07 November, 2012

Shopping--a whole day affair

Yesterday my trip to Costco turned into a bit of an adventure. It is always a big trip (see here for a description of a typical trip there). BIG in more than one way. Only 20km, but usually about an hour each way (if not more). Then the shop is huge and, because we only go there every two or three months, the amount we buy is large too.

It isn't my favourite outing, but, like most shopping and housework, it just has to be done.

One of the most annoying things about the trip is how many rude Japanese you discover. I know enough Japanese to hear all the comments from other shoppers about how extremely fully my "cart" (US for shopping trolley). My husband suggested I should turn and agree with them in Japanese, they'd probably be very embarrassed to find out that I understood them!

But yesterday it went a step further. The lady serving me at the register couldn't stop exclaiming about how much I had. I think she must have been fairly new in the job. Because it isn't too unusual to have large amounts come through. If she wasn't so pleasant and chatty, I would have been very offended. I even offered the information that I have three hungry boys at home. That didn't stop her repeated exclamations, though.
This was my full shopping trolley yesterday.
To cap it off, the checkout lady exclaimed
over how long my receipt was and then proceeded to thank me for paying in cash and to give me pointers about how to get it all to my car safely.
She really was a bit unusual.
I was pretty pleased with some of my finds. I found some Australian carrots. All the way from Tasmania. I also bought some Australian pork or was it lamb? I forget and now it is at the bottom of my chest freezer, so I can't check.

I went back for a second run at Costco (after putting all
the food in the car) and bought this table for camping.
I'm pretty pleased, it is a lot more solid than our current table.
David's not quite so sure, he's worried about fitting it into our van.
This is almost another story, the new saucepan was necessary
as the one on the left was unceremoniously "killed' the night before when my
supervision of piano practise left some apples cooking
for too long. Japan has gone into colour in a big way (it used to be
much duller), this is the first purple pot I've ever owned. In
that exact size and style I could only buy purple or pink pots!

On the way home I stopped at two other big stores to buy needed things. I figured, the day's been pretty wrecked anyway (in terms of getting needed computer work done), so I might as well keep shopping. 

I bought this new saucepan at a large home ware store that's been built in our old Tokyo neighbourhood.

And I also stopped to buy some special winter-underwear. I blogged about it here only six weeks ago and someone commented that it was too early to talk about the cold. Well, it isn't too early now. We're getting single figures at night now (Celcius) and we're going camping in two weeks! So, I'm trying out this Japan-grown technology. And no, I'm not going to blog a photo of myself wearing them!

When I finally got home I stopped the car out the front of the house so that I could unpack the car (which is almost impossible to do once the car is parked in the carport [US=garage]). Ten minutes later I hopped back in the driver's seat to start the car and put it away.

It didn't start. After some texting with my husband, who happened to be free, he called the roadside assist folk. In the meantime I dealt with afternoon tea, piano practise, homework, and putting all the stuff away.

It was such a good place for this to happen. I could have been stranded at Costco or either of the other two shops. But instead, I was at home, doing all the things I needed to do. The roadside assist guy came after about an hour and declared our battery ancient. He started the car and told me to drive it straight away to our mechanic.

Amazingly, just after he left, David walked in the door and was able to do exactly that. It was only about 5pm and the mechanic was still at work, but able to replace our battery straight away. And the whole episode was over, in under three hours with little inconvenience to us. Amazing!

So, it was a successful, if long (like this post) day. Lots achieved very efficiently. I just hope I don't have another like it for a while.


Unknown said...

Hmmmmm...your shopping cart doesn't look very full to me! You should have seen ours when we ran the hostel and had 14 or more hungry teenagers to feed!
I love your purple pan, by the way.

Wendy said...

Thanks Kari. You're not unknown at all!
I'll be that yours would have been full, and you would have been going more often than once every two or three months!

Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts said...

Oh my goodness, it's gotten cold so quickly here!! We've only made one Costco trip so far, and without a car, we're limited to a "granny trolley" that we bought from Ikea. So our trolley wasn't very full at all! Besides, the whole point of Costco is bulk!

Wendy said...

Yes, Alyce, it has. My little Queensland heart longs for a stable 20-25 degree season, but it simply never happens. :-(

You can get your Costco groceries sent to your home, for a fee, I believe. Maybe takubin?

I know the whole point of Costco is bulk, but so many Japanese go and buy one carton of water and a bag of 30 bread rolls, but not much else. Like, huh?

I think my objection to these comments probably comes from a desire to "blend in". I never do, of course, in Japan. But I really want to.