Is China actually Dunder Mifflin?

This is an old piece from the New York Times, but I just came across it while digging through my fodder folder and thought it was worth another round of sharing:

AS an American journalist based in China, I knew there was a good chance that at some point I’d be detained for pursuing a story. I just never thought I’d be held hostage by a toy factory.

That’s what happened last Monday, when for nine hours I was held, along with a translator and a photographer, by the suppliers of the popular Thomas & Friends toy rail sets.


The scene was farcical. We were locked inside the factory gate, surrounded by 16 security guards and 4 or 5 factory bosses. All trucks trying to bring supplies in or out of the complex were rerouted. Inside, large crowds of factory workers in blue uniforms were gawking. A crowd had also gathered outside the gates.

The weird thing is, I can almost see this as a Chinese version of The Office, with Michael Zhū Scott desperately attempting to cover up his belief that lead in the paint gave the wood a delicious gleam.