Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mixed Emotions

In my neighborhood, there is a young Chinese girl that walks around all day with a large suitcase on wheels. Inside are perhaps a few hundred bootleg DVD's of all the latest movies that are out. She rolls her goods around to most every store in the area flashing a cold smile and in very broken English saying "DVD, you like DVD?" I see her when I'm in the laundrymat, when I'm in BurgerKing, at Dunkin Donuts and always along the street. She never approaches me as she does other people because I guess she can tell I'm not going to be a customer. It really pisses me off when I see people swarm around her ready to buy something if she has what they want. That really disappoints me. They don't seem to get the bigger picture. This is part of our problem. Stores that employ workers, perhaps relatives or children of the very people buying this stuff are forced to either lay people off or go out of business. These stores not only employ people, but also pay taxes to which help pay for our cities services such as Fire, Police, and Education. The money given to her for this cheap crap goes to supporting other illegals and i'm sure some gets sent back home to China to provide for her family there as well. As if China needs any more of our money. . .
The other day I saw a cop on a scooter arresting someone on the street,. As I got closer I saw it was the DVD girl. I initially was very happy to see this. I was also surprised in that I never would have thought that a cop would spend any time busting her. I was happy to see that they were cracking down on this even at the low level. While being handcuffed, she looked quite embarassed and nervous as she was looking around at all who was watching this. I figured this might have been the first time she was busted. As the tears began to stream from her eyes, it came upon me. I felt sad for her. As much as I did not like what she was doing, I felt that perhaps she was doing this as part of a deal to whoever brought her here. I couldn't blame her for wanting to be here.
Not much of anything will happen to her I suspect and the sad part my be that she has less fear of getting caught for anything other than having her stock of DVD's confiscated.
The real blame lies with the people that buy from her. Typically, people will buy from her and any other bootleg or blackmarket venue that can save them a few dollars. Then, when the economy is suffering and people are losing their jobs and services are being cut they blame the government and whoever happens to be in power.
I've got mixed emotions about the DVD girl. . .

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