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FOCUS ON SUMMER TRAVEL

Filling Up There Is Far Less Satisfying

May 27, 1999|JOHN O'DELL

Paying $1.48 a gallon and more for gasoline is no fun, but it could be worse (it could also be better, but the point here is to help improve your attitude, not destroy it).

The bean counters at Runzheimer International, the Wisconsin-based consulting firm that specializes in travel and cost-of-living matters, have researched gasoline prices around the globe and come up with a list of the five most expensive places to fill your tank. The price per gallon, in ascending order:

5. Amsterdam, $4.05.

4. London, $4.10.

3. Hamilton, Bermuda, $4.20.

2. Paris, $4.21.

1. And the most expensive place? Hong Kong, at $4.93.

Of course, you can drive all over Hong Kong on a gallon or so--it's a compact city, unlike L.A., where it takes a gallon of fuel to get to the gas station.

For those who just have to feel bad about things, Runzheimer also identified the cheapest place on the globe to buy gasoline: Jakarta, Indonesia, where a gallon sells for 44 cents. Which may explain why all those cars with Hong Kong license plates are clogging Indonesian highways.

And, of course, there's this: While Southern California motorists are taking out second mortgages to get cash to fill up their Suburbans, the U.S average for self-serve regular unleaded is still just a shade over $1.13 a gallon.

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