a trip to costco

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I try my best to try to inform in this blog and not just go about ranting about my cat or how my day sucked. Well… here’s to something different.

I like Costco. They seem to have everything and in jumbo quantities. I have a membership, and we were in need of some shopping so my roommate and I set out for some bulk buying. Costco trips, though, always start at the parking lot and insane driving that occurs there. Everyone is reckless when they’re fighting for one of the few parking spots. It doesn’t seem like a sixty year-old grandma can be such a monster behind the wheel– but at Costco’s parking lot, it’s not only possible, it happens. Everyday.

After finding a parking space, usually by a combination of skill, luck, and black voodoo magic, we have to pass through the gate of judgement where we have to show them our Costco membership cards. The bouncers are mean and nasty until you show them your card… “Hey, you, stop!” suddenly transforms into “Have a nice day, sir, and would you like a coupon for $10 off a tire change?”

Inside, there are legions of people who hand out free samples. Usually delicious samples. I swiped a few cookies as well as a part of a mircowavable burrito. Most of the time, people just swipe ‘n go, which I usually do. Some people also hover, waiting for the freshest samples to get placed out. I don’t do this… there are enough samples that it’s more efficient to move on to the next one. There are also people who faint interest in the product just to get a larger sample. Again, wasted effort.

Naturally, my roommate and I went to check out their video game section first. They are the only place that sold the JSRF/Rally 2k2 X-Box bundle in San Jose, but they’re bundle is $240 with an extra s-controller. Considering that an s-controller is only $25 at Fry’s, it’s not worth it. So we moved on to buying what we really needed: golf balls. Unfortunately, they only had the super pricey ones so we needed for the food section.

We picked up lots of bottled water. It’s roughly ten cents a liter at Costco, and I don’t dare drink the water in Silicon Valley. The tap water here is so polluted with various colorless/oderless chemicals associated with chip processing that… well… it’s best not to think about it. If my kids have like flippers, this would be why. One thing to note is that this is the first time we saw Arrowhead brand at this Costco. Costco used to carry Crystal Gyser. The Costcos in Michigan made this change a few months ago…

Then we headed to frozen foods and stocked up on chicken wings (very delicious) and some chicken nuggets. We also picked up some cleaning supplies. That done, we headed to the checkout… where we had to waiting for fifteen minutes. Checkouts at Costco are the absolute shopping checkouts I have ever been to. It’s worse than the parking lot, if that’s humanely possible, with people shoving each other left and right. And Costco is too cheap to hire a few more cashiers to help speed things along. Hint hint Costco, more people checking out equals more shoppers you can process before closing.

Then afterwards, they “inspect” your “bags” on the way out to “make sure they charged you the correct price”. Or, in other words, to make sure you aren’t stealing anything. They don’t even look at the price tags, so I asked them to personally verify that all the prices are correct just to annoy them. I don’t mind anti-theft policies at stores, but I do mind them not being truthful about them and giving the shopper some bull about “checking prices”.

All that said and done, we had to fit a few tons of food and supplies into the car. All the while resisting the temptation to stop by the food court to pick up a delicious sundae or an equally delicious churro or a heavenly delicious smoothie. The Michigan Costcos replaced the churro with a mocha drink– I’m wondering if that’ll happen here in California, especially with the higher hispanic population.

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