Monday, November 12, 2007
Tales of Costco,Q-Tips and muffins...
OK finally Costco opened its doors here in Taichung after being on island for over 10 years at those uncivilized northern and southern locales(yes a joke, but I do have special love for central Taiwan). It was utter madness when Kevin(my son) and I visited a long with 4 friends from Australia last Sat. Taichung's Finest were out in force helping direct traffic. I know Taichung Mayor Jason Hu has been trying to get Costco to open here for some time. I thought it quite interesting that the subterranean parking ramps were lacking escalators. What you say?
There was an elevator but the long sloping ramps(2 per level) were just concrete. The store must have saved major bucks by eliminating the large escalators needed to cover the B1-3 levels. They'll also save enormously on electricity which is fine because that makes them slightly more environmentally friendly and we get more opportunity to burn up the extra calories we pick up when indulging in some of Costco's goodies. Floors 1(Optical dept. and Snack Bar) and 2 (main store level) both have escalators.
Can't tell you how happy I am again now that we have proper Q-Tip brand cotton swabs again. Silly I know, but after torturing myself with inferior Japanese imports or domestic varieties I can proclaim with authority big difference in comfort, safety and utility with the Q-Tips. So even though I had to dip into son's college fund to buy the 4 pack...
My buying habits have changed some what since I first came to Taiwan and also since Costco first opened here. Many things I would have bought without question previously, ground beef, frozen lasagna, ravioli,etc. I refrain from buying now. Some because I prefer to make it fresh myself in more manageable portion sizes and many of the items available at other Taiwan stores are adequate and can be purchased as needed without carrying Costco's inventory for them while they carry your cash.
That being said, Kevin and I did buy some of the things that we consider must haves like the bagels, muffins and big blocks of cheese. The staff is really friendly and service oriented. My card expired and needed to be reprocessed after I had already selected my goods and gone through the line. Some young lady named Amy was very helpful in English with whole process although she admonished me for "making her" speak English when she found out my Chinese is quite adequate. I smiled and told her, "Hey Costco is an American chain and this was excellent practice for her. I also pointed out how she shined in this case."
Look forward to being able to shoot by there when ever and pick up needed items and grazing at the reasonably priced snack bar. Kevin and I did major damage to 18" NT$300 pizza we took to nearby park.