Everybody else is wrong

What an experience it must have been for a Japanese of - ah - mature years as he set off in his pickup truck earlier this week to visit relatives north of Tokyo. He chose as his route a busy three-lane expressway he'd never driven before. Alas, it dawned on him that he'd missed the desired exit. Solution: a U-turn. For the next 15 miles, he sped along at 60 m.p.h. into oncoming traffic, apparently never noticing the police cruisers signaling frantically for him to pull over. Except for a minor sideswiping of one other vehicle, there were no accidents or injuries. No word on whether he'll be taking the bus from now on.

I'd like another spring roll

Prime Minister Thaksin Shina-watra of Thailand and his Cabinet members got a taste of prison life Tuesday. But not in the way you might think. It seems the catered lunch after their weekly meeting was prepared by trainees in the culinary program at Bangkok's Lard Yao correctional facility - all of them women. And? "Very delicious," Thaksin said.

Tourists: For best welcome, visit Honolulu, survey finds

New York was chosen as the favorite US city for shopping and dining out, New Orleans for the best nightlife, and San Juan, Puerto Rico (a US commonwealth), as the most romantic by respondents to a new poll by Travel+Leisure magazine and AOL's Travel Channel. More than half a million respondents also rated 25 destinations according to such categories as friendliness, civic pride, residents' knowledge of the area, helpfulness in offering directions to strangers, and most attractive people. The top 10, according to the Travel+Leisure survey:

1. Honolulu
2. Nashville, Tenn.
3. San Antonio
4. Austin, Texas
5. Minneapolis-St. Paul
6. Portland, Ore.
7. New Orleans
8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
9. Seattle
10. San Diego

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