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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ARAB TIMES, MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011




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                                                                          Coffee bars, roasteries popping up in Paris
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             travel
Gourmet coffee finally comes to French capital                                                                                                                                                                                                       monday, april 18, 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              airport inquiry tel: 161
PARIS, April 17, (AFP): It’s famous for                                                                                                        customers to linger at a cafe for as long     ed the Frog Fight (www.frogfight.tum-
its sun-kissed sidewalk cafes, but Paris                                                                                                       as they wish.                                 bler.com), a monthly coffee-tasting              www.kuwait-airport.com.kw
has lagged well behind New York,                                                                                                                  “The majority of people take coffee        where baristas also compete to create the
London and Sydney as a center for con-                                                                                                         after a meal, or because it’s the cheapest    most delicate designs in latte foam.
noisseurs of fine coffee — until now.
    Gourmet coffee bars and small-batch
                                                                                                                                               thing on the menu and they want to sit
                                                                                                                                               outside,” said Flynn, who brews shots at
                                                                                                                                                                                                The venue changes every month,
                                                                                                                                                                                             announced via Facebook or word of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ✔       SYDNEY: Australia has eased its
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             travel warning for Tokyo, more than a
roasteries are popping up in the French                                                                                                        Le Bal, a Right Bank art gallery and cof-     mouth, but the coveted prize remains the        month after a magnitude 9.0 quake and
capital, introducing locals to thick rich                                                                                                      fee bar.                                      same — a white cup with a frog on top,          tsunami hit Japan's north, damaging
espressos, artful lattes and the idea that a                                                                                                      If the Parisian coffee revolution has a    donated by an Australian artist.                nuclear power facilities and triggering
cup of Joe can be savoured like fine                                                                                                           birthplace, fans agree it is the                 This month a record two dozen baris-         fears of a meltdown.
wine.                                                                                                                                          Cafeotheque, a cozy hole-in-the-wall by       tas squared off, deftly turning steamed            Australia lowered the warning for Tokyo
    “Coffee is a big part of the culture” in                                                                                                   the River Seine, founded two years ago        milk into floral-like motifs. “It’s a heart     after the UN World Tourism Organisation
Paris, said Tom Clark, co-owner of the                                                                                                         by Gloria Montenegro de Chirouze, a           or a rosette, usually,” said Bachmann,          Friday said there was no reason to avoid
Coutume Cafe, which recently became                                                                                                            former Guatemalan ambassador to               “maybe even a swan if you’re incredi-           Japan as radiation levels at the nation's air-
the city’s newest coffee bar and special-                                                                                                      France.                                       ble.”                                           ports and ports were well within safe lim-
ty roaster when it opened its doors on the                                                                                                        Patrons weave their way past a shin-          Judging the results was a panel of           its.
Left Bank.                                                                                                                                     ing brass roasting machine and stacks of      three that included a bookseller and a             "The level of advice for Tokyo and sur-
    “It’s just that it’s not been respected...                                                                                                 burlap bags full of aromatic beans from       coffee blogger.                                 rounding areas has been lowered to high
It is a living product. It has to be handled                                                                                                   Africa, Central America and South                For book publisher Helene Pouchot, a         degree of caution," the advisory said in the
with care.”                                                                                                                                    America to reach the tasting bar and          two-time Frog Fight attendee, discover-         advice released late Friday.
                                                                                                                                               salon at the rear.                                                                               Australia's overall advice for Japan
    Driving the trend is an entrepreneurial                                                                                                                                                  ing artisanal coffee has been life-chang-       urges travellers to exercise a "high degree
network of young expats like Clark, an           A man prepares coffee in a coffeepot on April 7, in a cafe as it hosts a frog                    There, baristas in checkered shirts and    ing: not only does she now steer clear of
                                                          fight, a monthly throwdown for baristas in Paris. (AFP)                              jeans wait on a hip and multilingual                                                          of caution" -- the third of five levels of
Australian living in France for three                                                                                                                                                        regular cafes, but she has her own real         warning which range from the lowest of 'be
years who grew up on artisanal coffee,                                                                                                         crowd — making a point of introducing         coffee machine at home.
                                                   “Most French people don’t have any            The result is often a thinner, less           the precise origin of the coffee, which                                                       alert to your own security' to the highest of
and well-travelled French contempo-              idea that coffee can be like wine.”                                                                                                            “I no longer drink capsule coffee,”          'do not travel'.
                                                                                              flavourful brew which, coffee aficiona-          changes every day.
raries like his business partner Antoine           Take an espresso, for instance.                                                                                                           she said as she took in the aroma of fresh         Citizens are still advised to avoid the
                                                                                              dos say, leaves something to be desired.            The Cafeotheque trains baristas, too,
Netien, a champion roaster in                                                                                                                  with 30 hours of professional-level           beans from Bolivia, Columbia and Costa          Ibaraki, Tochigi, Iwate, Miyagi and
Melbourne before his return home.                              Flavourful                     “Most of it tastes like cat piss,” said                                                        Rica. “It’s finished with Nespresso.”           Fukushima prefectures, including an
                                                                                              barista and art student Britney                  tuition available for 1,200 euros                                                             exclusion zone around the damaged
    “Before I went to Australia, I was             Unlike the Italian original, “un petit                                                      ($1,700) for those who desire a career in        With a professional coffee roaster
drinking coffee with no idea how it was          cafe” is typically made with cheaper,        Bachmann, from Canada.                                                                         from far-away Iowa City on their pay-           Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
                                                                                                 David Flynn, an American who honed            coffee.                                                                                          Australian airline Qantas has also
made,” said French bartender-turned-             lower-grade Robusta beans that are not                                                                                                      roll, and ambitions to supply gourmet
barista Thomas Lehoux, who now mans              always fresh or perfectly roasted, and       his barista skills in Washington, attrib-                        Culture                       coffee to top hotels and restaurants,           announced it will resume direct services to
                                                                                              utes this state of affairs in part to the fact                                                                                                 Tokyo on April 19 -- rather than operating
the coffee machine at Eggs&Co, a hip             with little if any attention given to the                                                        Taking coffee culture to the next          Clark and Netien see plenty of room for         its Narita services via Hong Kong.
Left Bank brunch spot.                           coffee machine behind the counter.           that, in Paris, a cup of coffee entitles         level, Flynn and Lehoux last year found-      their niche market to grow.                        In the days after the March 11 disaster,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Qantas said it was maintaining its sched-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             uled flights to Japan but its crews were
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             overnighting in Hong Kong rather than the
                                        Destinations                                                                                                                                                                                         Japanese capital because of aftershocks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and damage to infrastructure. (AFP)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ✔       NEW YORK: With the deadline for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             filing individual U.S. tax returns nearing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             next week, Americans are planning how
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             they will spend their refunds and more than
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             half plan to use at least some of the money
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             on travel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 About 57 percent of the nearly 1,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             people questioned in a national poll said
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             part of their refund would be used for a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             trip, and despite the sluggish economic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             recovery, 83 percent said they will spend as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             much or more on travel this year as they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             did in 2010.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The ultimate destination for many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Americans questioned in the Travel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Leaders' survey was Australia, followed by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and cruising in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the Mediterranean.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 "It is clear that when Americans dream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             about travel, they dream big. Australia con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             tinues to be the ultimate dream internation-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             al destination," said Roger E. Block, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             president of Travel Leaders Franchise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Group.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 So far the average refund for 2010 tax
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             returns is $3,070, according to the Internal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Revenue Service (IRS), which is the US
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             tax collection agency.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Nearly 90 percent of people questioned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             in the poll said they have or will take at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             least one leisure trip this year and 62 per-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             cent have already taken a holiday. The top
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             US states to travel to were Florida,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             California and New York. (RTRS)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ✔     HONG KONG: A Hong Kong airline
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             is making all its cabin crew take kung fu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             lessons to help them to deal with drunk and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             unruly passengers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hong Kong Airlines said all staff had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             been invited to undergo training in wing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             chun -- a form of kung fu used in close-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             range combat -- but it was only compulso-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ry for cabin crew, the Sunday Morning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Post reported.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The airline had around three incidents
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             involving disruptive passengers every
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             week, said Eva Chan, the carrier's deputy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             general manager of corporate communica-
This March 29, 2011 photo shows people making their way across a bridge over the river Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland. Ireland is in the midst of a financial disaster that has hotel rates tumbling and                                  tion.
                                                          tourist-dependent regions turning the thermostat up on their welcome. (AP)                                                                                                            Two weeks ago a crew member had to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             put her martial arts training into practice on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong.
                                                                             Tourist hot spots still come at high price                                                                                                                         "One of the passengers was sick but he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             was probably drunk and felt unwell. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             crew member attended to him and she


Debt-hit Ireland coming cheaper for tourists                                                                                                                                                                                                 realised her fitness was helping her, espe-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             cially because the guy was quite heavy,"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Chan told the newspaper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Normally, a female cabin crew can't
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             handle a fat guy, especially if he's drunk,
       By Shawn Pogatchnik                       Republic.”                                      This means opportunities for savvy            Minneapolis, admits his bookings this         euros), capped by a lone pint on a              but because of the training, she can handle
                                                    No longer — or at least, not necessar-    travelers — and risks of disappointment          year are “an absolute disaster.”              rooftop glass-walled bar that offers            it quite easily."
W      hen Kelly Tetterton went online to
       research her family’s first big hol-
iday escape from Chicago, her heart said
                                                 ily.
                                                    Prices are still alarmingly high in
                                                 tourist hot spots, like the castle town of
                                                                                              for those who simply look for the cheap-
                                                                                              est price. Some of the seized hotels have
                                                                                              creepy locations, few customers and iffy
                                                                                                                                                  Increased competition for less trade
                                                                                                                                               has obliged him to cut package prices for
                                                                                                                                               self-drive tours and chaperoned bus
                                                                                                                                                                                             Dublin’s best panoramic view.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Renting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                New recruit Lumpy Tang, 22, said she
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             never imagined kung fu would be part of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the job.
Ireland. But her head worried it would           Kilkenny and the pub-crawl paradise of       service. Others are the market-leading           tours. His latest website deal offers a          They were renting a car and had                 "We were surprised in the beginning, but
involve too much hassle and money.               Galway, and plenty of restaurants            bargains they claim to be.                       rental car and six nights’ B&Bs across        booked a cottage in the County Clare            after a few lessons we really liked wing
   She got a pleasant surprise on both           throughout Ireland charge way too much          Telling the difference is easier with         Ireland for two for $860 (596 euros).         village of Corofin, midway between              chun," Tang told the Post.
counts — and a weeklong vacation that            for second-rate fare. But visitors who do    help from one of Ireland’s established              Flynn thinks admission to some             Galway and Limerick. The cottage was a             "You cannot predict what will happen on
earned rave reviews without breaking             their homework can travel for a hefty        coach-tour operators, all of whom are            attractions like museums and country          bargain at just $289 (200 euros) for the        the plane, so wing chun is good because it's
the bank.                                        discount versus the record-setting tourist   engaged in a discount war. Tour buses            estates are still “over the top,” but         week, but they had time to stay only            so fast," she said. "I feel safer because I can
   Tetterton, her husband Peter and chil-        year of 2007, when 9 million visitors        are the cheapest way to cover the most           dozens of US tourists interviewed by          three nights before heading south to            defend myself and I'm really happy to be
dren Meredith and Alexander found their          came — double the population of              ground without crashing into a hedge,            The Associated Press recently said they       County Kerry.                                   one of the first cabin crew to learn wing
ample $5,000 budget stretched all the            Ireland itself — among them 1 million        sleeping sheep or another bus.                                                                    Up in the rooftop bar, Microsoft engi-       chun in the world." (AFP)
                                                                                                                                               expected Ireland to be even more expen-
way to top-end seaside restaurants, a
night in a five-star castle, even a walk
                                                 Americans.
                                                    Those willing to haggle by email will
                                                                                                 “Some of the bank-owned hotels are
                                                                                              eerie. No service, no customers, just a
                                                                                                                                               sive — partly because of the exchange
                                                                                                                                               rate of the weak dollar against the euro.
                                                                                                                                                                                             neer Tom McCleery had finished the
                                                                                                                                                                                             tour and his pint, and was futilely trying      ✔      MEXICO CITY: A generator fire
through medieval woods with trained              fare even better. Don’t be shy. Ireland      rock-bottom price,” said Terry Flynn,                                                          to order a second. Nearby, another              knocked out power to the ship of a newly
                                                                                                                                                  “Prices aren’t much different than                                                         started Mexico-based cruise line, stranding
falcons at their beck and call. All was          needs your business.                         who has operated his own travel compa-           downtown Chicago. But everything ends         tourist evidently with a low Guinness
easily previewed on the Internet and                “We need to get the message out there     ny for 46 years. “I wouldn’t put my                                                            tolerance was walking straight into one         the vessel off the southern Pacific coast
                                                                                                                                               up 40, 50 percent more expensive right                                                        and forcing the evacuation of 515 passen-
confirmed by warm, welcoming hosts.              that we’re not as expensive as we were.      groups in any hotel or B&B I wouldn’t            off the bat because of the exchange           of the glass walls.
   A few years ago, the trip could easily        Because of our difficulties, things will     enjoy staying in myself. If you want a                                                            “This must be the only bar in Ireland        gers Saturday, Oaxaca state authorities
                                                                                                                                               rate,” said Linda LeMaster of Muskego,                                                        said.
have cost 50 percent more, been harder           be a little bit cheaper and visitors will    cheap value, fine, but it’s not my cup of        Wisconsin, who spent a week traveling         where they charge you 15 euros for a
to book, and been met with a take-it-or-                                                      tea.”                                                                                          pint and then won’t sell you another,”             The fire in one of six generators aboard
                                                 get a better welcome than in the past.                                                        with her two daughters through Ireland                                                        the Ocean Star Pacific was quickly con-
leave-it attitude that characterized             And we have really good hotels at a very                        Trade                         by tour bus as a 30th-birthday present        said the Seattle man, who was in Dublin
                                                                                                                                                                                             tagging along with his girlfriend on busi-      trolled after breaking out late Friday night,
boomtime Ireland. But today’s property-          low price,” said Ireland’s brand-new                                                          for one of them.                                                                              and there were no injuries or dangers to
bust Ireland is the biggest financial dis-       tourism minister, Leo Varadkar, himself         Flynn, who is based in the southeast                                                        ness. He’d been in Dublin in 2007, when
                                                                                              city of Waterford and has a US office in            “Experience-wise it’s totally worth it.                                                    passengers, said Luis Zarate Carballido,
aster in Europe, a crisis that has hotel         the Dublin-born son of an Indian immi-                                                                                                      the Celtic Tiger was still roaring and the      spokesman for the Oaxaca Civil Protection
                                                                                                                                               But if prices were any higher, you prob-      city brimmed with confidence.
rates tumbling and the trip-planner in a         grant.                                                                                        ably would have to think hard about                                                           Agency.
position of strength not seen in Ireland            The reason Ireland’s hotels tend to be                                                                                                      This time, he said, the taxi driver             The passengers, mostly Mexicans, were
                                                                                                                                               coming unless you’re made of money,”          regaled them with tales of economic woe
since the early 1990s.                           so new and competitively priced — the                                                         she said, standing outside the Guinness                                                       evacuated by catamaran to the Oaxacan
                 Choices                         cheapest in western Europe, according                                                                                                       while driving in from the airport, on top-      resort of Huatulco on Saturday, and most
                                                                                                                                               brewery, a top Dublin attraction.             ics from the record-high cost of gas to
                                                 to a March industry survey — is because                                                                                                                                                     were on their way to Mexico City by late
   “We were offered a thousand choices                                                                                                            In Milwaukee, for example, beer can        unprecedented competition from immi-            afternoon, said Ocean Star spokeswoman
                                                 of the nation’s spectacular property                                                          be had for $2 a pint on tap — a third the
of where to stay. Peter and I narrowed           boom and bust, which was more severe                                                                                                        grants and other jobless folks joining the      Carla Guerrero.
each location down to two or three                                                                                                             going rate in Dublin.                         cabbie trade.                                      About 145 decided to go by bus to
                                                 than any US housing market.                                                                      But her birthday-celebrating daughter,
choices, expecting to find the best places                                                                                                                                                                   ❑      ❑     ❑                  Acapulco.
booked up. But everything was avail-                            Property                                                                       Laura, who wanted to see Ireland                                                                 More than 200 crew stayed on the ship,
able. And wherever we arrived, every-               The previous government offered                                                            because the movie “P.S. I Love You” was          If You Go..                                  which was stranded about 5 miles (8 kms)
body was expecting us,” said Tetterton,          excessive tax breaks to property tycoons                                                      partly set here, was not disappointed.           Ireland: Irish government’s US               off the coast of Oaxaca and was being
an executive at a website design firm.           to build hotels with millions borrowed                                                           “Ireland is just as beautiful in reality   tourist            discount           site,     towed to the port of Salina Cruz for repairs,
“And staying in a castle was just freak-         too easily from Dublin banks. Hotels                                                          as it was in the film. Every time I look      http://bit.ly/5g7dYY                            Guerrero said.
ing awesome.”                                    sprung up like mushrooms, often in the                                                        out the bus window, it looks like a post-        Walking Tours: Guinness podcast                 Cruise line Director Henry Yaniz told
   Ireland’s long been one of the world’s        middle of nowhere special, and some-                                                          card. It looks like `P.S. I Love You’!” she   walking         tours      of     Dublin,       Milenio television that two trips would
most popular tourist destinations, partic-       times amid urban decay — dubbed                                                               said as the group burst out in laughter.      http://bit.ly/g4vN3A                            have to be canceled in the coming weeks,
ularly for Americans, some 40 million of                                                                                                          Inside the brewery was another pair           Ireland’s School of Falconry:                but the company expected to resume cruis-
                                                 “Hanoi Hiltons” by Dublin wits.                                                                                                                                                             es in early May. He said stranded passen-
whom have Irish heritage.                           The property market has since                                                              from Wisconsin, realtor Lisa Gramann          Located at Ashford Castle, County               gers would be invited back as Ocean Star's
   But as Ireland enjoyed unprecedented          imploded, with hotel speculators and                                                          and firefighter Joe Pluta. Gramann, who       Mayo,            http://www.falconry.ie/.       guests.
prosperity during its Celtic Tiger boom          banks in bankruptcy. More than 350                                                            planned their trip online with a $3,000       Videos: http://bit.ly/gYLpi1                       The vessel belonging to the new Ocean
of 1994-2007, the tourist experience suf-        hotels now belong to the government                                                           budget, deemed the Guinness gift shop            Discount Irish Gold Fees:                    Star Cruise line was returning to the
fered. Particularly at the tail end of the       and foreign banks, with below-market                                                          “certainly a ripoff. But I’m crazy jet-       http://bit.ly/fkUk9H                            Pacific Coast resort of Acapulco after
Tiger, many tourists experienced sticker         nightly room rates of about $71 to $114      This April 9, photo shows tourists vis-          lagged and just had my first pint, so I’m        Terry Flynn Tours: http://www.ter-           docking in Huatulco as part of a three-day
shock and agreed with acerbic locals that        (49 to 79 euros), even in the heart of       iting Trinity College in central Dublin,         easy prey.”                                   ryflynntours.com. Suggested driving             cruise that started on Thursday, Guerrero
Ireland had become “the Ripoff                   Dublin.                                                    Ireland. (AP)                         The brewery tour costs about $22 (15       routes, http://bit.ly/epd9Sw                    said. (AP)

				
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