Facts about Utania - 33
Tipping is virtually unknown in Utania, although Luka, Utan Krysaror and well-established tourist resorts are the exception to this rule. Tipping the waiter for a meal (not drinks) is appreciated, but not expected. Larger, more expensive restaurants may expect this from foreigners, but not from locals.
At this stage, once more, it is the best time to visit: Utania is virtually tax-free. There is few consumer taxes on locally produced goods, a blanket value added tax of 10% in Lasanne state, some value added taxes elsewhere, but little else. There is, however, somewhat punitive import duties on "non-essential" imported goods, mostly consumables and entertainment goods: TVs and other electronic goods. These taxes do not make Utania a duty-free haven.
Travellers are allowed to apply to have certain taxes repaid in full, but this process is long, tiresome and not worth the bother. You can obtain forms from international airports, and major city post offices. Completing the form will require copies of all receipts, and they must show the name and address of the vendors - be sure to get that when you purchase goods.
Duty Free stores for electronic goods and imported alcohol are available only in Luka and Utan Krysaror. Prices are not that much cheaper than elsewhere, unless you buy locally produced goods, though these are mostly tax-free anyway, and better deals can be had in major department stores.
POST & COMMUNICATIONS
Postal rates Postal services in Utania are typically slow though mostly reliable and inexpensive. A standard letter will cost Û0.50 to post internally, but can take up to a week to get from one side of the country to the other. This is due to the presence of three postal companies in Utania, one for each state (Savana is covered by Utani Anjul Nij, which covers Utani B'yan). Like most things in Utania, posting between major centres is quicker. To post overseas, it is also best to do so from Luka or Utan Krysaror. To Whitlam, for example, it will cost about Û5.00, Christiana Û8.00 and Westria about Û11.00 for a standard-sized letter. Utania also works on the "double the weight, double the price" rule for post. A five kg package to Westria could cost up to Û100 (ChC 33.00).
Receiving Mail Once more, the lack of a single mail carrier or standardised rules for mail addressing can leave those anticipating mail exasperated. What makes matters worse is that they will pass a letter on to the area postal service for final delivery: the three postal companies have clear demarcation of their delivery areas, being the state borders.
Lasanne uses a postal code, four digits long, to depict the area within the state, and it must be used for mail to be delivered within the specified timeframe. The other two postal companies do not have a postcode system, although the one exception to this is Utan Krysaror which has the 12*** postcode. For example, the Presidential Suburb has the postcodes 12000 to 12020. Addresses should have the name of the person last, and the postal or street address first. For example:
The telephone system in Utania is as confused as the postal system, and, like the post, plans are afoot to merge the three telephone companies into a single company. (Although, there are also plans to leave them separate, competing businesses with a central authority.) However, unlike the post, the phone number system has been agreed and is now followed by all three companies. The three companies now use a standard telephone numbering system, thanks to UNVCOCN. The three companies cover the same three states in Utania as the postal system, and are called: Arasete-Nij Utani (covering Savana and Utani B'yan, it translates to "Utanian far-away meeting place"), Telecom Nystonia, and the Utanian Telephone Company (UTC). By decree, UTC handle all international communications, which is a blessing for users.
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