Reporters on the Job

HANG ONTO YOUR BATS: In her two years in South Africa, Monitor contributor Nicole Itano has resisted learning to play cricket (page 7). But when she was in Mozambique last month, she caved. The World Cup, after all, was just around the corner.

The game was more fun that she expected. "It's a bit like baseball, in the sense that you have batsmen and bowlers (batters and pitchers)," Nicole says. Still, she was glad that she and her friends played "beach cricket" - a simplified version of a game that can last five days. (Tthe World Cup version of the game is limited to one day.)

Even with the simpler rules, Nicole found herself challenged by ingrained habits formed by years of baseball.

"My big mistake was that in baseball, you hit the ball and throw away the bat as you run. Not in cricket. You run with the bat, and you're safe when your bat crosses the line of the 'base,' " she says.

Her friends kept laughing at her as she abandoned a crucial tool. But she didn't mind: "In some ways, it's more fun than baseball if you're not really good at it." The reason? "It's not a situation of three strikes and you're out."

CAREER PICKS: The head of the Israeli party Shinui, Tommy Lapid (pronounced Lah-PEED), used to write for the Maariv newspaper. So at a campaign event yesterday, Monitor contributor Ben Lynfield decided to ask him which was the cleaner profession: politics or journalism?

Ben says Mr. Lapid was amused by the question. "They are both sides of the same coin," he responded. Then he paused, and added: "I was never tempted into corruption as a journalist, and I will not be tempted as a politician."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor

Cultural snapshot
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