The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Travel letters: Facing reality in India

Regarding "The World Within" by Amanda Jones, Nov. 3: Unless you are so rich that you can travel to the Ananda spa in northern India in a private jet, I take issue with the claim that guests there can clear a gentle path to inner stillness. On arrival in India, a country with 11 times the population density of the U.S. but 8% of its annual income, you are facing a population 70% of which lives on $2 a day. And if you ride a train to northern India, you come face to face with the poor hordes. Arriving at Ananda, you should be ready to find a path to inner stillness. You must be kidding.

Roger Newell

San Diego

Global Entry mostly a breeze

Regarding "Global Entry Without a Card in Hand" by Catharine Hamm [On the Spot, Nov. 3]. When it works well, it works well. We just came back from overseas and used our Global Entry for the first time. It was a bit frustrating. It took my wife and me about five times each to get our fingerprints "just right" so they could be read.

You must put enough pressure on three of the four fingers. Once you have that down, it's great. We'll know that for the future and understand the "prompts" that show if there is enough pressure on each finger.

Once done and the photo receipt printed out, we breezed through, got our luggage and were outta there. Pronto. Bottom line: Best $100 I've spent traveling.

Don Sonderling

Woodland Hills

Oh, for a car upgrade

I went to Providence, R.I. Made reservations with Hertz for an intermediate car. Got a compact with half a tank of gas. I asked about what I thought were small dents on the front bumper and was told they were dead bugs. I asked about the controls on the steering wheel and was told they worked the radio. There was no owners manual, so I went to a gas station to get instructions on how to use the car controls.

I complained to Hertz, and the company was very nice. I even got a credit of 60 cents per day, although I would have rather paid 60 cents a day for an upgrade. I had to learn how to shoehorn into a Ford Focus.

Sometimes, Hertz hurts.

Robert C. Lukesh


Training trumped views at Ft. Ord

I read Fred Ledder's comments [Letters, Oct. 27] in which he indicated that he had spent 10 weeks in basic training at Ft. Ord in 1967. I had to laugh, reading that he was really homesick but that many drills included long walks that gave him wonderful views of the distant surf and reminded him of many summers of fun in Laguna Beach and Newport. Well, I was in the first 19-year-old draft of the Korean War. I was taken from college and sent to Ft. Ord. After testing, I qualified for officer candidate school, which I decided not to attend, as it meant staying in the Army for an extra year. I spent 16 weeks at that facility, in light infantry training. We didn't take long walks, as it was always double time. I never had any wonderful views of the distant surf. A war was going on, and we were all quite scared at the idea of going into combat. In the four months that I spent at Ft. Ord, I learned discipline, and at the end of my training, I was well prepared for combat. And, as you can read, I survived.

Marvin Wanetick

Rancho Mirage

No overhead bags? Exit now

I liked the suggestion about passengers with tight connections being allowed to exit the plane first [Letters, Oct. 27]. I have another suggestion. It would speed up the exit process if all passengers who have nothing in the overhead storage bins were allowed to exit first. This would free up the aisles faster so that those getting bags out of the bins would not crowd each other and hold up passengers with no bags to retrieve.

Mary Zarycka


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