Canberra has a CostCo! – it’s been there a while now but I never tire of a visit. All of the gleaming cans, shrink rapped goods and items that I have no use for but instantly want – call to me like a magpie to silver.
This small piece of the American consumerism society now resides in the nation’s capital – some may groan and say “another sign of how we are becoming Americanised in the very heart of our country” – I say: embrace it!
I have come with a purpose – to stack up on those household items that are so awkward to carry on a bus from my local supermarket in Sydney. As I search for the giant toilet paper and never ending kitchen sponges I am momentarily sidetracked by three frying pans for the price of one – must have. Suddenly I find myself in the wine section, the endless bottles sing to me.
Now I need cheese to go with the wine, a cheese plate with six different types of cheeses… don’t mind if I do. Wait… maybe I should throw a dinner party, I can buy a chunk of meat the size of my leg for a very low price.
Control… exercise it now… do not succumb to the bargains packed into jars…
I am transported through memory to my first visit to a Supermarket in the states. It was a capitalism wonderland of amazing and ridiculous products. My eyes fell out of my head and were dragged around on the floor behind me as I aimlessly wandered through the aisles.
A place that is so normal to most Americans was so alien and ridiculous to me and now there is one in Canberra!
It wasn’t just the size of the place or the ingenuity of the products, it was the fact that each one had a bargain deal attached – no wonder America is known as the culture of waste, how could you not with that type of opportunity!
A flash back to one of my first visits to Vons (a giant supermarket) in America. I was in need of flour as I was going to make pancakes from scratch, but for the life of me I couldn’t find it on the shelves. Finally I asked a shelf stacker where it was and was taken aback by the look of shock and horror on their face.
“Why do you need it?”
“To make pancakes”
“The pancake mix is aisle six”
“No I want to make them from scratch and I may need the flour for other things such as cakes”
“Cake mixes are also in aisle six”
“Yes but I don’t want a mix, I want to make them from scratch”
“Why?” – his look of complete confusion and incomprehension was enough to set me over the edge. Luckily an elderly woman over heard the conversation and stepped in. At
“You can find it in aisle seven – they don’t have a great variety”… The shelf stacker grunted in annoyance as I stammered thanks to the lovely lady. the Canberran CostCo I found giant sacks of flour – enough to make pancakes for the rest of my life.
My Father has a theory that no matter what you intend to spend at CostCo you always end up spending approximately $300 – he has no idea why or how but yet somehow it always does, and sure enough this time it was no different – my little horde came to $319. It is consumerism at its best and I now have enough toilet paper to last me four months!