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Bill Bryson's book "In a Sunburned Country" provides a humorous account of his experience viewing the reef from a submersible and his subsequent struggles in the ocean.

David Stevens

Berlin, Md.

Credit Cards Abroad

WE WERE in Spain in January and used our Visa card several times. At one restaurant, the receipt came back in dollars with a conversion rate of 1.41 (at a time when rates were about 1.36, meaning you pay $1.36 for each euro). The receipt had the following statement: "I accept that I have been offered a choice of currencies for payment. I accept the conversion rate & final amount."

We were so shocked to see the receipt in dollars at a high conversion rate that we didn't object and ask that the charge be resubmitted in euros.

Lorraine Minor

Cabin John, Md.

Write us: Washington Post Travel section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Fax: 202-912-3609. E-mail: travel@washpost.com.

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