What a great surprise it was to find Tara Bahrampour's "Returning to Iran" in the October T&L. I am a 24-year-old Iranian who was born in California but lived the first half of my life in Iran. Bahrampour's informative and moving story revived memories of childhood trips around the country; at the end, the description of the old woman in Mashhad brought tears to my eyes. I have not been back to Iran since my family left in 1986; your article made me realize that it's time to return and see it for myself, as an adult. I can't wait for my journey to begin.
Marina Del Rey, Calif.
In "Malaria Rising!" [Health Watch, October], Alan Burdick relates some important facts concerning a disease that most Americans know little about. However, when he dismisses accounts of the severe side effects of mefloquine (Lariam) as "rumors," he is wrong. Since January 1997, more than 325 people have reported mefloquine side effects to Lariam Action USA; hundreds more such reports are on file with action groups in Great Britain, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. Readers can E-mail LariamInfo@aol.com for more information.
Jeanne D. Lese
Lariam Action USA
Three years ago, I took Lariam for three weeks. The result was terrifying: hives all over my body, hourly temperature fluctuations, hallucinations, and a near-suicidal state of mind. I was forced to end my world tour and return to the United States, where no doctor could assist me. I am still on medication to prevent recurring episodes. Please do not underestimate these side effects. They are more prevalent and lasting than your story implies.
San Francisco, Calif.
Thanks for your story on Tom Ford's Santa Fe ["Urbane Cowboy," October]. I attended a conference there recently, but managed to escape each day to experience some of Ford's favorite art galleries, museums, and shops. The pages of T&L were very dog-eared by the end of my visit.
Correction: October's feature on America's best spas incorrectly located the Ihilani Resort & Spa on the island of Maui; in fact, it's on Oahu.
Last spring I had the pleasure of staying at the new Melia Playa Conchal resort hotel, in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica [011-506/654-4123, fax 011-506/654-4181; doubles $185]. Nestled in a lush tropical forest, the bungalow suites are beautifully decorated with local Guaitil pottery so gorgeous I was tempted to slip a piece into my luggage. It was wonderful waking up to the sounds of birdsong and of waves breaking on the white-sand beach. There are four outstanding restaurants and an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II. The service is great, and the views are spectacular. Paradise!
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