A weekly look at strange travel news.
Come on Barbie, let’s go party
Aspiring princesses will eat this up: The world’s first Barbie Café made its debut in downtown Taipei on Jan. 30. Featuring ultra-pink décor and waitresses in tiaras and tutus, it celebrates the 1959-created, ludicrously thin Mattel doll. Customers can nibble on “salmon beauty salad” and pink pastries at tables shaped like stiletto heels, or pose inside a life-size Barbie box. Restaurant operator Sinlaku, which also runs the Taiwanese capital’s Hello Kitty Café, plans to open another Barbie Café in Taiwan and one in Shanghai. Oh my, how many cafés is that? Math is hard.
Case of the JetBlue blues
Sometimes an upgrade isn’t an upgrade. On a New York-San Diego flight last month, a female JetBlue passenger reportedly became infuriated when a man was reseated next to her in the premium “Even More Room” section. Why? He got to move up from a lower-priced area because his TV monitor wasn’t working, but didn’t have to pay extra. A loud quarrel involving the two passengers and flight attendants escalated. The plane diverted course and landed in Denver, where law enforcement officers escorted the 42-year-old woman off. Of course, this inconvenience could have been avoided if everyone on board had a gun.
Disneyland’s got competition
Abbottabad, Pakistan, is best-known as the place where U.S. special forces located and killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2011. However, the Pakistani city has just announced plans to build a $30-million amusement park. The Hazara Heritage Park and Amusement City will include rides, a butterfly zoo, sports facilities, restaurants and artificial waterfalls. It will expand from 50 acres to 500 over the next eight years. Asked if this is an attempt to revamp Abbottabad’s troubled image, provincial tourism minister Syed Aqil Shah stated: “This project has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden.” Let the good times roll.
Sources: CNN, USA Today, The Express Tribune, The Guardian