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We love America.

We just don’t want to live there.

Some Eastern friends of ours went to the States on vacation last summer and were shocked at how cheap everything is.

I had to try and explain about how other costs of living (like health care – man, reading about @grammargeek’s hospital bills was just shocking for me. I can’t imagine trying to decide between my health and child… and financial solvency) balance things out.

We pay a little more for groceries, but we pay way less in health care. I’m not complaining.

But in any case, stuff is really, really cheap in America.

We Vancouverites are used to it, however, because we treat the States like our personal shopping mall.

For those of you who live in America:

Did you know that you have stuff for REALLY FRIGGING CHEAP?

Like gas. My gawd.

It makes no sense to me, because WE are the ones with oil. We rival the Middle East for oil production and yet, for some reason, we pay $1.36 a litre, which works out to 5 bucks a gallon. And then we cross the border and see your gas prices, and it’s like: WHOA.

We seriously contemplated buying a Jerrycan just so we could buy MOAR GASOHOL.

And groceries? Wow. I don’t know if it’s the way Americans seem to be in love with everying bulk, or what, but dang some things are cheap.

Like chicken. Chicken is frigging expensive up here, so we stock up on a LOT of chicken when we go to the states. And cheese. Man, we love to buy your cheap cheese.

But the ultimate in U.S. shopping experiences was going to Cost Co in the States with some friends who have a membership.

We drove down together and let Owl, who is a natural born U.S. citizen, although neither he nor the U.S. are aware of it yet, explore his native soil.

SHOW ME THE SHOPPING

One thing we have found about shopping in the states is that you can get most things in bulk – cheese, meat, waffles, margarine… except for vegetables.

You want 2 lbs of butter? Sure. But 2 lbs of frozen beans? Not in the cards for us. Oh well. We have fruits and vegetables back home, and we’re not supposed to bring them across the border anyway.

On the other hand, you do get WTF products like this: That’s right. Pancakes and Sausages. ONNA STICK. And they”re artificial blueberry flavoured. If that isn’t a product that sells itself, well…

I was also awed and disturbed by the gun display IN WALMART.  I mean, dang, it wasn’t just like a couple of .22 hunting rifles. They were massive, black, gleaming, deadly looking things. To someone like me who NEVER sees actual guns except maybe on the hip of a police officer, it was truly bizarre.

I didn’t take a photo of the murder-weapon display because I thought that would look suspicious, but I did have to take a photo of this:

You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

…Then we went on to Cost Co where we got 5 pounds of cheese, pre-grated, 20 pounds of chicken, and a lifetime supply of waffles.

We also bought, like, 15 bottles of pop, and we got ALL the pasta sauce. America has no more. It’s all in our pantry.

Owl, can you say "consumerism"?

Good boy!

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