keeping up appearances
Hand-wringing Hong Kong hoteliers take note: a certain hotel in Israel is trying to drum up business by offering half-price accommodation to guests who don't mind passing a few hours cleaning rooms. The Candle of the Jordan Hotel in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, recently adopted this spirited compromise after it was suggested by a visitor doubtless short of a few shekels. Anyone willing and able to run a duster around a few fittings for five and a half hours a day will find themselves paying only US$47 (HK$360) a night instead of the full rate of US$95 (HK$730). Sounds like a bit of a con, but surely anything is worth a try. Even if it gives the management an excuse to lay off half of the housekeeping staff.
the edge of the world With all the talk about the dollar peg and rising interest rates, how refreshing it would be to visit a place which until recently used the potato as its unit of currency - a distant, dreamy land with an annual flat-rate income tax of around $10 a year. All this could be yours were you one of the 300 residents of tiny Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic, the world's most remote inhabited island. Sharing only seven surnames, the hardy Tristanians lead a peaceful, pleasant and productive existence that can be shared once a year by anyone with the time and inclination to make the 2,800-kilometre voyage from Cape Town. The Royal Mail Ship St Helena sails to Tristan once every 12 months from the Cape, taking expat Tristanians home and carrying necessities and a handful of curious passengers. The next sailing is on January 17, 1999, but reservations should be made well in advance. Fares for the 12-day, round-trip range from $5,800 to $14,712, full board.
Contact Curnow Shipping Ltd, Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9JA, England. Tel (44) 1326 563-434, fax 564-347. They can also arrange accommodation in Cape Town.
poster power Until July 26, London's Victoria and Albert Museum will be holding an exhibition dedicated to the humble poster. Covering 120 years, the three different sections, under the headings Commerce and Communication, Pleasure and Leisure, and Protest and Propaganda boast some fine examples. Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am to 5.45 pm; Monday: noon to 5.45 pm. Call (44) 171 938-8441 for details. Elvis fans, meanwhile, should make a beeline for Chicago, where bad-boy basketball player Dennis Rodman's Illusions nightclub and restaurant is hosting An Evening With the King: The Elvis Dinner Show, a revue featuring impersonators. Elvis leaves the building on September 30. Until then, if you're in the Windy City call 312 587-7792 for reservations. Closer to home, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is holding the Treasures of Celtic Art: A European Heritage exhibition, featuring Scottish, Irish and Northern European artefacts.
Jewellery, carvings and weapons will be on display until July 12. Tuesday to Sunday: 9 am to 5 pm, call (813) 3272 8600 for details. If all this sounds too tame, Amsterdam - as usual - offers more in the way of excitement. From now until September 30, a disused crane behind the city's Centraal Station is enjoying a new lease of life as a 75-metre launch pad for bungy jumpers. Monday to Friday: 2 pm to 10 pm, weekends: noon to 10 pm. Visit www.bungy.nl for information on The Best Way To Get High In Holland.
deal of the week Special deals get thinner on the ground this week as June draws to a close and high season approaches, but if you don't mind spending a night in Manila at your own expense on the way to London, Philippine Airlines is offering round-trip tickets for $4,800. The offer is valid on Sundays only and is available from United Travel Services, Room M101, Haleson Building, 1 Jubilee Street, Central, tel: 2541-0787, fax: 2542-2957. Their alternative for all other days is $5,800 on Malaysian Airlines, with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur.