Reporters on the Job
• Thai Leader and Chef: Correspondent Simon Montlake hasn't seen the TV cooking show that resulted in Thailand's prime minister Samak Sundaravej's ouster. But Simon did join his predecessor, Thaksin Shinawatra, at an unusual cookout on the site of Bangkok's new airport back in 2005.
"The prime minister held an evening cabinet meeting beside the runway. Before the meeting, Mr. Thaksin joined with the soldiers who were cooking various dishes. Thaksin took over stirring a chicken stew in a giant wok, and I found myself standing close by, the only foreign reporter in the media pack," recalls Simon.
"He'd already batted away policy questions, so I asked him about his culinary skills. He said his wife did most of the cooking at home, but he enjoyed it. Any favorite dishes, I asked. How about Western food? 'Oh, I like Thai food,' he replied, ever the politician. I later discovered that his father had run a noodle shop, before hitting it big in other ventures."
• Knee-deep in Garbage: Today's story about a Cambodian who's cleaning up the streets of Phnom Penh is not the first assignment of this kind for correspondent David Montero.
"To report a story on trash in Bangladesh, I waded knee-deep in garbage to get to the top of a huge dump site. I wanted to make sure I had the best view. It was pouring rain. I had to throw away all my clothes when I got home."
David went to a landfill for today's story, but had learned his lesson. "I figured I could still get a good view of the landfill without having to actually plunge into the garbage. And I could keep my clothes," he quips.
– David Clark Scott