A friend of my wife is visiting us from Lisbon. Because of the really, ahem, skewed exchange rate between the dollar and euro (or between the dollar and every other currency), our friend has been tagged by her other friends in Portugal as a mule to bring cheap goods back from the New World.
Packages have been arriving each day from all corners: cameras and fancy lenses, hard drives, SD cards, iPods, not to mention the goods that our visitor will purchase for herself before she leaves. I’ve no doubt hoarded my own loot onto international flights in years past, but it’s been purchases specific to the country of travel, like Havaianas in Brazil or wine from France, not general consumer goods. So as each package piles up in our house destined for export, it’s a visual reminder of the sad state of the US economy.