[Mr. and Mrs. Monday] The Costco Run


At this stage in life, we are easily stocked. There are only two of us the apartment and we both attempt to eat healthy. That means groceries generally stay within a few food groups on that fourth-grade nutrition pyramid...

Carbs. Veggies. Proteins.

And for those lovely items, only one spot fills the need out here in Seoul, South Korea. COSTCO.

Some ex-pats refer to Costco in Seoul as the beast. Others as the cattle corral. Some even call it the worst place on earth. A short explanation of why goes as follows...Imagine your typical Costco in the States completely empty but with decreased aisle width by 2 feet on each side. Add tight corners by the bakery and cereal. Then, imagine sample stations serving in-and-around 50% of the aisles. Now, begin filling each aisle with slow moving, food gazing, every-sample-possible tasting, inept cart pushing Koreans.

The result: bumper carts on aisle everywhere.

The first time we went, I had to ice my Achilles tendon because the people behind me kept ramming into me. Seriously. Okay, the icing part is exaggerated. But not the bumping part. That is a very real aspect of our trips to Costco.

You may be thinking, "So what? Get over it. Just go with the flow. Be chill bro..."

EHHHH, wrong. We already have to take an hour's worth of stuffy public transportation to even get to the Costco. And considering we only need to get like 12 items to complete our month's worth of grocery shopping, keeping it chill is definitely a stretch. We want to get in and get out. The city awaits, and the last thing we want to do on a Saturday morning is bump and clang oversized carts for a few items of food.

But, alas, we have to. Costco really does have the best prices on the food we like to eat. So, we keep going back. But here is the kicker, after almost three years of living in Seoul, Liz and I have learned to shop at Costco. It is called the park and run method.

We simply stay on the main aisle, park our cart at the end of a food aisle and run to our food, grab it and run back. There is no hesitating or you will be engulfed by metal waves of carts. You've got to be nimble and steadfast in your mission. Before entering the jungle, you have to study the jungle. We know where each item is, we memorize our list and execute our mission. No joke, we take Costco seriously now. Mental and emotional prep is key when facing this hazardous place.

Now, Liz and I can scurry around Costco, get all of our items and be totally stress-free in about 40 minutes of action. To be honest, cutting down our three hour attempts from our first year has been a huge feat in our relationship. How you shop can actually be a pretty solid gauge on how you communicate.

Good thing Liz is an athlete. Shoot, I would definitely enter us in the Costco Olympics. 


Anonymous said...

Nice. So True!!

Anonymous said...

That's how I shop too! Park and dash! Even my shopping list is grouped according to where things are in the store! Down to a science!

Anonymous said...

Park and dash works if you don't have kids with you. Kids slow down the whole process--especially if chocolate truffles are being sampled that day! It's rumored that a certain Costco in Seoul spotted a young Robert pass by the truffle spot 11 times in one outing--