Blast from the Past
Today we have visited my old stomping ground at DSL toy factory, it was fantastic to return and catch up with all the lovely people again. It was great to take Jac and show her the production site and run through all the process, it was also equally nice not to be visiting in an official capacity for audits or a pre M&S sweep before a development trip. Even though our visit was purely personal I couldn't help myself from checking the fire extinguisher were in date, or that all exits were free from rubbish & there were approved samples on the production line, once a technologist always a technologist, definition of technologist in this instance see sad git.
As well as making beautiful toys DSL do a fantastic factory lunch, oh how I have missed these lunches, the plentiful rice, the delicious spicy dhal, the chicken curry and my favourite bindhis this is a sweet sour dish make from aubergine, garlic, onions and honey . I love these so much that I once sneaked a Tupperware box of them back in my suitcase. I had a small issue of leaking on route and I people did comment about a distinct aubergine smell every time I walked in a room but it was worth it.
All this delicious food is doing nothing for our waistline, and I am beginning to resemble a little pot bellied Buddha, thankfully I am not bald anymore, otherwise people may start rubbing my belly for good luck and then I would be forced to slap them, and this is not very Buddhist behaviour.
Jac has spent the day working on a website for the factory, and I have spent they day being annoying and checking out samples in the showroom, I had a particular twitchy bum moment when I spotted a small doll with a teeny weeny round head that there is no way on earth I would have allowed that one through, but as I mentioned earlier I am a technologist - i.e. sad git.
To complete the day we are now on the two hour journey back to the city in the rain , whacky races has started and we are currently in a drive off with 3 tuk tuk, 16 motorbikes and a bus.
What I have learnt:
Business is about people, not about profit, if you always remember that you are dealing with people not just "suppliers " then if your lucky, you will develop lovely relationships that then blossom into friendships. That will hopefully last a life time.
Ethical trade, should not just be about the working environments and conditions these are undoubtedly important. It should also be about ethical buying where you pay a fair price for the goods you want and not try to squeeze every last cent from the supplier in order to increase your margin percentage. As this is not ethical and soon all the good factories will disappear and you will be just left with the sweatshops.
Factory made dhal is delicious, but that bad boy will have been made to suit the palate of the local people who's throats have long ago been burned away by the fiery intense heat from the numerous chilis and spices over the years.
Where as your puny western palate is still intact, so be careful how much you shove in your fat gob as it may cause you to cry a lot .