April 2000

Travel Agents SOS
At the end of Jim Glab's article "Travel Agents Are Running Scared" [Smart Going, February], he says the good ones "will survive by selling information, not tickets." Recently, my wife and I missed our cruise departure because of bad weather at the airport. Our agent found us a room for the night and booked a flight to the ship's first port of call. Most important, she gave us a lifeline in the midst of total chaos. Try getting that on the Internet!
Arthur J. Freedman
East Stroudsburg, Pa.

Trust and Travel Safety
I enjoyed your August issue so much that I read the good bits over the phone to friends. But I question one of your "50 Tips for Women Traveling Alone" [Smart Going]. Why trust other women just because they're women?I've been victimized twice by female criminals. I doubt that there are any men who blindly trust other male travelers.
Terry Matthies
Alameda, Calif.

Arthur Golden's Japan
Thank you, Arthur Golden ["Seeing Japan with the Man Behind Memoirs of a Geisha," February], for taking me with you. Your fondness and respect for the country brought out the real Japan, complete with rude chefs and ugly rain. And your historical insight answered several of my questions. You looked past the concrete and steel and found a delicate culture flourishing beyond the high-rises.
Jumana Farouky
Boston, Mass.

The Dakar Beat
I was excited to see Dakar, Senegal, as one of your "100 Great Trips for the 21st Century" [January]. Dakar's great nightlife suits all musical tastes, and the teranga (hospitality) of the people is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
Shauna Doumbia
Salt Lake City, Utah

From the Editors
We received several letters objecting to Dan Savage's reference to RSVP Cruises ["Playing It Straight," December]. Dan Savage is a prominent voice in the gay community, known for his controversial attitudes. In our Travel Diary column, we offer writers and other people of note the opportunity to express their personal views. We are a diverse and opinionated staff, and we allowed Mr. Savage a say in the pages of our magazine. However, we apologize to any readers who were offended.

Reader's Find: Provence
We heartily recommend Mas La Bonoty [Chemin de la Bonoty, Pernes Les Fontaines; 33-4/90-61-61-09; doubles from $45], a remarkable inn 14 miles northeast of Avignon. My wife and I used it as a headquarters for four days last May and came to know the delightful English hosts, Richard Ryan and Peter Cuff. Their restaurant is superb, the service exceptional, and the prices reasonable. This inn, with its beautifully landscaped rose and iris gardens, has a wonderful sense of place.
N. W. Pope
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Letters to the editor and Reader's Finds should be addressed: Letters, Travel & Leisure, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036; fax 800/926-1748. They can also be sent via E-mail to Letters@travelandleisure.com. Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.