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Journeywoman's Best Tips of the Year 2000

Former bordello now a charming little Madrid hotel -- writes Margo Classe from Los Angeles -- Hotel Monaco is female-friendly, centrally located and priced under $US50. Rooms all have toilet & bath or shower. English is spoken, there's direct-dial phone, TV, marble hallway floors, grandiose comfortable rooms with fabulous decor & decorative bathrooms and six rooms with balconies, #121 & 123 (with mirrored ceilings) are the best. Close to Metro Chueca or Gran Via. Rates: 7,400 ptas single; 10,400 ptas double. Address: Calle Barbieri 5, Madrid 28004, Tel: 011-34-9-1-5224630, Fax: 011-34-9-1-5211601.

In Indonesia, businesswomen should pay for meals in advance -- writes Louisa Nedcov of Toronto, Canada -- A foreign woman wishing to invite a male Indonesian to a business dinner should make sure to indicate that the invitation is on behalf of her company. And to avoid embarrassing your guest, it's a good idea to make arrangements for payment in advance. Be culturally correct!

In Rome do as the Romans -- writes Melissa in Rome, Italy -- As an American living in Rome, I always cringe when I see my countrywomen walking around in shorts, tennis shoes and t-shirts. I know this makes them a perfect target for pickpockets who can easily spot them as American tourists. Also most churches won't allow you to enter with shorts, short sleeves, or mini skirts. Do the smart thing. Wear a longer skirt and a loose top with sleeves. You'll have more fun and less hassles visiting in this fabulous city.

Bedbugs hate lavender -- writes Kelly of Toronto, Canada -- My pal Kirsty, the most travelled woman I know, introduced me to this particular use of lavender oil. On a trip together, in Bangladesh and India, we used drops of lavender oil on the mattresses of our beds to scatter the bed bugs. It seems the little biters hate the smell and will flee. It prevents bites, and lulls you to sleep in foreign locals. Sleep well, ladies!

Bagels in Nepal -- writes Joyce Tapper of California --There's a breakfast place in Nepal that female trekkers will love. It's called Pumpernickel Bakery and it's easily found in Kathmandu's Thamel District. This spot is wonderful for a quick breakfast out-doors, (or inside if it's cold or raining). Stand in line to order fresh-squeezed orange juice and a wonderful bagel or a huge cinnamon roll along with tea or coffee. This tiny gem will allow you to rub shoulders with the trekking crowd and experience the gorgeous aroma of freshly baked goodies.




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