It’s the fourth Sunday of Advent today, just a few days before Christmas. It’s one of the busiest shopping days of the year in Ireland. Strange thing for a German who would traditionally have got into a more relaxed reflective pre-Christmas mood. At the same time, what has to be done has to be done…
This white shirt, made in Bangladesh, costs 6 euro and I discovered it today when I was doing my Christmas shopping. That’s less than half a packet of cigarettes. In other words: if I still smoked a packet a day, I could buy 2 shirts a day for the same price. Even more astonishing: If I would post this shirt in a package to me friend in Bangladesh, it would cost me 28 euro with ordinary post, four and a half time the price of the shirt itself. Assuming the shirt has about a dozen buttons, these could cost me, if I bought them on the internet, nearly as much as the shirt. In other words, it would almost be worthwhile buying the shirt and, to get my money back, cutting off the buttons and selling them online.
I don’t understand how or, more importantly, why this works. I know that the shirt is probably not being shipped to Ireland in a package with An Post. I know that workers in Bangladesh earn less than workers in Dublin. And I know that large scale manufacturers get better prices on raw material. But still…
We have started to prepare a plan for action for the next week or so. We will eat healthy, sleep as much as we can, drink loads of fluids, and go for a walk every day. There will be days without carers and the house will be much quieter. And in a strange way, we will have more time for ourselves and with Pádraig. It will be nice. And relaxed. And peaceful. As Christmas should be.
(Just in case you were wondering: I did not buy the shirt. It seemed wrong. very badly wrong.)
Diane Rose said:
We have the same problem here. Everyone loved a “bargain” but clothes that are insanely cheap are often made with slave labor and other nefarious business practices. They are also part of the throwaway culture where we don’t take care of our clothes and expect to have them for years and mend them… just through them away (and/or force them on poor African countries that don’t want them – but the US forces them to take). It’s a problem on so many levels.
I hope you and Pádraig and the whole family have a lovely relaxed and merry Christmas! Many wishes for a Dreamboat 2019 with lots of progress and love and fun.
Thank you for your good wishes, Diane! Hope you had a good Christmas too. We definitely will need to get onto that 2019 Dreamboat. Hope you’re keeping well. With best wishes for the New Year, Reinhard