Family Portraits (and a Petition)

While I was having fun with my new iPhone, I came across the Hubba Hubba app that so accurately captured the finest features of my family. My mom, a.k.a. Goody Two-Shoes, thinks Daddy-O looks like Saddam Hussein, but I think she’s crazy because Daddy-O’s got a heart of gold. “Sweet Mama” (that’s me) doesn’t quite fit my image, but that’s because it takes time to grow into the title and I’m still young! By the way, don’t be fooled by Goody Two-Shoes’ name folks. Once she finds out I posted that photo  online for the world to see, she’s going to pick that feather from her hat and shove it up who-knows-where! No, no, I was just joshin’. She wouldn’t do that. I’m an only child! Anyway, that’s my family in a nutshell!

Another thing now that I have your attention (hopefully), while I’m here downloading useless (but fun) apps on my iphone, tens of thousands of other Chinese people are suffering from exposure to toxic chemicals, losing their hands, and even attempting suicide from the horrible working conditions of Apple, Inc. factories. Like most people I’m sure, I was totally unaware of this fact, and to be honest, the thought to ask where my iPhone and Mac laptop came from didn’t even occur to me.  While the American version of the iPhone might say “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China” on the back, my Chinese version somehow forgot the “Assembled in China” part. Oops. How clever! The Chinese 1% doesn’t want anything Made in China. They want Made in America/Italy/France/Japan/Anywhere-but-China, and Steve Jobs and gang knew just this!

Now, I’m not asking anybody to discard their iPhones and iPads–I’m certainly not. What I’m suggesting, and it’s not a lot for you to do, is to click here and sign the petition to “Apple: to protect workers making iPhones in Chinese factories”. As you may have seen in the news, Foxconn, one of Apple’s main suppliers has already increased their workers’ salaries (probably to the salary it should’ve been in the first place) showing some success in the case. Apple is obviously not the only corporation that exploits its workers. However, with Apple being one of the most powerful industries in the world, it should do more–and quickly–to demand safe working and living conditions and fair wages.

I was taxed up-the-butt for this darned ol’ thing. That extra cash should go straight to the pockets of the overworked factory laborers, not California.

The Petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/apple-ceo-tim-cook-protect-workers-making-iphones-in-chinese-factories


The Dangerous Side of a Good Meal

Good food is hard to come by these days in China. I don’t mean good as in tasty, because there’s PLENTY of tasty food. I mean good as in good quality, or good for you, or even real. That is the latest concern.

Modernization and quick technological advancement have for sure boosted China’s economy but scientific knowledge and talent is totally being misdirected. All of your fake brand name handbags are made in China right? Fake iphones, fake money, and now fake food.

photo credit: Aziz Hussin

I don’t mean to steal this idea from one of the college application essays I had to edit today, but the student made a most excellent point: why are the Chinese wasting all of this precious talent on producing counterfeit and imitation goods when they could be redirecting their efforts into producing original top quality goods in their own country?  When iphone 5 didn’t come out last week as planned, the thousands (if not more) of already made fake iphone 5’s and the dollars it cost to make them all sorrowfully went down the toilet.  Learn your lesson!

Now back to food. HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT FOOD I EAT IS SAFE? I won’t. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop me from eating out, but I still wonder if I should actually eat the mango that’s bigger than my head or the grapefruit that is the size of a basketball…

How can I be sure this meat and fish that have been drying and marinating in the open air for who-knows-how-long is actually okay to eat?

Even the mushrooms (junzi) in Yunnan, stuff you can’t get anywhere else in the world, is now feared to be chemically induced.

Many hot-pot restaurants in China have been shut down because they were caught reusing repeatedly the same oil/soup base for multiple customers. That means the food you’re about to eat was cooked in someone else’s pot of boiling soup, and the food they ate was cooked in the soup used before them. Now that is just ill practice and a terrible way to run a business!

This photo was taken at "Haidilao," one of the few safe hot-pot restaurants left in Beijing. It's absolutely delicious. I'll take you there when you come visit.

Currently the safest option is to buy your own groceries and cook at home.

My family eating one of the best home-cooked meals I've ever eaten.

*WARNING* Wash and scrub those fruits and vegetables down because the coating of pesticides or whatever it is will kill you, or at least make you sick. My mom used the water she saved from washing vegetables to water our wilting houseplants; the next day, those same plants were bursting with life! That should say something…

Or, just stick to WASHED vegetables. That’s better for me anyway. I need more greens in my diet.

My cousin getting a healthy dosage of soupy greens.