All the burger talk this past month has centred on McDonald’s long-awaited entrée into the chain-hungry Vietnamese market, with a three-property location and 24-hour drive-thru service in downtown Ho Chi Minh City set to debut after Tet. It’s a move that’s been years in the making.
Streams of sunlight crawled across the early morning sky as the sea of blue-clad participants stretched and jogged in place. Close to 5,500 people were about to flood Phu My Hung over the next couple of hours — a tidal wave of runners would stretch from Crescent Mall to the Phu My Bridge, and back again.
Four years ago a new transport scheme was introduced to help relieve congestion pressure on Hanoi’s Old Quarter — the electric car. Designed to shuttle tourists around the labyrinthine streets of Hanoi’s historical heart, it was believed that this new mode of transport would reduce bottlenecks and pollution. While it provided a welcome new sightseeing service for tourists, the traffic jams and motorbike fumes remained.
Rarely do you hear of Vietnamese works of art being restored. Which is why artist Nguyen Lam’s recent restoration of the nine-panel lacquerware work, The Procession, by artist Nguyen Gia Tri is of such note.
How do you explain your job to people? In a recent interview, a non-starving artist based in Southeast Asia said he is ‘a dancing poodle for the one percent’. Another artist, Ha-Ha, has a business card that says he is an ‘alien theorist’. Being an artist has its perks.
Gary Johnston is one of a new breed. Primarily a middle school maths and science teacher, he is one of just 800 Google certified teachers worldwide. This month he has the honour of representing Vietnam at the next Google Teacher Academy in Stockholm on Dec. 10.