Letters | April 2009
Thank you for providing such a clear picture of Taipei now in your February issue [“Taipei, Taiwan Today”]. I’ve been planning a trip to Taiwan, and before Pankaj Mishra’s story came along, I’d only found a handful of articles to help me. So little has been said about the country since the UN established a relationship with China, but from the food to the architecture, it sounds like it has so much to offer. —Vada Ong, New York, N.Y.
German History Lesson
After reading about the “walled city of Rothenburg” in Jeff Wise’s “Exploring Germany’s Rhine Valley” [February], I went scrambling for my travel journal from my own visit 22 years ago. As I recall, there was a small museum built into the wall with photographs and documents about the American bombing of the city during World War II; at the time, our secretary of state believed that the best way to defeat Germany was to target its cultural sites. After the war, many Americans—myself included—contributed to the restoration of this beautiful and historic place. Does it still exist?—Patricia Greuel, via e-mail
Editor’s Note: Yes it does. You’re referring to the tower of the Roeder Gate, the Röderturm, which has a permanent exhibition about the war’s effects on the city.
Bob Morris’s story about in-flight etiquette [“Airplane Etiquette,” January] brought to mind the US Airways crash on the Hudson River. Everyone survived—not because the flight attendants appeased passengers with Elvis impersonations, as Virgin America employees are trained to do, but because the crew knew what to do in an emergency. When passengers don’t follow federal rules, I want to see flight attendants put them in their place, not accommodate their bad behavior. —Christa Haeffner, Vancouver, Wash.
Bathroom with a View
I enjoyed Paul Goldberger’s article about the new Qantas A380 [“Redesigning Qantas’s Airbus A380,” February], and was intrigued by the “extravagant detail” he describes at the end: the window in the first-class bathroom. I have been a passenger on planes that have bathroom windows in business class, but none of them do that fancy transparency trick upon locking the door. I guess I’ll have to test that out on an A380. I’m looking forward to it! —Patti Morris, West Chester, Pa.
When I imagine my dream vacation, exotic locales like Bali and Cape Verde come to mind—but getting to them can be expensive. So I was pleased to learn about MaryJane Butters’s Idaho farm in your January issue [“Living on an Organic Farm”]. It’s a little closer to home, and between waking up in a canvas tent and picking organic vegetables for dinner, it sounds like a perfect summer escape. Please keep these budget-conscious stories coming. —Anila Churi, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Reader’s Find: France
While planning a trip to the south of France last spring, my wife and I stumbled upon francebound.net, a vacation-rental site. Lucky for us—we ended up spending two wonderful weeks in a Belle Époque apartment with a private veranda on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, right along the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, Kerry McKeen, the company’s owner, personally answered our questions about everything, from where to do our shopping to where to eat out, and even helped us arrange day trips to the nearby villages of St.-Jeannet and St.-Paul-de-Vence, and got us tickets to the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. In the end, we didn’t want to leave our home away from home, and are already thinking about where we’ll be renting next. —Del McLennan, London, Ontario