Tag Archives: Great Purge

The Great Purge Begins This Wednesday

Faithful readers, this week is the week.  The moment in my New Year’s Resolution where I get rid of all of my current Chinese-made goods: THE GREAT PURGE.  Get ready for some cupboard-clearing-drawer-dumping-Goodwill-giving action.  I guarantee you will be entertained… and horrified.  Will I be left with a full wardrobe (at least we know I will at least have some shoes to wear)?  Will I have any dishes left to eat on?  Will I even be left with anything to clean with after the Great Purge dirties my house?

The plan is to tear apart one corner of my apartment every weekend, and then have a post written about the experience by that Wednesday.  I will be starting small… with the bathroom.  I will then move on to the bedroom, the closet and then the kitchen.  (Most of the stuff in the living room belongs to my roommate, so I will just skip it.  His stuff, as was explained in this post, is off limits.  That said, the TV is mine.  It is a Vizio, which was designed in California, made in Taiwan.)

Full Disclosure: I am not cheating by using Taiwanese goods.  I believe in the One China Policy.  Let me explain.  Essentially, both the People’s Republic of China (the big, communist China) and the Republic of China (the small, capitalist China on the island of Taiwan) claim to be the legitimate government of ALL China, even though neither political entity controls the entirety of the geographical China that they claim.  Any country that does business with either China must recognize one as true, legitimate China.  This makes it a little confusing to do business or compete in the Olympics.  The US, and most of the rest of the world, recognizes the government in Beijing as the legitimate government of China, and thus calls the Republic of China, Taiwan.  That is why your goods will either say made in China or made in Taiwan.  I, like the US, recognize the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate China, and am thus allowed to buy goods from Taiwan.

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Prepping for the Great Purge and one funny short story

As you all know, my New Year’s resolution is to attempt the seemingly impossible: live without Chinese-made goods for one year. The task involves not only boycotting things made in China, but also cleansing my belongings of all Chinese-made possessions (save for Apple products, because honestly, who can live without them?). I have received a few comments from folks who want to know a bit more about the “Great Purge” as I have come to call it. To appease my readers, I am writing this post to clear up any confusion about what the fateful cleanse will entail.

I have decided that the Great Purge will happen over the course of March. Soon enough that it will keep true to my resolution (and keep you entertained), but far enough away to allow for significant preparation—you know, buy the essentials before I trash everything.

You may be asking, “Well, why the preparation?” The long and short of it being to prevent the sudden realization that I am out of clothing, or in need of bed linens, or a toothbrush, to name only a few.

Why not rid yourself of everything at once? Why not do it in one post? Mostly, this is because of the large amount of work it requires and the little time I have to do it on the weekends (when I do much of my writing and researching). In addition, my job requires long hours of grading and lesson planning that spills over into, and greatly occupies, the weekend. But, I am also planning to do this over four or five posts in order to focus on one room, or area of my life, every week. This strategy will allow for a more in depth study of what I need to get rid of, and, consequently, what I will have to re-buy or live without.

Because I am not rich, nor a masochist, there will be a few exceptions. So I might as well be upfront with you and list them:

  • I will get rid of all of the made in China items in my apartment that are mine. I will not discard my roommate’s belongings that are in the common areas, because, well, I am assuming he would be pretty unhappy if he walked in the front room one day to place himself on the couch, only to find it missing (just checked: made in China).
  • I will not get rid of the large appliances that came with the apartment. Luckily, I won’t have to (just checked: all appliances are by Frigidaire, which are “designed, assembled, and engineered in the U.S.A.”).
  • I will not discard any of my work material that the school requires me to have.  This is because I want to keep my job (just checked, my coach’s hat: made in China).
  • I will not get rid of any of Apple products. I am not sure I really need to explain why.
  • I will not toss anything that is of significant sentimental value. The only thing that I can think of off the top of my head is my first mandolin. It was $50 from musicicansfriend.com, and was, of course, made in China.
  • I will not get rid of any gifts whose getting-rid-of will offend the gift-giver.  Why? Because relationships are worth so much more than stuff.

OK, that just about wraps up the “Great Purge,” now on to a funny story. The other day, the light bulb in my closet burned out. No big deal. I went to the cupboard and pulled out a replacement bulb, which was prominently marked with its country of origin. I’ll let you guess… China. Dang! I had to dress in the dark for a few days until I went to the store and found a bulb that was made in the USA. I only buttoned my shirt incorrectly once.

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