Sunday, July 24, 2011

A big warm welcome to Costco Canberra!

That's right folks - there is a Costco Canberra.  And yes - that is an American Costco.  Canberra has been introduced to the goodness that is Costco.  In fact, Costco also opened in Sydney this past weekend as well.  They've been getting all kinds of press coverage as Australians try to figure out exactly what Costco is.

Looks like an normal American Costco
This morning, HA and I decided to go out to Costco and have our first visit.  This was HA's first visit to a Costco but he's heard about it from me, Max, and LB.  Of course, I have let my membership run out as I didn't think I would ever be able to use it in Australian and it seemed silly to pay for a membership that I wasn't going to use.  So, this meant that we had to get a membership first thing this morning.
This was the line to get a membership
Adam and I got there to what looked like at least an hour long wait for a membership.  However, as we were standing there, a woman came around saying that if you had gotten your membership online, you could go to the front.  So, I pull out the Iphone and promptly do our membership and we get pulled to the front of the line.   Gotta love the Iphone. I don't understand why other people weren't doing this.

The one thing I wasn't counting on is that you have to have the same address on your driver's license that you do on your application.  Of course, HA's driver's license hasn't been updated in years so we had to scramble to find a bill we could produce on our phones to prove that we lived there.  I don't remember having this rule in the US but either way, the Iphone came to the rescue once again!

Once inside, it's exactly like an American Costco - exact same setup and variety of stuff to buy.  The prices may be a bit more expensive but they are quite a bit cheaper by Australian standards.  We shopped mostly for everyday stuff that you can buy in bulk and it won't go bad - razors, brita filters..things like that.  The best line of the day was at the table which had bagels on it.  For the non-Australian's reading this blog, you should know that it's very hard to find bagels in this country.  Which led to an Australian man being overheard to say "Bagels?  I've never had one.  I wonder what they taste like."  WHO has NEVER had a bagel?
Buying Australian wine from a Costco in Australia doesn't feel as exotic as it did at home.
The one thing I was super excited about was Stacy's Naked Pita Chips.  These are my favorites and you can only get them at Costco in the US.  I was secretly hoping they would be here but I didn't want to get my hopes up as they're an American product.  But, happy day, they had them!! We bought two big bags!!  They also have some other American products like Skippy peanut butter....and cheese....

Now you may be asking yourself what's so special about this cheese.  Well, let me tell you...there are two very special things about this cheese.  1) on the far right, you will find a Pepper Jack Cheese.  I have been unable to find Pepper Jack anywhere in this country. To my Australian friends - if I'm wrong, please let me know. And 2) there is ORANGE cheese!!  All Australian cheddar cheese is white, which is natural - I won't argue that.  But I will argue that their white cheese does not melt properly.  We now own this particular cheese packet.  Hopefully HA will agree about the tastiness (not to be confused with Tasty cheese).

We ended up spending quite a bit of money - as you do in Costco.  But it was a fun day - like a little piece of America in the middle of Canberra.  I suspect I won't have to go again for awhile but it's nice to know its there if I ever need a taste of home.