Reporters on the Job

Trumpet of the Swan: Corrupt officials may be the big scourge of crisis-stricken parts of the world (this page), but for rail commuters in Britain like correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley, the problem is often a bird of a different feather. The rail network has a proud history of elaborate excuses for canceled services ("the wrong kind of snow," is a personal favorite) but Mark is convinced that it has never resorted to "swan on the line" before. The errant bird played havoc with the timetable, forcing Mark to alter his plans for covering Thursday's corruption-report press conference. Fortunately, a few phone calls provided the necessary material. "No swans on the line there," Mark reports.

Work Out in What? Contributor Nachammai Raman has no illusions about negotiating daily life in traditional Indian dress. So she was all the more impressed by the women she saw exercising in Bangalore's Cubbon Park (page 7). "On certain occasions, I wear a sari - and I have enough trouble just hitting the gas pedal accurately when I drive," she says. "The sari tends to get in the way, and I have to hike it up. So I know how cumbersome it can be."

Nacha first visited the park a few years ago, the result of getting lost in India's equivalent of Silicon Valley. "I saw these people exercising in traditional clothes - and tennis shoes," she says. "Some were even veiled. Many looked like grandmothers. The women deserve real credit. It's difficult enough walking in a sari - but doing calisthenics? That's really something. You have to want to exercise pretty badly to do that."

- Amelia Newcomb

Deputy World editor

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