Reporters on the Job
• Please – Don't Talk to Me: No one in Saudi Arabia seems to have an answering machine, says correspondent Caryle Murphy, who adds that it's as if this modern convenience totally bypassed the oil-rich kingdom. "But what the Saudis have, and love using, is text messaging," she says. "Many people prefer to write you a text message instead of give you a call – even though the latter might be quicker. I guess they figure that you'll always get the text message -- because who can resist looking at their cellphone when the 'You've got a message' beep goes off? The message is there staring you in the face. But the person you're trying to reach can always decline to answer a call once he or she sees your name as the incoming caller.
•Can We Build the Country After 9 a.m.? In the nearly two months since correspondent Jeff White moved to Montenegro, he's gotten used to the delays associated with widespread building in the country. "When I first arrived here, I was amazed at the scale of the development," he says. "It seemed everywhere you looked there was some kind of project going on, and sure enough more than likely there'd be an EU sign right next to it." He's learned to leave earlier, as unannounced road and tunnel work often closes sections of highways. "But I haven't gotten used to my landlords, who are building a third level to their house, right above me." Sometimes they start as early as 7 a.m. "Those aren't fun mornings."
– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor