• 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:543,227
  • 关注人气:615
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
正文 字体大小:

《没有“中国制造”的一年》第五章:一个小小的建议 (五)

(2011-05-13 12:42:31)









分类: 胡译赏析

《没有“中国制造”的一年》第五章:一个小小的建议 <wbr>(五)

                                                         A Year without Made in China

Sara Bongiorni



                                      胡宗锋  苦丁  (译)

CHAPTER   FIVE      A Modest Proposal

             第五章           一个小小的建议(五)

      There is a stir of excitement in my stomach the next day when I head for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has been a forbidden destination since I gave it up a couple of years ago, so it feels pleasantly devious to visit the place now. Going there under false pretenses adds to the thrill. To the casual observer, I resemble an ordinary Wal-Mart shopper looking for bargains on shampoo and macaroni and cheese, when in fact I’m here hoping to catch Wal-Mart in a fib. Maybe this is what it feels like to be Geraldo Rivera, busting open a scandal on network television with a hidden camera clipped to his lapel. Or maybe a spy.


       My mission is simple: Examine 100 items for sale at Wal-Mart, record the name of the country where each is made, and then calculate the Chinese-versus-American ratio of merchandise. It’s not science, but it will tell me something.


       I sweep by the greeter, an old man with white hair wearing the traditional blue vest with the words “How May I Help You?” in white letters on the back. He’s checking the receipts of a crowd of teenage girls to make sure they haven’t helped themselves to a five-finger discount on lip gloss and eye liner. I am not sure where to start, but I spot racks of swimming suits straight ahead so I decide to begin there, then roam the store by whim. I open my notebook, stop next to a rack of ladies’ suits, pick up one, and examine the label. I write down, “One-piece ladies swimsuit, Taiwan.”


       I work my way through the racks, making stops in socks and underwear, then accessories, and next the girls’ department. I take a break after 10 minutes to chart my progress. I am taken aback to see that there is nothing from China among the first 14 items on my list. For a moment, I wonder whether Mona Williams wasn’t sincere when she downplayed China’s role in stocking Wal-Mart’s shelves. I come to my senses. That can’t be it. I’ve been to Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart sells tons of stuff from China, so there’s got to be some other explanation. I get back to work.


      The next item I examine is a 40DD Sweet Nothings bra in pale pink. Made in China, the label says. Aha. Now we’re getting somewhere.


      I head next to house wares, toys, then electronics, writing furiously as I move through the aisles and hoping nobody asks me what I’m doing. Things go smoothly until I stop before a bank of televisions, all Chinese, as far as I can see.

“Hey,” a voice says. “What are you up to?”



       I look up into the face of our old neighbor. Up to? How did he know I was up to anything? What kind of question is that? I feel my face go red. I fold my arms, tucking my notebook under one arm to hide it. He probably gives me a pass in the inexplicable behavior department, since we are transplants from California, and also because I am married to Kevin, who has a reputation for colorful antics among our neighbors, so maybe I should come clean with what I am up to. But his wife owns a local clothing store that sells a lot of Chinese merchandise—I’ve checked the labels—so I’d rather not tell him for fear of sounding high and mighty, or worse.


I adopt a casual tone.

“Oh, you know, looking at stuff,” I say. “Getting a feel for things.”

He studies me.

“Getting a feel for things at Wal-Mart?” he asks.

“Yes,” I say. “Just checking where things come from.”

I wave my hand toward the televisions.

“Maybe one day our television will break down and we’ll need to get a new one. Now I’ll know what’s out here.”








        He doesn’t appear to buy this, but he’s too polite to pry further. He changes the subject and asks about the kids and Kevin. I ask about his wife and his daughters. Then, when I’ve made the minimally required amount of small talk, I make my excuses, jet out of electronics, and head for a section in the middle of the store that ought to be called General Miscellany.




阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...




    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有