Flashback Friday Moment of The Week: 11/26/2021

by Just Juan
354 views 3 min read

A few days ago, as I always do when I’m writing in Triumphs & Tribulations, I take a look at old entries. I was reading through the November 23 entry in Triumphs & Tribulations VIII. It was officially Black Friday but I was working the 7pm-7am shift that started on Thanksgiving Day in the 332d Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Operations Office during my deployment to Iraq. It was a quiet and boring night and the only excitement really being my colleague’s perusal of Vida Guerra pictures from an April 2007 edition of King magazine. During my midnight grub run at 1am, I stopped to grab our mail. My colleague had several boxes with the word “Amazon” on them. I asked him about it and that brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: my introduction to Amazon.

How I first came across this moment? As I just mentioned, my introduction to Amazon occurred on November 23, 2007…during that overnight shift in the sandbox. My colleague literally laughed at me for about 20 seconds before pulling up the Amazon.com website and giving me an education on the online retailer.

What it meant to me then? At the time, it was literally something new to me. Prior to the discovery, I had mostly visited brick and mortar stores to acquire my consumer goods or I sent money to my father to acquire them on my behalf. Remember, this was the back half of 2007 so I was living primarily in Tokyo when I wasn’t handling the nation’s business in the desert. My exposure to Amazon meant I didn’t have to visit the brick and mortar stores or, even worse, wait until the AAFES Base Exchange at the Yokota Community Center received a specific product. I certainly didn’t have to continue to send checks and wire transfers from Japan to Birmingham. For all intents and purposes, I had every consumer item I imagined at my disposal on Amazon…and in many cases, for even less than what I would pay in stores and without sales taxes. The best benefit: they delivered to APO addresses. My first order with Amazon was in the wee hours of that Black Friday morning: the hardcover version of The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Classic Edition and a bonded leather Holy Bible in the parallel King James and Amplified versions. The total cost of the order was $54.52 and I saved $4.98 on the shipping because the order was $25 or more. My own Amazon box arrived to Iraq 16 days later. And there it began…a history of online consumerism. Everything changed for me with the introduction to Amazon.

What it means to me now? Earlier today, on this occasion of Black Friday 2021, I placed an order on Amazon. It was my first true international Amazon order as it is shipping directly to my residence, here in Bogota as opposed to the diplomatic post office box. By pure coincidence, it was my 150th order with Amazon. That copy of NBA 2K22 on PlayStation 4 and a DIY cube bookshelf organizer will go down in history. My relationship with Amazon is still going strong some 14 years later. From Iraq to Tokyo to suburban DC to Seoul to East Alabama back to suburban DC and finally here, in South America, I’ve been able to get quality goods without having to travel to brick and mortar stores. In recent years, the addition of Amazon Prime has exposed me to great video streaming options and a great selection of music…not to mention the added ability for Mercedes to feed her consumerism off my account. I see no reason to end this relationship anytime soon.

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