Reporters on the Job

• JUDGE PETER: The Monitor's Europe correspondent, Peter Ford, was unsure whether he should be flattered. The young taxi driver who drove him to The Hague Â- on learning that Peter often visits the city for former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's trial Â- mistook him for a judge. After explaining that he wrote for this newspaper, and talked about the sorts of articles he writes (including today's story about the firing of the director of a UN chemical weapons agency, this page), the driver commented, "I see, not the exciting news, just the important news." Peter laughed.

• GETTING THERE IS HALF THE BATTLE: Before setting off for Botswana to write about the plight of the Bushmen (page 7), Jacqui Goddard arranged to hire a Bushmen guide. But when she arrives in Baborone, there's no sign of him and his mobile telephone is switched off. "I got in touch with another guide, who arranged to meet me in my hotel at 5 p.m.," she says. By 8 p.m., he still hasn't showed. "I finally got through to the first guide again, and he announces he's 750 kilometers [465 miles] away and has no intention whatsoever of coming to meet me. I must go to him."

Per her guide's instructions, she rents a car and drives the 750 kilometers, but the going is slow, and Jacqui arrives after dark in Ghanzi. "There were donkeys all over the road, and I hit one Â- but at a very slow speed. Fortunately, both car and donkey are fine, though I doubt either enjoyed the experience."

She meets her guide for a cold drink that evening. "Where have you parked your truck?" he asks. "Er, truck? I've got a car, but no truck." Jacqui and her guide spend the next day trying to rustle up a four-wheel-drive rental vehicle in a "two-bit frontier town with a population of a few hundred people." In the end, the guide conjures up a relative with a vehicle and a teenage driver whose legs just about reach the pedals.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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