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Los Angeles-to-Warsaw Route Crosses the Pole

May 19, 1991|KIM UPTON

The first regular nonstop service between Los Angeles and Eastern Europe is being offered by LOT Polish Airlines between Los Angeles and Warsaw. The 11 1/2-hour flights take an over-the-pole route every Friday from LAX. Fares range from $1,000 to $1,349. Nonstop service coincided with the opening last week of the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles, 3460 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200, Los Angeles 90010, (213) 365-7900. For more information about flights, call LOT Airlines at (213) 658-5656.

No Deposit, No Return: Tourists driving deep into Mexico may be forced to leave up to a $500 deposit to cut down on illegal car sales if the Treasury Ministry has its way.

However, a spokesman for the Mexican Tourist Board said, "There is no reason to think it's going to be enforced. At the present time, there is no restriction. But I'm not going to say that it's not going to take place."

If enforced, Mexicans and foreigners driving into Mexico's interior will have to leave a $100 bond and an identity card, or an additional $400 without an ID, as a deposit, which will be refunded when the vehicle returns, a ministry statement said. It was not clear from the ministry statement whether tourists would pony up the deposit in interior cities or border towns.

Likely to be hit hardest by the measure are U.S. tourists, who each year flood into Mexico.

The Treasury Ministry said the measure was causing widespread confusion, but it did not say when or where it had been imposed. Some 500,000 illegally imported cars are currently circulating in Mexico, it said.

The payment is not required for visits to areas close to the border.

Cheaper Thrills: Mexico, the Caribbean (St. Croix, Nassau, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico in particular) and cruises were named as best values for this summer's travel dollar by members of the American Society of Travel Agents. Preliminary results of a survey by ASTA also indicated that American travel agents predict Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico (Cancun in particular) will be this summer's most popular travel spots.

P.S. In terms of domestic travel, the travel agents say best bets are California and Las Vegas.

Asian Treasures: "Sculptures of Indonesia," the first major exhibition of ancient Indonesian art to be assembled in the United States from sources around the world, is on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through Aug. 18, as part of an 18-month nationwide celebration of Indonesian culture.

Buddhist and Hindu life-size stone sculptures, bronzes, gold and silver figural objects and ceremonial objects dating from the classical period of Indonesian art (the 8th through the 15th centuries) are the primary objects in the show. Among the greatest treasures on exhibit is a carved and perfectly preserved 13th-Century portrait sculpture of the goddess of transcendental wisdom, thought to be the first queen of the eastern Javanese dynasty of Singasari.

The exhibition will be shown at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Sept. 28 to Jan. 5.

For more information, contact the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, (212) 879-5500.

Quick Fact: Consumption varies from year to year, but crowds at Wimbledon (this year's tennis tournament runs from June 24 to July 7) during fortnights of recent tournaments ate up 23 tons of strawberries (with cream, naturally), 12,000 bottles of champagne, 300,000 cups of tea and coffee and 75,000 pints of beer. (Source: Newsday.)

Theater Over Paraguay: Can't get your hands on seats for Broadway's "Miss Saigon"? Try theater in Asuncion, Paraguay, where the hot ticket is an "Evita"-like political play minus the music.

"I The Supreme" is part political intrigue, part history turned on its ear, with special effects and a little nudity. It is based on Paraguay's most honored novel, and it is causing a sensation.

"The public loves it," said Ricardo Migliorisi, set and costume designer for "I The Supreme," which director Agustin Nunez adapted for the stage. "Critics agree it's a landmark."

Groups of college students, couples on a night out, hippies in jeans and the wealthy in European sports cars--all have come to the aging municipal auditorium since the play opened in April.

The object of all this attention is Augusto Roa Bastos' version of the life of Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, Paraguay's "dictator for life," who ruled from 1814 until his death in 1840.

Nothing like it has been seen in Paraguay, at least during the 34 years that Gen. Alfredo Stroessner presided at Lopez Palace.

The play satirizes the repressive rule of Stroessner, who expelled Roa Bastos in 1982, eight years after the novel was published in Buenos Aires. But in 1989, Roa Bastos had the last word: Paraguayans threw out Stroessner, who is 78 and lives in neighboring Brazil, and the writer won the Cervantes prize, the top literary award in the Spanish language.

If it's a hit in Asuncion, can the Doolittle be far behind?

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