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没有“中国制造”的一年

A Year without Made in China

(美)萨拉·邦乔妮 Sara Bongiorni

胡宗锋  苦丁(译)

CHAPTER FOUR Manufacturing Dissent 第四章 和而不同(四)

China hasn’t finished the job of dominating the world’s clothing sector. I pick my way through the racks and take notes of who is making what. The Made in USA label pops up regularly among the hangers, along with labels from Singapore, Turkey, and Mexico. I can’t decide if I should consider Made in Hong Kong items Chinese or not. I remember the British pulling out of the place a few years ago, but I’m not sure what happened after that. There are skirts and dresses from Taiwan, which is definitely not part of China, according to the Taiwanese, but most certainly is if you pose the question to the Chinese. There are racks of sweaters from the Northern Marianas Islands whose labels politely inform you that it is a United States territory.

中国还没有停止统治世界服装行业的步伐,我继续在衣服中间边走边记,注意看是那里制造的。衣架上时不时也有美国制造的标签,还有新加坡、土耳其和墨西哥制造。我不确定“香港制造”是否就是“中国制造”。我记得几年前英国就已经撤走了,但那之后的事我不清楚。有台湾的短裙和礼服,要问台湾人,他肯定会说台湾不是中国的一部分,但如果问中国人他肯定说是。还有几排北马里亚纳群岛的毛衣,它们的标签非常有礼节性,标明那是美国的领地。

Some labels are coy. The label on a skirt announces that it was “Assembled in USA,” but leaves me to guess where the fabric came from. Other labels give mixed signals about their origins. The label on a sweater says it was “Knit in Mongolia” and “Finished in China.” So where was the sweater made? What does made mean anyway?

有些标签很含糊。有个裙子标着“美国组装”,这叫我不禁去猜想那布料是哪里的,有的标签标的产地含混不清。一个毛衣的标签写着“蒙古缝制,中国完成”,那么这件毛衣到底是哪里制造?“制造”究竟是什么意思呢?

Each time I see a label from some place other than China, I wonder whether the worker who stitched the label into place in the collar or the waistband has lost his or her job to Chinese competition in the intervening weeks or months since the garment left the factory. It’s a sad thought and, from what I understand from reading the papers lately, not an unreasonable one.

每次看到不是中国制造的标签,我就会想是不是因为和中国的竞争,将标签缝到领口或袖口的工人在衣服运出工厂的这几周或这几个月里,已经丢了工作,这种想法让人悲哀,但根据最近我读到的报纸来看,这不是没有道理的。

I peek at a heavy-set woman flipping through the racks a few feet from me. She’s swishing the hangers along the rack at a staccato pace and vigorously snapping gum as she inspects the merchandise. She looks like a no-nonsense sort, and I think I know what she would tell me if I were bold enough to tap her on the shoulder, beg her pardon, and ask her what she thinks of all these Chinese clothes, and whether it bodes well or poorly for our collective American future.

我偷偷观察一位离我不远的体格健壮的妇女。她边查看衣服,边弄得衣服窸窸窣窣响,自己还可劲嚼着口香糖。她看上去是个正经人,如果我胆子正一些,过去拍一下她的肩,请她见谅,再问她有关所有的衣服都是中国制造、这对我们美国人集体来说是好事还是坏事,我都知道她会怎么说。

“Aren’t you worried about where it’s all headed?” I’d like to ask her. “Where do you think the Chinese will turn next—car production? Jet manufacturing? What will they leave for the rest of us? Do you ever worry that you’ll wake up one morning with a closet full of discount designer clothes and a hundred pairs of Chinese heels but no job, no future, no prospects?”

“你对这种形势的未来不担忧吗?你认为中国接下来会往哪方面发展,汽车制造?还是飞机制造?那我们还剩下什么呢?你会不会很担心,有天早晨你一睁眼,发现一衣柜打折的中国名牌服装,还有上百双的中国鞋子,但是没有了工作,没有了未来和希望?”

First she’d ease up on the gum. Then she’d look me up and down with the same cold-eyed discernment she’s now using on a rack of Donna Karan skirts, trying to decide if she should summon store security. She’d quickly realize I wasn’t dangerous and handle me without calling for backup.

首先她会放慢嚼口香糖,然后用她现在看唐娜·卡兰短裙样的冷酷眼神上上下下打量我,好决定要不要叫商店的保安。但她很快会意识到我不是危险人物,不用人帮忙,她就能搞定我。

“You worry too much,” she would say.

My inner devil’s advocate might offer a quick counterpoint. Maybe she worries too little.

I leave the store without buying a thing.

Some notes on the perils of a China boycott:

我内心的邪恶思维很快会反对,或许她操心太少了。

“你操心太多了,”她肯定会说。

两手空空,我离开了商店。

抵制中国制造需要注意危险:

The junk drawer in the kitchen has been stuck shut for months. Kevin confesses that he bought a Chinese part to repair it and then lost the part before he had a chance to fix the drawer. Immediately, he regrets his candor.

厨房里装废品的抽屉已经坏了好几个月了,凯文交待说他买了个中国零件,可是还没来得及修理就搞丢了。很快,他后悔自己说了实话。

“I guess I shouldn’t have told you that, since now you’ll be onto me if I pick up another Chinese part to try to fix it again,” he says dolefully.

“我想我不应该告诉你,因为现在如果我要再买一个中国零件来修,你就会知道了。”凯文一脸阴郁地说。

(刊于《美文》2011年第四期)