Reporters on the Job
• Would You Like an Apple? Or 34?: Being a foreign correspondent can often be remarkably like being a pack mule, says staff writer Mark Sappenfield. "I went to Baramullah for an interview. I returned with 34 apples," he says (see story).
It all began as a basic discussion about the different types of apples grown in the Kashmir Valley, Mark relates. He confessed in the interview that he had a liking for the sour variety.
"Instantly, I had a half dozen. I mentioned that my wife – back in Delhi and eight months pregnant – had said I should bring back some Kashmir apples, which are famous throughout India," says Mark. "Eight quickly became 34. It did not matter that I said I didn't have that much space in the luggage I was taking home. In the end, I had to forcibly prevent one of the men from taking the bag to fill it with even more apples. So I returned from Baramullah with the interviews for this story as well as enough apples for two apple cakes – which my wife loved, by the way."
• Protest – But Eat Well: Contributor Patrick Winn says that one thing is clear about Thai protests. "The Thai are very orderly – and they're obsessed with food."
Patrick, who covered protesters' occupation of one of Bangkok's airports, says that even amid such a hostile act, order quickly takes over. "These auntie types emerge, sweeping up and putting trash away," he says. "People stake out their area, lay down a mat, and treat it as their home, taking off their shoes before they lie down. It lends a strange sort of order to a place they've just invaded. "
Patrick also notes that they don't lack for good eats. "On the menu were chicken and rice, fried eggs and rice, and various other things. This wasn't just about sustenance – choice was important. I saw at least 1,500 donated foam boxes full of food.
– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor