Are Europeans really stingy?

Here’s the deal:
I’m a European, living in one of the most expensive European countries. People rarely do invite each other for a beer or a coffee and if they do, they go dutch next time they meet. I’ve always told myself, it’s not because we are stingy, but because prices are so high and as a student I can hardly afford to be generous here. Is this going to change after graduation?

On the contrary, everybody in Taiwan is very generous, which I think is because of the low prices. This naturally does affect me. Everytime I’m in Taiwan, within a few days, I become a generous and magnanimous person. As soon as I set foot on European territory again, I’m as thrifty
and maybe stingy as before.

So now my boyfriend comes to visit me here in Europe and we’re planning to take a little trip to the neighbouring countries. 5 cities in 4 countries is the plan and it’s going to be great. I made the bookings already, cause here the maxim is, the earlier you book the cheaper the flights (even cheaper than train) and hotels. Our trip will cost me 50’000 NT for hotel and flights only, food and some extra train rides not included. Aiyoooooo…this is really hurting my poor little students purse…but am I really stingy??

No. You are not stingy.

People don’t go dutch on beer, but on food.

No, you’re not stingy …

I’m European as well, and because of the low prices here, I spend more and buy more stuff than I’d ever do at home.
In Europe, I would never have bought brandname clothing, or bought any luxury items, but here I do … now and then.

Another big difference is taxes: in Taiwan, you keep most of the money you earn, in Europe, half your salary goes to the taxman, so of course you’re more careful about spending what little is left.

Can we stop making these fatuous generalisations please ? “Europeans are stingy, Taiwanese are generous” Blah blah blah.

mesheel, what age are you ?

I have met a lot of stingy Taiwanese and generous ones. The same goes fore Europeans.

As a former tour-guide, catering to a very international crowd, I can give you my opinion on this…based on tips…

The French are incredibly cheap but can surprise you. They can appreciate exceptional service. The Germans can’t tip you enough to make up for their condescending attitude. The Brits are boring and cheap, with the Scots leading the way. The Irish are great cuz they’re usually so drunk, they just hand over fistfuls of luchre. The Americans rock. Especially the gay ones. The only difference between an Aussie and a canoe is that the canoe tips. Kiwis don’t tip either, but it’s such a pleasure to listen to that Oceanic accent without the Aussie arrogance. Canadians…forget it. You’ll never meet anything cheaper than a Canadian.

As for what career tips best…it’s a draw. Hell’s Angels and Journalists are the best tippers I’ve ever been appreciated by…especially the gay ones.

That is sooooo true. I wouldn’t say ‘boring’. Cheap, definitely. I only know one or two “generous” English or Scottish people and the rest are so tight you couldn’t squeeze one thin NT out of them without them expecting immediate reciprocation. Sometimes it irks me.
They’re the big “takers” of the world. “Giving” seems to pain them greatly.
But hey, most of my best friends are Brits, so I don’t hold it against them or anything.:unamused:

Hey, hey, hey… point of clarification, please. Toe, say it ain’t so… there aren’t any gay Angels, are there?

There’s nothing wrong to control your budget whenever you can by booking cheaper flights and hotels, especially when you are still a student or just graduated. It’s better to be frugal than being wasteful, especially when you’re not rich or don’t have much extra money. But it’s always worth it to spend some more money than you usually do to try new food or interesting things during travel when atmosphere, feeling and company are right.

By the way, do you pay for the whole trip for both you and your boyfriend? Isn’t he supposed to share part of the travel expenses?

No, you are not being stingy, but if you are paying for everything and are a student, you are being really foolish. In fact, I sense a little bit more bragging than a serious question.

That being said, I don’t think Taiwanese are all that generous. Being generous implies niceness, but giving something just to get something back or somehow control the other person is not “real” nice. As for foreigners, in my experience Canadians seem to be the cheapest of the lot. I’ve dumped a lot of Canadian friends because I got sick of them eating me out of house and home when they stopped over to “visit” or expect me to act as a walking ATM while out clubbing. The Canadian society here is notorious for being cheap.

What a stupid question. Some are, some aren’t. These kind of sweeping generalisations serve no purpose except to promulgate the race/ethnic/nationalist stereotypes that do harm. The question reminds me of one question I once heard asked of the Archbishop of Zululand by Gillian Bell, aged 11 which was: “Can Zulus swim?”. It was a dumb question but she was only 11 after all.

The English are the most generous of all. Giving the world its international language and building railway lines everywhere. In comparison, everyone else is stingy, although I gather that no authoritative study has yet been done on the comparitive non-stinginess of the English versus gay Hell’s Angels. No doubt there will be one as soon as someone can get a research grant.

Don’t think so, it might be low(er) compared to your country but it’s not really cheap here. Thus I would rather think it’s a matter or tradition or local customs, in fact Taiwanese are normally very friendly and generous to foreigners and insist on paying while in Europe it’s just more common to go Dutch. Waiters here would be pretty confused if you asked them to split the bill.
Even a casual remark might earn you some gift, i.e. once I was asked if I like Peanuts and the next day I had a bucket of them on my table. :slight_smile:

I can however also confirm that Taiwanese can be very stingy at times, what my company does to the local employees is sometimes short of exploitation but I guess that’s another subject for another time.

Hey Alien, remember that NT$7 I subbed you for a Corona when we were rehearsing 12th night? I’m still waiting…

Some Scottish people are a bit of an enigma when it comes to generosity. They can be a bit stingy on small things, but very generous with big things.

And we’re proud of it. Tipping’s for wankers.


I’ve given away a bored-out Yamaha DT and a 150 Kymco to friends since I’ve been in Taiwan.
Alien, I’m still waiting for that NT$7.

I said a few Brits I know are generous, San. I supposed you were one of them…now I find I was mistaken.
Brits never forget when you fuckin owe them money. :wink:

And they’re stingy as hell and hoardish about pouring wine that they buy, but glug the bottles you buy with great gusto as if you’ve got your own vineyard or something. Or coming to events at your home and eating all your food but never inviting you to dinner…ever.

Some Americans,Canadians and Australians are also stingy when they make pasta salad for every pot luck event. How simple, how cheap. And the ones who make deviled eggs! Sheesh! Or bring bags of crappo Taiwanese crisps, as if it’s some kind of generous contribution…

Then there are the ones who just bring a six-pack over and proceed to suck down all your food and wine after they’ve finished their six-pack.
Or those who don’t bring enough money with them when you go out and expect you to cover their tab.

But contrary to this are some Americans who provide big hunks of imported cheeses, ham, multitudinous beers and bread at their gatherings and only hope you’ll give them a little bit of money for the beer.

Or the ones who come to your home and bring lots of yummy foods and wines. Or the ones who make quiches and scrumptious desserts and who invite you over often to indulge in culinary orgasms.

Like that. It’s easy to spot them after a number of social gatherings.

THEN, there’s the pocket dancers, who you ride in taxi cabs with and who jump around when the taxi arrives at its destination saying they don’t have the change or only have a thousand dollar bill…fuckin pocket dancers… :unamused:

Taiwanese tip very well. I made a few thousand bucks in tips guiding for them.

Never ask a girl her age… :laughing:

Oh wow…now that is cheap…


Don’t worry…he will get his share and he wouldn’t let me pay it all alone.

You mean I was bragging on how much money I spend or that I’m going on a nice little trip soon? Hmm…wasn’t thinking about that to be honest, but now that you’re saying it, I admit, to people who don’t know me, it might sound like bragging… :blush:

We don’t wanna get political here, but please tell me that this was a joke…

I don’t tip either. First of all it’s already included in the price, second moste waiters don’t deserve tipping here…which is not supposed to be a generalization though…

To the stinginess of Taiwanese: I always found Taiwanese very generous, but sure one cannot generalize. Here’s a little story:
Two couples go out on a Saturday night. Couple 1 is a foreign student and a Taiwanese working in a bad paid job, couple 2 are both Taiwanese working in well paid jobs.
First they eat in a kind of expensive place, so couple 1 tries not to spend to much money and eats only a little. Couple 2 indulges in the most expensive dishes. When it comes to paying the bill, couple 1 wants to go dutch, but couple 2 insists on paying for them, saying couple 1 can pay for the drinks later.
Second they go to a trendy bar. Couple 2 enthuses about the terrific wine, they had drunk there the other night and talks couple 1 into ordering the bottle of house, which they always had wanted to try. Couple 1 not being big wine drinkers sips on one glass the rest of the evening. Couple 2 is obviously enjoying the wine.
When it comes to paying, as discussed at dinner, couple 1 pays for the wine, which being the bottle of the house turns out to be the most expensive wine the bar has on their menu. In the end, couple 1 pays 3times more for the wine, than couple 2 had paid for dinner… :shock:
Ever since, couple 1 is suspecting that couple 2 did this on purpose, since they were not surprised at all about the price of the wine… :imp:

On balance I’d say, be careful when agreeing to pay for something that other people are going to order. Some people will try to make the most of it… :cry:

All of you should feel ashamed for making such childish generalizations about what nationality is cheaper than others. How can you be so shallow and judgemental? As if you could ever conclusively know which nation has the stingiest people? I now feel that I’m a lesser man for having read these horribly prejudiced posts. Personally, though, I think the Canadians are by far the stingiest bast@rds on the planet.