Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 12.01.2012

In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel

America’s Rudest Cities

Travel + Leisure

In which city are you most likely to get a rude reception from locals?Travel + Leisure readers have crowned America’s capital of crabbiness.

Which is worse when you’re traveling: the local driver who blithely cuts you off in traffic or the surly cabbie who gives you attitude right to your face?

Such skirmishes no doubt fueled this year’s America’s Rudest Cities contest, voted on by Travel + Leisure readers. Three-time-champion Los Angeles, home of road rage, went head-to-head with classically brusque East Coast cities such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.—all of which landed in the top five.

New York ultimately claimed the title of No. 1 rudest city, a dubious award determined as part of T+L’s annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, in which readers rank 35 major cities in categories such as the best pizza, the most pedestrian-friendly streets, and even the most reliable wireless coverage.

A look at this year’s rudest top 20 reveals one overarching trend: the bigger the city, the bigger the attitude—or at least its perceived attitude. “People in big cities tend to be very direct,” says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner of Protocol Etiquette School of Texas. While that alone can be fine, she adds, “it’s no excuse for being rude. ”

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Outrage over ‘human zoo’ on Indian islands

Rights campaigners and politicians have condemned a video showing women from a protected and primitive tribe dancing for tourists in exchange for food on India’s far-flung Andaman Islands.

British newspaper The Observer released the video showing Jarawa tribal women – some of them naked – being lured to dance and sing after a bribe was allegedly paid to a policeman to produce them.

Under Indian laws designed to protect ancient tribal groups susceptible to outside influence and disease, photographing or coming into contact with the Jarawa is illegal.

The tribe, thought to have been among the first people to migrate successfully from Africa to Asia, lives a nomadic existence in the lush, tropical forests of the Andamans in the Bay of Bengal.

India’s Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo promised to take action over the incident, terming it “disgusting”, and the home ministry has sought a report.

Survival International, which lobbies on behalf of tribal groups worldwide, said the video showed tourists apparently enjoying “human zoos”.

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Mob Museum to open in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day 2012

National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement

Las Vegas, NV — There are two sides to every story — and then there’s the truth. Uncover the real life battle between organized crime and law enforcement when The Mob Museum opens to the public on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012.  The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world.

The Museum, which has already acquired one of the most iconic artifacts in mob history – the brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, will open on the 83rd anniversary of the infamous Massacre, considered one of the most significant days in Mob history. Admission is $18 plus tax for adults ages 18-plus; $12 plus tax for children ages 5 to 17 and students ages 18 to 23 with ID; $14 plus tax for seniors, military, law enforcement and teachers; and $10 plus tax for Nevada residents of all ages. Museum hours will be Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement. True stories of mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments.

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‘Fat plane passengers should pay more for seats’

Herald Sun

People weighing more than average should pay more for their airfares than slimmer passengers, a former Qantas executive says.

Tony Webber said airlines were paying more for fuel because the average weight of the population had increased.

The extra fuel needed cost about $472 a plane, he said, and additional weight of passengers affected airlines’ profits.

“It’s just a fact, and the thing is airlines consider these things when deciding how much fuel to put on the plane,” said Mr Webber, former Qantas chief economist.

“I think it’s discriminatory that people who watch their weight actually have to pay a higher airfare because of people who are overweight.”

Mr Webber, who runs a consultancy company, suggested a system where people would pay a charge for every kilo they weighed over a set certain weight.

At the same time, lighter people would pay less if they were under the limit.

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