw: Good afternoon, thank you for joining us.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: We appreciate the invitation, so thank you.

Zrylw: Because you are so familiar with Europe, can you tell us what the “must see” countries and places are?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Well, for sports fans we would definitely have to recommend skiing in Austria.

Zrylw: That’s something we might never have considered, and it sounds fantastic. Is there a particular town in Austria that you would recommend for skiers?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Definitely. We would suggest that skiers go to the Arlberg in Tirol.

Zrylw: What makes Arlberg so special? Is it the conditions?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: It’s the conditions, along with the fact that the scenery is stunning and the mountain is perfect for both first time skiers as well as experts. So, it would be perfect for a family with younger children.

Zrylw: What about European destinations for people who aren’t as athletic?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: We think Hungary – and Budapest in particular – is an excellent European destination.

Zrylw: Why Budapest over, say, Paris?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Budapest has amazing Old World charm and it also has some of the best food that you will find in Europe. Also, it has 12 thermal baths and about one hundred mineral water springs. The history is fascinating – and the arts are really thriving, as well.

Zrylw: Where else would you point people?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Well, Paris of course. (Laughs) 

Zrylw: Is it true that Paris is extremely expensive for visitors?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Travelers can always find inexpensive things to do that feel much more glamorous simply by the virtue of being in Paris. For instance, attending a flea market along the Champs-Elysées is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

Zrylw: You’re right, that does sound fantastic.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Also, some of the best things to see in Paris are free or have a very low cost. For instance, there are many city gardens, discounted museums, and visitors can always find reasonably priced bistro fare.

Zrylw: What are some of your other favorite destinations?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Visitors to Europe should travel to as many cities as possible. We suggest Madrid, Florence, Crete, St. Petersburg, Edinburgh and London. And because of Europe’s high-speed rail system, it really is quite simple to see many places in a short amount of time.

Zrylw: Is there anything else you would like to say before we wrap things up?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: We think that it’s a good idea for travelers to know at least a little of the language of the country they are going to visit. Even if it’s only danke in Germany or merci in France. A little basic knowledge can really help a visitor navigate a country.

Zrylw: Thank you so much for talking to us today.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: It was our pleasure. Thanks for having us.

Interview | Christian Rock Band, Circleslide Talks about Mercy Ministries

(Jon) The song “Looking Up” really comes from a place where you have an unyielding spirit, a determination to continue on when you’re pressed down, a spirit of just continuing when everything’s been kinda taken away from you.  And I’ve never seen the Mercy Ministries girls come in so excited and they picked up real quick and I just remember getting chills down my spine.

(song lyrics) “It’s over my head, it’s out of my hands. I know the best I got is not enough…”

(Gabe) Here are my Mercy Ministries sisters and they’re in trouble and I was immediately put in this place of a reverent awe.  You see the Mercy Ministries girls, and they may look okay on the outside and they may look like they have it all together, but on the inside they may be dealing with some heavy, heavy things, stuff that I don’t know even as a guy if I could handle.

(Jon) All the proceeds of this single will go to support of Mercy Ministries.  Every cent will go to supporting this great cause, providing whatever is necessary monetarily for Mercy Ministries and so we’re just excited to be a part of that and excited to just see what God is going to do through this song.

(Jon) Just hearing that part in the song, I kinda wish we would have gone back and put that on the record.

(interviewer) Gabe, tell us your thoughts on Mercy Ministries and Circleslide’s involvement.

(Gabe) Well if you just listen to us talk about it, you can tell we’ll never be the same after visiting and meeting the Mercy Ministries girls.  It’s one of those things where people tell you how you have to experience this, and I can’t describe it.  It really is that.  But if you ever you’ve seen things on the news about tragedy of our youth today and how horrible things are for young people, here’s this ministry that free of charge allows young girls to come in and it saves lives.  These Mercy Ministries girls could be going to prison, these Mercy Ministries girls could be on suicide watches or whatever.  And instead they come out with a countenance of somebody who just is full of joy, hope.  They are excited about changing their friends’ lives.  It’s an amazing thing and so for us to partner with Mercy Ministries is a no brainer.  And I know that I’m going to be telling all my family and my friends that there’s so many ways to get involved.  You can go to the Mercy Ministries website, you can look at places where you can become a donor.  I’d encourage you to visit Mercy Ministries if you’re anywhere close to Nashville.  You should just come pay a visit and see what is being offered for these young women at Mercy Ministries.  And I’ll never forget how the Mercy Ministries girls, they made us this huge scrapbook of their experience.  It was this album cover that was meticulously drawn, all these great pictures.  And all we really did is we just met them for a few minutes in the studio.  Just reaching out and befriending and praying for these Mercy Ministries girls.  I think that’s something that we just want to take with us and share.  So look up “Looking Up” in iTunes.  Like John said, it will be available in November.  And thank you for just allowing us to be a part of this.

(interviewer) Can I ask you one more question as follow up? I’m curious as young guys looking at a home like this for young girls, how did it affect you as a guy, as a man, from that perspective? Because a lot of us who work there are women obviously.  So what was it like for you as men, was it different?

(Gabe) Mercy Ministries changed my life. Mercy Ministries changed my outlook and it made me more aware of my surroundings, made me realize that there’s hurting going on out there of people who may look like they got it all together.

(Eric) I think for me, the whole experience was that it just kinda shattered my thoughts.  Again, like Lee was sharing earlier, I didn’t know what to expect when we went into Mercy Ministries and the one thing I think that stood out in the stories that we were told was there were so many self-image issues going on.  And there was a moment when they were sharing photographs, each girl had made a photo collage of their time there and it was amazing to see the photographs of the girls right when they came into Mercy Ministries and then at their graduation.  And it’s like there are two people.  There is somebody who is broken down and hurting in the first photo, who is distrustful who is angry, that has any number of issues that are, you know, literally weighing on them.  And then the second photograph, the graduation photo, you are looking at this Mercy Ministries girl who is full of joy, who is happy, who has some self confidence.  And it was really bizarre to me to see that much change in such a short period of time.  It was literally like seeing a rebirth.  I think that was, for me, probably the most impactful thing, just seeing the contrast in pictures.

(Gabe) It’s almost like society and maybe like the popular culture tries to portray and send, guys at least, messages of what women are supposed to look like, what women are supposed to act like and I think that if we are bombarded with that it’s no wonder that we’re all confused about our roles as men and women and how we’re supposed to act, and how do you achieve a certain look or how do you achieve happiness or how do you achieve love.  And so it put everything in perspective being there at Mercy Ministries, like I said these are my sisters and they’re in need of help.  And you know we need to treat women with respect.  I know I try to treat my wife with respect.  But what about the other women around us?  How do we carry ourselves as men and how do we try to yeah just show respect and be brothers in Christ to the girls around us? So yeah it was a good little eye-opener.

(interviewer) Eric, you’re a father right? Do you have a little boy or a little girl?

(Eric) I have a little boy.

(interviewer) A little boy.  Did it make you think about your role as a father at all?

(Eric) Oh yeah. You know everyone told me that having a child would change my worldview, that you know you can never prepare yourself. And my wife and I have been married for 12 years and we kinda understand the works and we expect the changes.  And you know all the basic changes in life, yeah we were there for it.  But the spiritual change of becoming a dad, suddenly there was a change for me where all of a sudden I understood the way my connection with God was supposed to be because God the Father and being his son. And it’s my job to provide his needs.  And I began to realize through this situation that my connection with my father as in God is identical and I need to look to Him for my every need.  And I can tell anyone who is about to have children or whatever, that it’s gonna rock your world, it’s gonna change your life but you pretty much won’t understand until you’re there.  It’s beautiful.  It’s amazing.  It’s powerful.  Kids are a joy there’s no doubt about it.

(interviewer) Anybody else have anything they want to add in?

(Lee) The question you had said earlier about as a young guy what were the thoughts going through my mind.  I couldn’t help but just think, I mean one of the leaders at one point in time said that they’re bringing godly young men into Mercy Ministries to show these girls what that’s like. And the thought that went in my head, I have to make sure that I step up my game and that I am living what I say I am.  And I couldn’t help but have this disgust from the way pop culture has taught us what is the norm and all that stuff.  It just it left me with a really bad feeling.  But more importantly a conviction to change that and make sure I know that I am viewing all these situations, even these young girls at Mercy Ministries, the way God does.  That was definitely a big conviction of mine when I walked out of the doors at Mercy Ministries.

Learn more about Mercy Ministries at www.mercyministries.com

Doug Battista | Best Things to See in London

Doug Battista has traveled throughout Europe, but one of his favorite places is a popular tourist destination for Americans: London. For your next visit to London, Doug Battista recommends hitting these hot spots:

  • Tower of London—There are many free historic things to see in London and the Tower of London is one of them, according to Doug Battista. Learn the dark history and see the Crown Jewels while you’re there. Also known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, Doug Battista explains that the Tower of London is a castle that dates back to 1066. Beginning as early as 1100, the castle was used as a prison, Doug Battista explains, which gives visitors a glimpse into a darker side of London.
  • Hyde Park—One of the most interesting sites on a London tour, Doug Battista says that a Sunday afternoon visit to Hyde Park will be like nothing you’ve experienced. Doug Battista explains that “Speaker’s Corner” allows different “speakers” to loudly discuss or display signage on any subject they deem appropriate, without the law stepping in. Because Speaker’s Corner dates back to the 1800s, Doug Battista asserts that it is a part of London you won’t want to miss.
  • Buckingham Palace—Be careful what time of year you visit London if you want to see Buckingham Palace, Doug Battista warns. Buckingham Palace allows you to tour 19 of its rooms during certain times of the year, according to Doug Battista. During this tour, Doug Battista says you’ll also see paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, along with some of the other treasures from the Royal Collection.
  • Big Ben—Attached to the Houses of Parliament, and another London tourist must-see, Doug Battista explains that Big Ben was installed in 1844. It took two tries, Doug Battista tells us, as the original bell cracked and had to be melted down and redone. In 1859, the second Big Ben bell rang throughout Westminster for the first time.
  • The Sherlock Holmes Museum— Doug Battista urges fans of the timeless detective to visit 221b Baker Street, the original setting for the fictional stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The government has put the home at the famous address under protected status and now it stands as a museum and popular tourist destination.

According to Doug Battista, there are many other sites in London to visit, but these are a few he enjoys most.

Travelling to Costa Rica

Kyle Thomas Glasser is a man who has grown tremendously due to his involvement with care providers in various parts of the world. He has travelled to Central America with a program called International Service Learning. This became an eye opener for him and life-changing situation that really has improved his life. Kyle grew up in Georgia and he is a senior of University of Georgia and his main goal is to serve people through the work he does. He went to Costa Rica in 2010 and there he says he saw how people were living in poor conditions that many Americans have not lived. These people were not able to afford any basic amenities and thus they were exposed to many diseases.

Kyle further indicates that the people they were offering assistance in Costa Rica could not even afford medical attention. This was a learning experience for him as he worked together with medical doctors to help those in need. Kyle has growth with St. Marguerite Catholic Church as even as a young person, he knew that he wanted to serve the community. This is why he is pursuing a career in medicine so that in future he can reach out to people within the society. Kyle says that he and the other students with travelled with realized that many people in the world needed medical care. Most of those they saw have never experience any medical attention all their life.

The 2010 tour to Costa Rica and Nicaragua opened his eyes to the needs of other people. It felt great to help someone who is really in need and providing support as much as possible. They spend the two weeks in Central America offering medical awareness while they also learned a lot from the people.  This is why Kyle feels that the trip has motivated his desire further into pursuing medicine as his career of choice. He grew up with a heart of helping people for instance, he has done volunteer work in tutoring high school students in the area of mathematics His determination and hard work earned him the opportunity of Scholarship from HOPE and he has managed to go far.

Kyle Thomas Glasser is currently shadowing Dr. Jeff Traub in Atlanta thus gaining experience in the medical field. In this way, Kyle feels that the trip to Costa Rica is the best thing that happened to him in understanding the value of helping those in need.

Unhealthy Foods That May Shock You

Everyone knows that red meat should be eaten in moderation and that too many carbohydrates can add inches to your waistline. But what are some other foods that should be avoided? Here are a few foods you may not normally think of as being potentially unhealthy, according to the staff of Zrylw.

Maraschino cherries top the list of foods that might surprise you. While they are often associated with children’s drinks, their ingredients read like a warning label of things that parents try to avoid feeding to their kids – and high fructose corn syrup is one of the more benign items in the list. With Red #40 (made from petroleum) and sulfur dioxide, which can trigger an asthma attack, maraschino cherries aren’t anyone’s idea of health food.

Light microwave popcorn might seem like a low-fat snack food option, but in reality it’s loaded with sodium – and there is still the concern of diacetyl. Most major brands have taken this dangerous chemical out of their ingredients, but to be safe read the label closely. To err on the side of caution (and deliciousness) consider the non-prepackaged option – pour a quarter of a cup of popcorn into a brown lunch bag and microwave normally. Then add butter and seasonings to stay in control of salt and fat content.

Sugary drinks other than soda can be filled with as much – if not more – sugar than their counterparts. Bottled lemonade, and many teas (including green tea) can contain up to fifteen teaspoons of sugar.  Consumers should read the label carefully when purchasing these beverages.

Fruit smoothies are another beverage with hidden high sugar content. Although they contain fruit, it’s usually in the form of fruit juice, which has all of the calories without the fiber of the real thing. A standard fruit smoothie has the caloric content of a meal, but without the fiber it won’t fill a person up. Which means that a person is likely to eat a meal – on top of just drinking up to six hundred calories.

Rounding out the Zrylw list of surprising foods is bran muffins. Even though they do contain fiber, they have a lot of fat and calories. Because the base of every muffin is essentially cake, bran muffins have an undeserved reputation as health food. In fact, the average bran muffin has just under the amount of calories found in a sausage and cheese breakfast sandwich.

Psi Chi International Honor Societies

Psi Chi International Honor Societies cover a wide range of medical expertise fields offering premedical students and medical students the help and aid that they need to facilitate and guide them through their learning process. The organization aims to equip students with the right support system so that they will become responsible medical practitioners within their respective chosen fields. With a wide array of medical fields included in this prestigious honor society and covering several countries around the globe, this organization provides plenty of medical students a chance for membership.

With this being a prestigious organization, applying to become a member is quite rigid and process is thorough. Aside from satisfying academic requirements, backgrounds, profiles, and academic status, are checked ensuring everyone that members who passed has gone through a rigid and thorough membership accreditation process.

A lot of premedical and medical students aim to be part of this organization. Those who want to join should be able to supply ample information of their medical endeavors and activities pertaining to the medical profession that can help aid their application.

Medical missions may play an integral role when applying. This will help gauge one’s experience and dedication to the field. Kyle Thomas Glasser, a premedical student, for example participated in medical missions outside of the country to help other who are in need and extend medical services. His efforts include serving the community and aiming to become a responsible member of society.

It was only recently that Kyle Thomas Glasser faced a very difficult part in his life. He was alleged of crimes due to his actions that played a very important role on how to move forward. There were incriminating photos and documents found in his laptop when he brought his laptop for servicing. With him not being aware that his files were made public, technical service agents were able to detect files as they did some back and up restoration procedures of his files which weer enough to incriminate him. A lot now are questioning on whether the procedures done were deemed in accordance, sine those files, were after all private in the first place. There was also a question on whether or not should simply turn its head and look the other way once they find something wrong?

This test or experience did not however stop him from moving forward with his life. Sometimes mistakes, especially ones were not meant o hurt anyone, happens. The best that one can do is acknowledge and move forward, and aim to become better.