Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Turn and face the strain...Ch ch Changes and Costco

I love Costco.  I can’t tell you the joy I felt when the lady in the Nashville Costco told me that they had a store in Sydney.  I know some might find this sad.  I was just relieved to know I could go to a place that I was familiar with and loved.  Never underestimate familiarity when moving to a new place.  Every once in a while it’s a great thing. 

The first time we went was during the holidays.  We needed to get appliances and such so I thought it would be a great time to see what they had.  Basically it’s like everything else American in Australia.  I call it Bizarro.  It’s almost like what we have in America but just slightly different and sometimes frustratingly so for me.  We eat Bizarro tacos. I have yet to find good Mexican food in Sydney.  I found Bizarro Sunflower Seeds and Bizarro Cream Of Chicken soup.  Things that are my very favorite in the whole world are now just slightly off.  Oh well.  Learn to love new things. Like Dark Mint Chocolate Tim Tams. They are just like Thin Mints from the Girl Scouts and available year round. Awesome!

Anyway, Costco is Bizarro Costco.  First of all, there is only one currently in Sydney.  Now that the word has got out it is beyond packed.  On the weekend there is a 30-40 minute wait for the hot dog stand. You know how there is usually a line to get your stuff checked on the way out in America?  There is a line to get in.  Bizarro. What should I expect we are "down under". 

The line to get in

I did some research and it seems that Australia is smack dab in the middle of growing pains.  From what I can tell it’s a lot like America forty years ago.  They are a growing market that’s open to change and new things.  But how do you change to allow ease of use for the consumer and not force the elimination of small mom and pop stores?  Some people think it starts by banning big box stores from coming into their area.  Big companies like Costco, Bunnings Warehouse (think Home Depot), and Ikea are finding that communities are pushing back.  New stores are in the works and awaiting approval that they might never get.  It’s a different kind of thought process.  Bulk stores encourage hoarding for some and who needs that much stuff?  Why would you not want your meat from the local butcher and your bread from the baker?

And yet, Costco is so full it takes us an entire day to get through it. I’m not exaggerating.  We plan the day around Costco.   

The meat and deli section. You thought I was exaggerating, right?
It takes a while to get there.  They built it out in the west I’m thinking because the area has cheaper land.  There is a line of cars to park.  It's an adventure in and of itself.  Then there is a line to get in.  I’ve never been shoved and pushed so much in my life.  It’s as if that box of coffee is the last box in the world and we must fight to get it.  Until I wait my turn and get the next box.  They seriously should paint arrows on the ground to show people how to move in an orderly fashion because it’s a total free for all.  

The problem is that with such a collection of cultures it creates a huge disconnect that culminates in me getting rammed by a shopping cart for no reason.  I wear my running shoes just in case because last time I made the mistake of wearing flip flops.  Bad idea.  Asians have a different sense of personal space.  I guess they are used to dog eat dog and no space.   Australians are incredibly laid back and just kinda go with it.  “Oh well, I’ll just wait in line here,” kind of attitude.  I like this but I find it hard to maintain with so many people pushing me.  

I get that this is a sensitive issue but the only people who pushed me, shoved me and actually hurt my hip by ramming their cart into me were Chinese and/or Koreans.  Maybe they aren’t used to the wide open spaces that is Australia.  Everybody please just relax. No worries!  You will get your kiwis and laundry detergent.  Let’s all just work together.

This might not be a popular opinion but I no longer fear the Chinese taking over the world.  They love America too much and our culture will be their downfall.  

The hot dogs really aren't this good...
In the meantime, I have to relax and just watch the fireworks.  I must say it is pretty entertaining watching people try to figure out fountain drinks.  Everything is in a bottle here so anywhere with a soda machine makes some people freak out.  What do we do?  How does it work?  Oh, and no one knows how to set it up right so every Coke tastes like syrup with a little bit of carbonation.  No worries,  they will get it.  It’s just growing pains.

Busiest restaurant in town

1 comment:

  1. that's awesome... holy cats... thanks for that post Coley! miss you!