Competition - Win a bottle of champagne

No 3631 Set by Stan Knafler

We asked for a piece of journalism on the trials and tribulations of travelling first class in poorer countries.

Report by Ms de Meaner

Some excellent entries. Andrew Wilcox's superb offering has occasioned slight mutterings of "bad taste" in the distance (I know I can rely on my compers). But just think, oh faint of heart, I could have put in Adrian Fry's piece about Camp Hutu for the kids: then you could have seen really bad taste. £20 to the winners; the bottle of champers goes to D A Prince.

Mark halted. "I'm lost," he said forlornly.

Denis frowned. "This is some place called - ah - Deptford. Anyone know it?"

"Deptford?" I cried. "That's an - that's - an inner city! Mark! - drive on immediately!"

"I say," Denis murmured thoughtfully, "there's a place over there selling the old tipple. Just a quick look . . ."

To my horror he got out of the car and disappeared under this sign, "The Red Lion".

I followed him, and found him holding a glass.

He drained it quickly. "Coming, old girl. But some of these bottles I've never seen before. Some good ideas to take back, there."

Carol hurried up to us. "I've just seen a real homeless person in a real cardboard box! Just the sort of detail a prospective journalist needs! Oh, it's all so useful!"

Back at the car, Mark was beaming. "This policeman asked me why I had stopped here, and when I explained he kindly showed me that this is right and this is left! I never knew that - now I won't get lost again."

"Well," I exclaimed cheerfully, "it's all worked out satisfactorily."

I glanced quickly through the window. "But now can we please go?"

Michael Cregan

Hilton Hotels: notes for travellers

On jeep expeditions into the bush, hampers from Fortnum's will be provided. Please do not offer the contents of these to local people, however undernourished they may appear. A sudden intake of rich food by a severely malnourished individual may cause serious or fatal gastrointestinal disorder.

The standard tariff to be paid to locals for being photographed in their company is displayed at reception. Please do not exceed the stated sums: however, by recent agreement, a surcharge of 50 per cent should be paid to the family concerned if you are photographed with a mother holding her dead child.

Under Amalian law, the purchase of unapproved ethnic objects from street hawkers not registered for VAT is a criminal offence attracting heavy bribes. Approved national handicrafts are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity stating "The President Smith Souvenir Company, Taiwan and Nassau".

Please refrain from using your mobile phone or laptop computer in close proximity to any member of the local populace, as a curious superstition has grown up that these devices steal people's brains and turn them into idiots.

We are advised that the People's Front for the Liberation of Amalia now accepts both Diners and Switch. You can, of course, expect to be held until the transaction is cleared.

Andrew Wilcox

The Mercedes was the largest problem, with so many children crowding out of the gutters to get a look at us we were afraid some would fall under the wheels and interrupt our schedule. But our driver was brilliant, pressing forward, scarcely slackening speed, so we never missed anything. Of course, the air conditioning is disorienting - you get so used to a decent ambient temperature that when you stop to look at, say, an ancient temple, the heat really hits you. We had our own guide from the Consulate, and that seemed to upset the local sleeve-tuggers, but what can you do? We wanted dates and facts, not some garbled mishmash of local fantasy. He organised wonderful picnics, everything flown in, so we didn't have to blow the flies off the local displays. And we knew what it was: when we saw a local menu, none of the names appeared in our phrase book. Baths were also a bit of a problem: when you see stick-thin women walking miles to carry water for their families, you do start to think about whether a shower is more appropriate than the hotel's Jacuzzi.

D A Prince

Taking Cressida and Ysolde up the Nile may have enhanced their Ucas forms but did nothing for our nerves. At El Faiyum, a terrific sandstorm jammed the camcorder while we filmed Bedouin subsistence farmers frantically salvaging the contents of their tent. Later, our meal with a family of nomadic camel herdsmen was ruined when Cressida's boyfriend e-mailed her on the mobile from Antibes, informing her that he'd dumped her for a Greek actress. The straw that broke this particular camel's back, however, was the drama which unfolded at Luxor. Ysolde threw a tantrum on discovering that not only was there no Pizza Hut, but the nearest McDonald's was more than 3,000km away in Nairobi, across two war zones. Later, as she and Cressy stormed around ancient Thebes, I suspected I knew why the young Tutankhamen had met his untimely death. "Right, that's it!" I announced finally. "Next year I'm going to Val d'Isere on my own." We proceeded upstream in silence, past a solitary goatherd leading his flock, dressed in traditional garb with "7 Beckham" printed neatly on the back.

David Silverman

No 3634 Set by Margaret Rogers

People are often judged by the vehicles they own. We want famous people defined in terms of their possible means of transport. Max 200 words by 22 June.