Tuesday, March 04, 2008



This week my company is hosting representatives from one of our clients. This client is an oil company based in China.

We (the geeks) have been instructed to avoid all contact with these people. Since that lines up with my personal policy of avoiding contact with all people as much as possible, I'm happy to comply with company policy in this case.

I can hear them talking in the conference room where they are entrenched every time I go for coffee, but I have no idea what they are saying.

I hadn't actually seen them until yesterday afternoon when we crossed paths in the men's room.

I still had no idea what they were saying, but I was amused to notice that it seemed they had all gotten off the plane and run directly to The Gap and Banana Republic to buy everything this season had to offer.

As I pondered their immediate yet temporary Americanization, the truth dawned on me.

They did not rush to the Galleria as soon as the plane landed.

More likely, they bought the clothes in China where a lot of it is produced and it probably costs a hell of a lot less.

So who is the fashion copy cat, now?

All this time I've been dressed in traditional modern Chinese clothing and I never once considered my own cultural awareness and fashion globalization.

Of course, I've always been a fan of the Chinese culture. Communists are nothing if not efficient. I read The Good Earth and learned a lot about opium and humoring the elderly from what can be described as the best "feel-good ending" churned out in the 1930s. Jackie Chan does his own stunts. It is a matter of simple rank to judge the qualifications of General Tso's Chicken compared with that of our own "Colonel".

Yet I was still overtaken with a feeling of unity when I came to realize that in spite of our language gap, we are united in a bigger "The" Gap. We all put on our flat-front weekend relaxed fit khakis one leg at a time.

They simply pay less for theirs. Renminbi, "The People's Currency", talks.

When I'm in the men's room I just wish I knew if it were talking about me. 

1 comment:

thag said...

haha, funny one dude. i especially liked the part about hiding you (the geeks) because i happen to be a geek hider myself!