October 19, 2012

Have YOU Braved Colossal World?


Let me tell you, I was at the end of my tether. It was a rainy day, no-one had anything to do, and the children were driving me mad.

Not only was I at the end of my tether, I was also at the end of the last roll of toilet paper. I was also out of peanut butter, Vegemite, tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of items required to keep a family of five from living on rice. In fact, we were even out of rice.

So the solution was obvious. Kill two birds with one stone, and take the three children with me to one of the Most Fun Places on Earth.

“We’re going to Colossal World!” I told them brightly.

“What’s Colossal World?” my son asked.

“Yay! Colossal World!” my four year old cheered.

“Huh...” my daughter said distractedly, which I took as a murmur of assent.

I bundled them into the car with promises of treats, and we drove the thirty minutes to Colossal World.
An hour and fifteen minutes later (because my Sat Nav is useless and I can’t follow instructions anyway) we arrived at the World itself. Except it’s not called Colossal World, even though it really should be. It’s Costco, the massive discount supermarket, and it truly is magnificent.

some minor actress in a supermarket
Magical things happen at Costco. It’s like drinking the shrinking potion in Alice in Wonderland and finding everything around you to be giant sized.  Look right and there are jars of chocolate wafers the size of your torso (the jars, that is. The wafers themselves are only the size of your head.). Look left and there are slabs of toilet paper three metres wide. You could invite fifty of your closest friends over for a party and give them each a take-home gift of three rolls of toilet paper and still you’d have some left over. (Of course, they’d think you were slightly odd, but WHO CARES??? It’s a GIANT SLAB OF TOILET PAPER!!!)

We bought all the stuff we needed – huge nets of oranges, ten-packs of toothpaste, immense tins of caramel-and-nut-encrusted popcorn (which one may argue isn’t strictly a ‘need’, until one tastes it, and realises it is essential to life) – and much stuff we didn’t. You see, here is the sneaky thing about Colossal World. They lure you in with their amazing value three kilo vats of smoked-salmon and half-dozen bags of genuine boiled bagels, get you drunk on savings and the bigness of it all, and then force you to walk down aisles filled with other tremendous bargains, so you end up spending five times as much as you would anywhere else.

I bought a set of five hair conditioners and five bottles of shampoo, in a brand I don’t use, for a type of hair I don’t have. I bought a Hello Kitty sticker book for my youngest daughter, despite her not knowing Hello Kitty, and having several sticker books already. I bought more tomato sauce than I could use in a decade, and more cheese than we can fit in the fridge. Oh, and two giant water soakers for the kids, which is final proof that Costco has the power to completely strip you of your reason.

So in the end, it was very much like any other family activity. You get home totally exhausted, having spent vast quantities of cash, and vow not to return for at least another year.

Unlike any other activity, though, the popcorn is amazing.

26 comments:

  1. I hate grocery shopping at the best of times but those large stores freak me out. When I visit my mother we go to ALDI and it sounds a bit the same... although the products are not-quite-recognisable with variations on the mainstream brands, or packaging.


    Freaky!

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  2. I haven't been yet. I was scared it might be like Ikea, where you get lost in a maze and can't get out until you've purchased something useless you don't need lol. Sounds like it might be worth it just for the popcorn though.

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  3. Universal law of parenting #109 - you ALWAYS spend more than you intend to. Only the order of magnitude varies.

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  4. Do they offer a storage facility, too!? I'd never fit "huge nets of oranges, ten-packs of toothpaste, immense tins of caramel-and-nut-encrusted popcorn" into our terrace! Perhaps there's a market for this service in the squeezed in Eastern Suburbs, like wine storage? That's it, I'm off to see my bank manager for a start-up loan!

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  5. I often get overwhelmed in big places like unfamiliar shopping malls, but I LOVE supermarkets! Could spend hours there. (And my GOD but I do!!!)

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  6. Oh you TOTALLY do. But at the very least you come out with a lifetime supply of toilet paper. And that alone makes it worth while!

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  7. Correct. Except I think that's law #114.

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  8. LOL. I keep a lot in the garage! And I actually left a huge packet of toilet paper in the car for a MONTH until I could fit it in the house!!!

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  9. Lisa @ Bithe MomentsOctober 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I'm terrified of what will happen when I finally cave and go to Costco. I predict that any future visitors will think we are the kind of people who think the zombie apocalypse is coming and so have food stacked all the way around the walls of the house. On the plus side we will have plenty of popcorn to fuels ourselves with before fighting the zombies.

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  10. You could have come here...I always have a supermarket going on here at home! It's a habit I can't break...one I've had for years! I know if the local IGA runs out of supplies, they can always call on me! It's a habit that I honed even further when I lived on islands...out of necessity...no corner stores to "run" to for top ups!

    I bet the kiddies had a great time, though! I wonder if they'll urge you to take them again, though! ;)

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  11. I want to go to there. And buy all of the things. Then I'll come home, and buy a new, shiny house, to keep all of the things in.

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  12. Oh that is HILARIOUS. I'll be thinking of zombies next time I go. For SURE!!!!

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  13. Sounds awesome! Next time I'll just bring my kids to your place to rummage through your pantry!

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  14. In a house full of boys, I seem to spend my ENTIRE LIFE at the supermarket. This is increased exponentially when school holidays are on, because what do you do when you're bored? Eat, of course.


    Haven't braved the wilds of Costco as yet though but I am encouraged after hearing about that popcorn. I'd MAKE room for that. :)

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  15. What_Sarah_Did_NextOctober 19, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Living in a house with three sons and one husband, I seem to spend MY ENTIRE LIFE in the supermarket. They eat constantly, it's ridiculous. School holidays are worse, they eat for something to do, I'm sure!


    Haven't braved the wilds of Costco as yet but might have to after hearing about that popcorn. I'd MAKE room at home for that. :)

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  16. I LOVE COSTCO! The tastings also suck you into buying things you never would. Except in large quantities, so hopefully you still like it a lit, when you get home!

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  17. So did you buy the 3 metres of toilet paper? A house should never, ever, run out of toilet paper. NEVER
    I hope the shampoo and conditioner turn out to be worth what you spent on them and don't turn your hair to straw. I wish we had a Costco over here in SA.

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  18. This sounds very much like a trip to Officeworks ...

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  19. I hate grocery shopping to, so the thought of getting a lifetime worth in one hit sounds fantastic lol.. I just wish that there was one in QLD!

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  20. Oh you must. Even if you have to buy a new house....

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  21. Oh yes. We now have toilet paper to last a decade. As for my hair.... not looking the best it ever has, I'm afraid. And it will look this way for a YEAR...

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  22. Grocery shopping... one of those errands we ALL can hate.
    COSTCO... a place I miss from home when I have to drag my groceries in Paris in the shopping caddy since it holds supplies for say, five days in a household of two :/
    Popcorn... my favorite snack! :)

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  23. OH yes. We are all united in our hatred of grocery shopping. And in our love of popcorn... x

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