Saturday, July 05, 2014

Not made in China

China’s is a gift giving culture. Those we visit offer us gifts representing their culture, and good manners we give gifts in return. It’s important to follow this protocol when discussing exchanges with university officials, which it now seems I shall be doing. Such things aren’t covered in a university budget, and I had expected to eat the cost. However, my new chair, Dr. Norma Hogan graciously said she’d go halves with me.
For the men, we bought pen sets and key chains at the ETSU book store. Then yesterday, I went over to JC Penney's to get gifts for the Chinese ladies. Thought I’d but scented soap, but couldn't find any. Then I remembered how Chinese women love luxury cosmetics, but this isn’t something I'm accustomed to buying. Years of Methodist stewardship lectures have made me feel guilty about spending money on makeup in a world plagued by hunger. I compromise by buying makeup on sale at Walgreens. An international project is different, however; so I consulted a cosmetologist about products to complement Asian skin tones.
I bought eight boxes of shadow whose lovely packages proclaimed they were made in California. This is a plus. Most of the chachkas have labels which read “made in China.”

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