Consumerism at Costco Wholesale

When I arrived at Seattle University, Josef was very keen that he take me to Costco. I wondered why. Then he repeated his intention to take me even after a few days, a few more times. He looked really keen to! This was not the initial enthusiasm of any human being to make the new entrant feel at home.

Dinners, here at Seattle, are not new to me! In fact, in my last two months’ stay here, I must have had dinners and special coffee -some with formal/ official meetings and some ‘dinner-only’/ ‘coffee-only’ parties, at least on an average five-a-week! Sometimes, three dinners/ coffee-meetings in a single day!

Earlier, on the day of my arrival, the 78-year young Dave Leigh had driven me round the city of Seattle. After that Tom Lukas and Natch Ohno for a Vietnamese dinner. That was followed by Trung for another a “genuinely Vietnamese” dinner. And then, Paul Grub with Daniel for a Seattle-darshan followed by a dinner and a film. They are not yet over!

This is not to mention informal “meetings” with some Mangaloreans, some former Aloysians, some Bangaloreans, and -wait- some of my former students and classmates from school days! From across the US. Of course, except two or three, I was not able to accept others. Sad! Travel across the country is just as costly and long as it is tedious in India. And mind you, US’ geography is three times bigger than India’s! So, criss-crossing the country is problematic.

Last weekend, Josef repeated his request. In the meantime, Trung had suggested that I go with him to Costco on this Sunday. Today was his Art Exhibition at St James Cathedral. Well-attended, and well-appreciated. Trung deserves it for all his talent, hard work and zeal.

After his talk at the Exhibition, we went to Costco. From a distance, Costco spoke of consumerism and materialism.

I was reminded of the Palace Ground in Bangalore. It is as if a huge supply was on a perpetual exhibition there, and thousands of people keep come and go, while carrying huge bags! It

It is a wholesale warehouse! The more you buy, the better for you. And it is best for them! Low cost; but you are made to buy. No doubt, things are cheap – when you buy in bulk. But you can’t buy anything cheap in quantities/ volumes just as much as you need. You need to by to suit the owner’s profit! You can’t buy anything without a membership card! So you buy need a membership card, and you buy goods in plenty – even if you don’t need!

People in thousands throng the place. And they buy. The owner is happy!

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