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《没有“中国制造”的一年》第六章:发明之母 (二)

(2011-06-03 09:19:24)









分类: 胡译赏析

《没有“中国制造”的一年》第六章:发明之母 <wbr>(二)

                                                A Year without Made in China

Sara Bongiorni



                                      胡宗锋  苦丁  (译)

                                                   Chapter Six       Mothers of Invention

                                                        第六章             发明之母(二)

        It’s a point I’ve been ruminating for months, ever since I kept the American lamp with the Chinese part in it.This week I was reminded again of the difficulty of avoiding China when I purchased earrings from a local artist. I was feeling pleased with myself until I got home and noticed the free gift box they came in was made in China.


   My boss continues his critique.

“You know what you are doing? You are delaying your dependence on China, not escaping it,”he says.“You’re also kidding yourself.”



        This is my nice boss talking. His boss, a frequent grouch, didn’t slow down when I tried to stop him to suggest that I write a series of stories on the boycott for the business magazine where I work.

“Nobody gives a crap about that stuff but you,” he tossed over his shoulder.“Sounds like another one of your ploys to slam Wal-Mart.”



I suspect the nice boss has been spending too much time with the grouchy one, because they are starting to sound a lot alike.

“Maybe you can make it a year without Chinese products, but sooner or later you’ll be eating from China’s hand,” the nice boss says. “There’s no getting around it.”

I sneer at him as he turns to leave.

“Thanks for your support,” I say to his back.





         He’s right, of course, which makes him all the more irritating. I’m not living normally without Chinese items. I’m coming up with stopgap measures to tide me over until I’ve got other options, presumably Chinese ones. Take the printer cartridge. After it ran dry I began asking Kevin to print pages for me on his office printer, which itself is quite possibly Chinese; I never dared to ask him to pull it from the wall and check the label on the back for me. He was grumpy enough about printing the pages and I didn’t want to push my luck.


        Then Kevin left town—he’s off to Paris, to run a summer study-abroad program for the university—putting an end to that option. Since then I’ve been sending documents to myself at work by e-mail, then printing them out there. It’s only a few pages and a little ink but I bring American copy paper from home to ease my guilt over conducting personal business at work. I keep reminding myself to take a look at the back of the office printer, and also the cartridge inside it, to pin down where they were made, for the record, but I’m afraid one of my co-workers will see me and ask what I’m up to. I’d probably make a full confession, and then maybe they’d tell the grumpy boss, who might fire me for using company ink. Or worse—he would let me keep my job but tell me I couldn’t print at work any more. Then I’d really be in a jam. I’d have to drive to the public library, which lets you print 20 pages for free during each visit. I checked the other day, in

case it comes to that.

        后来凯文离开了镇子——为学校的一个夏季海外学习项目去了巴黎,——我的这个替代品就指望不上了。那之后,我把文件发到自己邮箱,上班时在公司打印出来。虽然只是几页纸和一点点墨粉,但是为了减轻上班时间干私事的罪恶感,我从家里带去美国复印纸。我一直提醒自己,要看看公司打印机后面的标签,还有它里面的墨粉,好知道它们是哪里制造以便做记录,但我害怕被同事看到并打破砂锅问到底。我有可能和盘托出, 他们就可能会告诉我那个乖戾的老板,老板可能因为我用公司的墨粉而炒我鱿鱼. 或者更糟——他会让我保住自己的工作,但再也不能在上班时间打印,那我可就真的遭殃了。我得开车去公共图书馆,那里每次可以免费打印20页。为了以防万一,我前两天就查询过了。

       Our inkless printer is one of a series of recent troubles in the area of electronics, where China is king. One day, lying on the sofa, I tick them off in my head.

One: The screen of our little television has started to go dark for minutes at a time, including at least twice during the climax of a public-television mystery when we were on the edge of our seats.



      Two:The CD player stopped working after Sofie stuck something inside the disc tray when I wasn’t looking. I don’t know what her weapon is, but it’s small and deadly, at least to the CD player, which now makes endless clicks every time I turn it on, but no music. Every day or two, I press the power button to see if the problem has resolved itself, but so far no dice. I’m not the only one who misses listening to music, either. On torrid afternoons, when it’s too hot to venture outside, I let the children pull the cushions off the sofa and blast a Muppets version of “Jingle Bell Rock” over and over while they jump on the springs of the sofa. These days they bounce in silence. Without music their bouncing has a joylessness that reminds me of the overweight ladies I’ve seen dutifully executing movements in water-aerobics class at the YMCA near our house.Nobody looks like they are having much fun.


        Three: Adult fun is likewise in jeopardy these days. The blade on our blender broke the other day, and when I called the manufacturer they told me the replacement blades they sell are made in China.

“So you’re telling me we can’t make margaritas this summer?” Kevin asks me during a call home from France. Paris is supposed to make people feel romantic. I can hear something in his voice but it doesn’t sound like love.



       Four: The vacuum has stopped sucking, despite my vigorously cleaning its ghastly insides. I suspect whatever is blocking it has something to do with China. Perhaps I suctioned up an old toy.

In short, when I look around the house these days I see a series of problems, almost all of them with Chinese solutions.

         4. 吸尘器不吸尘了,不管我多么卖力的清理它恐怖的内部器件。我怀疑不管是什么东西造成了堵塞,一定和中国有关,很可能是吸进了一件旧玩具。简而言之,最近几天我环视屋子里的一系列问题,几乎只有中国可以解决。

         I should be really worked up about all of this, but malaise has taken over, a function of humid days in the 90s.There on the sofa, I stare at the ceiling and consider the worst-case scenario. If I can’t find anything but Chinese replacements for the jammed stereo, the erratic television, the bladeless blender, and the powerless vacuum cleaner, I can live with that. I can live without all of those things, at least for now, maybe forever. In some ways it will be a relief to get rid of them; as always, the house seems overly full of things that need to be dusted and arranged and repaired. I like to think that I am secretly a minimalist when it comes to material possessions.This could be my chance to find out if I mean it.




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