Hidden treasure in India
Courtesy of The Week magazine, here are some Friday Factoids for your happy hour chatter on travel and life.
* China is now the third-most visited nation in the world, after France in the U.S., up 19% in 2009.
* Thailand has its first female prime minister, the sister of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawata (figurehead of the Red Shirts rioters)
* The average British tourist gains eight pounds during a two-week trip to the U.S. thanks to big portions and all-you-can-eat buffets. (London Daily Mail)
* The poorest fifth of Americans spend around 42 percent of their incomes on transportation. For middle-income Americans, it’s 22 percent. (Wired)
* After a crackdown on illegal immigration in the U.S. state of Georgia, farmers report 11,000 unfilled jobs.
* The total tax burden on Americans in 2009, as a percentage of GDP, was 24 percent. Canadians pay 31 percent, Britons 34 percent, Germans 37 percent, and the French 37 percent. (Toronto Globe & Mail)
* In the vaults of a Hindu temple in the state of Kerala, in India, investigators found $22 billion dollars worth of treasure: diamonds, gems, and gold coins.
* Good luck getting a manicure in Alabama: in Alaska a license to be a manicurist requires 12 hours of training. In Alabama, it requires 700 hours. (Wall Street Journal)
Quote of the month:
Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau