A colleague recently forwarded me an interesting post appearing on Global Voices on the Chinese presence in Egypt:
"Knocks on the door. She told me in broken Arabic: "Wanna buy something Chinese?"
I would normally say: "No, thanks" to them and close the door … But this time my house was full of people so I asked her to come in.
She put the bag she was carrying with her on the floor and started to show me the goods she had. Tablecloths, cloths and cosmetics. I was looking at her, with a lot of questions inside me. Not about what she sold as it's known since they started to invade the country by themselves rather than exporting their goods to us only. But what forced her to do such hard job, and travel away from her homeland with a backpack like a camel hump…"
The post goes on to observe that the Chinese are the only people who will go door to door, arriving in poor countries and selling poor goods. With an estimated 300 million poor in China, however, such desperate manifestations of capitalism are anything but surprising.