. . . for my kids. . . and good friends

Stayhungry wristband -- around the globe

They were made in Guangdong Province in China. And you can have one for FREE, if you email me. Seriously, I am happy to post one to Europe or the UK to the first twenty people to ask! (they're silicon, red and say 'StayHungryStayAngry.com')   STILL SOME AVAILABLE!!

The manufacturing and shipping process was mind-blowing.  I ordered them from the UK for delivery in Amsterdam and could not believe the initial track and trace that started in Foshan City. After a hop to Guangzhou, the rest of the route was almost as unexpected.

It's the third example of real globalisation thrust at me in the last few months. I'm still trying to work out the implications.

The other cases involve Apple computers and a steel narrow-boat. But first, to finish the wristbands' journey from Guangzhou. They went to Almaty; in Kazakhstan. Quite obvious really when you look at the map -- the direct route, but not a stop I'd been expecting as I followed the progress hour by hour! From there to Cologne and Oude Meer near Schphol, before arriving at my door five minutes ahead of the promised delivery time.

It's one thing to read about our globalised world but much more thought-provoking to realise you've become a minute part of the whole process, with its impact on employment and development at home and far, far away. Why not?

I can't get indignant about the environmental impact, when you set it against a better life for millions in our lopsided world. Why fuss about tinkering when the whole system is heading for disaster. There are much more profound questions about where all this growth is leading and what it says about our relationship with a finite planet. And for now, I'm happy to provide jobs for poor people in China.

Next, I'm queuing at a bank in Aqaba and get chatting to the Jordanian next to me, Majdi. He's briefly back home but lives in the Far East. And his work there? -- building steel narrow-boats for use on the canals of England. Nice web-site, www.eurostarboat.com but a problem as a customer has pulled out of buying twelve boats, specially built for him -- the recession of course.

Bizarrely, I'm interested. We live in this crazy building in the river in Amsterdam. It looks like a container ship and I've had the idea of permanently mooring a long-boat and using it as a guest suite for our visitors. In the end it doesn't work out (my fault more than anything) but the opportunities that present themselves continue to amaze me. And "shipping" the boat from China to Amsterdam was not prohibitive.

Finally, i recently bought a new Apple MacBook, via Amazon. Good price, lovely machine but when it arrived I discovered that OS 10.8, Mountain Lion, does not and cannot run Eudora, my old but wonderful email programme. After a little tussling we eventually agreed that I could return the computer ('not fit for purpose!') and get a full refund.

It had been shipped to me from Hong Kong. The email exchanges were robust but always professional and courteous. Step by step we got there; they provided their Fedex account and the courier was with me in twenty minutes. It travelled smoothly back home; I emailed once I'd seen it delivered.

Their initial offer was unacceptable. Photographs were emailed; I felt vulnerable and suggested I might request direct involvement from Amazon. Whatever, the next morning the offer was up substantially and the day after that the money was on my account. So, our globalised world is not just about simple manufacturing but now encompasses negotiations and quite complex transactions. Most of us don't yet have the vision and imagination to embrace even 5% of the possibilities but we have been changed fundamentally and irreversibly by it all.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 17:38  

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