True Story: I was once out to lunch with a friend in Copenhagen. I had been out with this person a few times before and they had always taken care of the bill; needless to say, I was excited to finally flex some economic muscle and pay for our lunch.
Unfortunately, apparently, I hadn't paid attention when he had taken care of the bills in the past because as the waiter hovered at our table waiting for me to swipe my credit card and sign his hand held electronic key pad I realized I had no idea how much –or even how—to tip in this part of the world. Was I supposed to add some magical percentage to my credit card charge or leave it in cash on the table? How much should I leave? Was a tip even necessary at all?
I hesitated for what felt like an eternity and I could feel my face getting hot, but after I made such a show about finally getting the chance to pick up the tab I couldn't admit that I was lost –especially in front of our cool Danish server.
In the end I added 18% to my credit card charge and walked away hoping that my loud (purposefully American) sounding "Thank You!" would excuse any major mistake I had made. Of course I never asked the person I was with what I should have done, and for the rest of the trip I wondered if the waiter was happy with my tip or even noticed something was a little off on that sunny summer afternoon in Copenhagen.
As it turns out you're not expected to tip at all in Denmark unless you are exceptionally satisfied with the service, so I guess our waiter probably went home with a big grin that day. If we'd created our guide to tipping a little sooner I probably still would have left a tip, but I also probably would have had enough left over to afforded that third game or at least another cotton candy at Tivoli Gardens, you live, you learn.