Very interesting comments and perspective. Thanks. On dollars as tips,
it is not just Americans, but also Germans who spread them around. They
are the smallest western paper currency that can be exchanged by locals
at a bank. American or German coins are not good for exchange. Of
course, local currency is best. It made me very happy when some Czech
friends asked for payment in Crowns and not dollars - it showed a happy
confidence in their currency.
What is you experience with dirty dollars? Long ago I learned that cash
dollars should be fresh, crisp, and unmarked and unstamped on both
sides. That makes them much easier to take to the bank in foreign
countries. Once I exchanged a 1950's wrinkled $100 bill for a fresh one
in the east, then spent the old one in the west. I saved the landlady
15% in surcharges demanded of wrinkled bills!
You say "> If there is anybody in the family, that "speaks" english,
talk slowly, in 'special english" and do not use complicated words and
sentences. This will avoid misunderstandings."
To add to that, I say keep the vocabulary simple and consistent. Use
one word for automobile, auto or car or truck but don't mix them all.
Some of us at least expect different words to mean different things, and
when you are struggling to understand a language, simplicity helps. I
hesitate to say this, but it helps sometimes to speak English with a
local accent, imitating the way they might speak English. Try this
The family found it amusing to see what I enjoy as souvenirs - an old
cad astral sign (abandoned next to it's replacement and too tempting for
an engineer to pass by), a set of local cooking spices, and a simple
bottle opener advertising the local mineral springs.
Now to work on the language.