Reporters on the Job

Hong Kong Maids Hang Out: It wasn't hard for correspondent Simon Montlake to find Filipino maids in Hong Kong (page 7). On Sundays, domestic servants enjoying their day off fill the downtown financial district known as Central. Lines form at telephone booths as the maids call the Philippines. Others read newspapers from back home, or stop into Western Union to wire money to families. "Quite a few people were polite but really didn't want to talk. Perhaps I was intruding on their one day off. They work from morning to night to keep the Hong Kong economy going," he says.

Early Bird Reporting: For reporters who cover Mexico City's mayor, the day starts early: 6:15 am. That's when the mayor holds his daily press conference (this page). Most Mexican bureaucrats arrive at their offices at 9:30 or 10 a.m. "He puts in the kind of hours that street vendors and farmers work here. That's part of his popularity. And that kind of daily accessibility to a Mexican political leader is unusual," says reporter Monica Campbell. "He jokes with the reporters," she says. "But the current scandal has shaken him. It's the first time I've seen him nervous in front of the media."

Making Ends Meet: As staff writer Abe Mclaughlin was talking to the affable teacher at the Weltevreden Park Primary school he got a new appreciation for the experience of middle-class whites in post-apartheid South Africa. Ryno Rheeder told him whites were almost guaranteed jobs in the past. But under the country's new aggressive affirmative action programs, whites often find it hard to get jobs. Unemployment is still high among blacks. So it's got everyone thinking like Donald Trump (page 1). Even Mr. Rheeder has an out-of-school business as a welder.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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