Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Article excerpt

A PROPER CUP OF TEA:Sanitary standards are often relative. And as Scott Baldauf discovered while reporting today's story on Indian rickshaw pullers (page 1), a journalist doesn't want to shatter the rapport by rudely imposing one's own standards. "I was interviewing a cluster of rickshaw pullers, and they were talking about their families, how much money they made, and so on," says Scott. Suddenly, a rickshaw puller arrived with a stack of terra cotta cups and a pot of tea. "I offered to pay, but they insisted I was their guest. Bengali hospitality knows no caste or class. They started pouring the tea, but one rickshaw puller halted the process. He carefully examined the cups, found them to be dusty, and glared at the young tea-shop owner. He spit into the cup and wiped away the dust, and then proceeded to pour me a proper cup of tea," says Scott.

REASONS NOT TO MIGRATE: Reporter Lucian Kim has lived and traveled in East-Central Europe for more than 10 years. …

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