Reporters on the Job

• ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION: When Monitor correspondent Robert Marquand heard that Boston-based band Damone was in Beijing (page 6), he naturally was curious about the boys from back home. But he didn't expect to find that he had quite so much in common with the group.

"Here I am, this Western reporter out of nowhere," Bob comments. "I went over to talk to the bass player and told him that I was from Belmont" - a suburb of Boston next door to Waltham, the hometown of the band members.

That was surprising enough. But then Bob asked him if he knew the Andros Diner. "He said, 'You know that?' It's my favorite. It's blowing my mind that I'm standing here in Beijing talking with someone who eats at Andros's."

Bob says they shared thoughts on the diner's superior Greek dressing, two bottles of which Bob had just brought back to Beijing. "I told him next time, I'd invite them over and we'd have Greek salad."

SIGNS OF PEACE: The Monitor's Danna Harman says that prior to Kenya's presidential elections (page 6), many journalists were speculating about riots and violence that would have them rushing around like mad writing front-page stories.

In fact, the story turned out differently - happily so, says Danna. "This was a mature, peaceful, successful election. For a moment, we were all slightly baffled. But all in all, covering these elections made me feel good toward the people of this country and hopeful for them."

Still, she wonders about the prospects for change. "I noticed during these elections how tied to one another the ruling elite is. All the young guys working on [winner] Kibaki's campaign are friends with [opponent] Kenyatta. Kibaki's personal assistant was Kenyatta's college roomate in the US. And until recently, many of the 'new opposition' were in the 'old ruling party,' " she notes.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor

Cultural snapshot

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