The invasion of the thousand journalists accredited to attend the NATO summit in Bucharest gave the organizers hard times so that the typically Romanian mess could not be avoided. The journalists allowed to attend several weeks ago were surprised to see their passes were not ready yet. One Reuters journalist had to wait more than two hours to get his pass, although he had got his accreditation early this year. And until getting the pass all the journalists had to undergo a Draconian anti-terrorist check.
Unless your pants are tight, you risk being undressed and staying in your underwear when the forces demand you to remove your belt. One stamp and two batteries found in one journalist's bag were trouble for two officers who mistook them for an explosive improvisation.
The lots of plasma TV sets in the Media Center stretching on 5 floors were all set on mute, which is like watching a mute, of course. This is how most journalists watched the speech US President George W. Bush was delivering yesterday morning in Bucharest, so they tried to read lips. It was only in the end that the audio-video staff told those wishing to hear George W. Bush that they could get some earpieces. In exchange for the pass, of course.
As most of the journalists in the Parliament Palace didn't realize the offices where they could use their computers were actually in two huge rooms, but on different floors, they just crowded to the P floor to find all seats taken. So many just stood there or sat down on the floor before learning there was one more press room two floors above.
Stand up and eat
We don't know how the organizers arranged the meal for such thousand journalists, but a solution such as stand up and eat your soup is very pleasant, no doubt. But there was more: a special room for the NATO staff to sit down at tables and be waited on, just 5 meters away from many foreign journalists taking pains at having their soup while standing up.
And there was one more adventure: toilets. You can reach them due to the specific stench. Once in, you wish to get out before you can say Jack Robinson. (...)