April 14, 2012
On a recent flight from Adelaide to Melbourne, I had the misfortune of being seated next to a young woman from Britain who was very drunk. She could barely stand up and was slurring her words. The stench of alcohol was unbearable. Her hysterics oscillated between uncontrolled sobbing and foul-mouthed complaints about "this f---ing country, where you can't even buy Marmite".
The cabin crew tried to pacify her by giving her a mobile device to watch, then gave her a bottle of wine (yes!), which she downed in one gulp. She called me "an arrogant, f---ing bitch" because I refused to give her a cuddle. The woman was already blotto: why ply her with more alcohol? My understanding is that airlines have the right to refuse to fly any passenger who is under the influence, so why was she allowed on board?
- Lena Hau
Sights of Sicily
Having spent a week in Sicily last year, we were very interested to read Dugald Jellie's feature ("A Sicilian Affair", Traveller, March 31-April 1). We, too, were entranced and intrigued by the sights, the good-looking, well-dressed inhabitants and the ever-present reminders of the Mafia. We agree that the works of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and Peter Robb are essential reading. Don't read D.H. Lawrence's Sea and Sardinia unless you want to be completely put off.
- Elisabeth Middleton
Bed, shower, wireless
It is patently unjustified in this age that hotels charge for the use of wi-fi. Providing wi-fi should be as unqualified a room standard as electricity and water.
- Asad Adeni
Bristol beckons, but give it time
We live near Bristol, Britain, a great city, and would love to see many more Australian visitors. However, unless you are Olympic Games-fit, could I suggest taking a little longer to see all the wonderful sights in this part of the world ("24 hours in Bristol", Traveller, March 24-25)? Do not underestimate the hills of Bristol.
- Jane Hide
Blessed are the cheese tasters
The highlight of a short break in Auckland was a visit to the Puhoi Valley cheese factory, in a picturesque valley surrounded by native New Zealand bush, north of the city. There, you can sample cheeses and see fresh cheeses in the final stages of preparation. There is a playground nearby for children and attractive walks to choose from. A delightful way to pass an afternoon.
- Ruth Clayton
Missing in Bulawayo
I was a bit confused by Sam Vincent's reference to Bulawayo's Victorian-era town hall in Zimbabwe ("Return to Bulawayo," Traveller, March 17-18). I would suggest that Melbourne Town Hall, as well as those built in a number of inner-city suburbs, are traditional Victorian-era buildings, but not Bulawayo's, with which I am more than familiar because my mother worked in it and I lived in that city for almost 10 years.
Further, Cecil Rhodes's grave in Zimbabwe's Matopos (now Matobo) Hills was always known as World's View, not Land's End. I thought the latter was a prominent feature in England. Bulawayo's wide city streets, which allow for angled parking on each side and parking in the centre, were ordered to be built thus by Rhodes so an ox wagon with a full team could do a U-turn.
I would have liked to have seen the city's beautiful jacaranda-lined streets and World Heritage-listed ruins at nearby Khami get a mention in the feature.
- Richard Barnes
Crew's baggage claim
I recently flew business class on a 737-800 and could not get my cabin baggage into the overhead lockers because there was no space left. The cause was plain to see: the locker space was filled with crew bags. When I complained to the cabin manager, he said the crew had priority and didn't use the baggage hold. I know who comes first at the airlines.
- Tim Hossack
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