Thursday, March 10, 2011

China and All Its Goods (and Bad)

A couple weeks ago I ordered a new iPod touch for MCB as a late V-present, and as a "I'm glad you're coming to Asia with me and you're going to sit on a 14-hour flight by yourself, so here's something to help you occupy your time" sort of gift.  He's been slow to update his ancient iPod.

I ordered it on a Wednesday, maybe just before noon.  I had it engraved, so this was a personalized deal.  By Wednesday evening I had a tracking number, and since I'm obsessed with tracking packages, I quickly noted that it was coming from a factory in China.  Estimated arrival date - maybe 7 days?

He had it in his hands by Friday early afternoon.

48 hour delivery from China.  Through Memphis, TN.  Then back to Los Angeles.

Amazing.  Way to go China factory workers and FedEx. We Western capitalist societies thank you for your efficiencies and cheapness.

Then last weekend I watched this excellent documentary, Last Train Home, about Chinese migrant workers and their decisions to split up their families in hopes of earning more money to support them.  I had to rethink my appreciation for their always-working factories and instead turn my attention to the plight of these workers.

Never again will I complain about being stuck in an airport.  During Chinese New Year when they head home, sometimes they stand in a plaza for 5 days in bad weather, waiting to get on a train.  Just so they can spend two days on a train, another few hours on a bus or boat, only to reach home to see their children, one time a year.

I can't imagine any sort of life like that, yet hundreds of millions of people do it every year.  Go watch it.  Netflix Instant.  Fantastically done.

1 comment:

katilda said...

i bought my ipod off ebay and it is engraved on the back: "Music fills your heart and you fill mine." i thought it was really sweet until i realized....they're selling this on yeah, my ipod is totally a relic of a dead romance somewhere. shrug.

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