Archive

Reuters blog archive

from India Insight:

Indian eatery run by murder convicts praised for politeness, hygiene

As India's capital baked under a heat wave this month, banker Gaurav Gupta sat down for lunch at a new air-conditioned restaurant, and was greeted by a smiling waiter who offered him chilled water and took his order -- a traditional "thali" meal of flatbread, lentils, vegetables, rice and pickle.

Nothing unusual, except that the employee, like most of his co-workers, is a convicted murderer serving time in South Asia's largest prison complex.

"Tihar Food Court" on Jail Road in west Delhi is part of a wide range of reform and rehabilitation initiatives undertaken at the Tihar prison. It opened in the first week of July on an "experimental basis" while waiting for formal clearances, and is located half a kilometre from the prisoners' dormitories.

With a spacious interior lined with gleaming wooden tables and walls adorned with paintings by prisoners, the 50-seat restaurant is coming in for praise from customers, especially for being clean and for the polite behaviour of its employees, who were trained by the Delhi Institute of Hotel Management, an autonomous body under the state government.

from Photographers' Blog:

Snails as food, snails as business

By Yiorgos Karahalis

One of my fondest memories is of the snails my mother harvested after the rains. I couldn’t wait for her to get home so that I could grab those tiny animals and play with them for hours, all the while looking forward to the next day’s lunch! Little did I know then that this childhood pastime was also a big business.

Perhaps it was my memories that led me to be intrigued by the story of Greece’s Fereikos Helix snail farming company, a successful business started by two sisters, Maria and Panagiota Vlachou.

from Photographers' Blog:

Women take the bull by the horns

By Jose Manuel Ribeiro

“Hey, sports fans, think you're tough? Then try out a growing Portuguese pastime that is like playing rugby with a runaway refrigerator. It's bull tackling, and nearly 1,000 enthusiasts, or "forcados," from all walks of life love to jump into the ring for a head-on collision with a maddened bull. A mixture of sport, spectacle, high testosterone machismo, male bonding and, some say, art, the rough-and-tumble event is as unique to Portugal as port wine or codfish ice cream,” Reuters Lisbon chief correspondent Ian Simpson wrote in August 2005.

At the time, if anyone mentioned the notion of women trying out to be a “forcado” you would have said they were dreaming or had no idea of the inner workings of the Portuguese bullfighting world.

from Photographers' Blog:

This job stinks

As a photographer, I have the privilege to encounter rare glimpses of the strange and unusual. Most of the time I am thankful to get such an assignment but this particular one turned out to be a mixture of delight and displeasure.

The subject was a Titan arum, or Amorphophallus titanium, one of the world’s largest and rarest plants, which was blooming for the first time in nearly 20 years at a botanical garden in Tokyo. The first visitors lined up from 6:30 am and by the time the gate opened at 10 am, 1600 people had formed a long queue despite the sweltering Tokyo summer heat. The excited crowd was attracted by extensive TV coverage and in the newspaper about this unusual flower that only blooms for two days after taking 16 years to grow from a seedling.

from Commentaries:

This won’t suit everyone cycling in London

Rapha cycling suitLots of irregular/wobbly cyclists taking to the streets of London today. The tube/subway/metro system is at a standstill due to strike action by transport workers.  There were plenty of lycra and day-glo outfits on display, as well as a few brave souls venturing out in their work clothes.

But I was disappointed not to see anyone on their way to Canary Wharf sporting one of these specially-designed three-piece cycling suits.

  •