Reporters on the Job

• GONE INTERVIEW HUNTING: On election eve in Germany, reporter William Boston found himself stuck in a room in Berlin with 500 or so other journalists – and no politicians to interview. Bill was at the Social Democrats' headquarters Sunday night waiting for the election results. "Unlike the past four German elections I've covered, all the SPD officials were sequestered in another room, and weren't coming out to talk to the media. The race was too close to call. It was a very frustrating experience," says Bill. As exit polls seesawed through the evening, Bill slipped into a restricted area looking for someone to interview. Security guards soon asked him to leave, but on his way out he bumped into Germany's defense minister, and got an exclusive quote for today's story (this page). The official election results didn't come out until 2 a.m.

• WEDDING FEAST AND POLITICS: While reporting on wedding trends in war-torn Kashmir (page 7), Joanna Nathan found herself sitting in the garden of a bride's home, two days before the wedding. "I was chatting with the family while the hired help was preparing the wedding feast. Halal butchers in the garden were hard at work killing 50 sheep and 100 chickens. A crew of cauldron-wielding cooks meanwhile had taken over the courtyard preparing the region's famed Wazvan cuisine. A row of men with giant hammers reducing the flesh to mush for meatballs. I couldn't help but wonder what a vegetarian would eat at the wedding," she says.

But even amid the preparations, there was time and interest in talking politics. "They seemed truly desperate for someone to listen, the voices of the Kashmiris themselves are so often ignored amid Pakistan and India's clamorings. Every man here seems an orator – and a surprising number are political poets. I must however admit to excusing myself to leave when one offered to bring out his verse (in three languages) about Bill Clinton's visit to India two years ago."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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