Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's Mailbag

Think global, buy local

Dear Johnny,

I'm rankled and I'm not sure why I care so much. I wish I didn't, but I do.

I set my alarm for the wee hours to wake up and furiously bid for an electronic gizmo I really didn’t need.

The eBay seller was located in Hong Kong, and the shipping details said “free shipping to Taiwan.”

Lo and behold, I actually won the darn thing (out of 21 bids) by a few cents — all in all a bargain. I promptly paid via Paypal and logged off, eager to receive this new useless gadget.

The next day, I received an e-mail from the seller informing me that he only ships internationally and that sorry, Taiwan is part of China.

This just begged an appropriate response.

After some polite but useless bantering with this propagandized sheep, he told me his feelings were hurt and that the “glorious People’s Republic of China has shown so much compassion and done so much for the people of Taiwan.”

He then asked if I would leave positive feedback for the canceled transaction. Politics aside, I left him some: In the required comment field, I simply said that his English was OK.

Any reason why a Canadian should feel so fired up about the Taiwan/China situation?

Is this normal? My God, with all the shenanigans going on, I’m about to have an ulcer.


Johnny replies: We see in this little anecdote the dilemma that true Children of the Dragon face when it comes to Taiwan. Should a moronic degree of devotion to the Chinese state obstruct the desire for profit?

When you look back over the centuries, this kind of Dragon Child is something of an anomaly. As long as there isn’t a Cultural Revolution going on, the Chinese tend to end up on the other side of the globe and never come back if they can make a steady buck.

I dunno, Trev ... try buying local useless gadgets.

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