This post is also available in: Vietnamese
Here is the winner of a drawing contest for Vietnamese children about Mr Gum, who was created by Andy Stanton. Congratulations to Nguyen Phuong Thao, who painted it.
I have a small flag on the front of my Jaguar. But otherwise that could be me, sitting there in the middle of Hanoi, surrounded by a swarm of scooters, with bulging bloodshot eyes.
It was at a slow moment in the back of a car like that when I wrote about how Britain is supporting work on green transport in Vietnamese cities. British business can help Vietnamese urban development rise to the environmental challenges.
Last month Andy came to Vietnam, where “Mr Gum and the Cherry Tree” has just been published. He took part in authors’ and children’s discussions and awarded prizes to winners of the drawing contest, and also a writing contest.
Congratulations also to Pham Thanh Huong, who wrote the winning story, in which Mr Gum won a trip to Vietnam a lottery, and was “completely taken by surprise once he arrived”.
But returning home, he decided that “next time he would definitely choose [a] jar of rotten gherkin or a biscuit left from the last world war over a vacation trip. Indeed if he ever held a jackpot ticket again, he would give it away after having spat on it.”
Despite the transport problems, my feelings about Vietnam are more positive, and I discovered that Andy felt the same. When he got back home he wrote a little love letter to Hanoi. I will put that on this blog soon.