We were directed to park the forty foot moving home in among the loading docks in the rear of the store, and there with generator pumping, the dogs set about the arduous task of sleeping under the air conditioning vents.
We meanwhile had to face the crowds and crowds of people from the miles and miles of cars parked all around the store. Some smart person came on a scooter though considering the purpose of this Swedish home furnishing store one has to assume it was a sensible employee who showed up on two wheels.
IKEA, I have discovered is a cult, and what's worse it's a Swedish cult so everything is cheerful, efficient and Nordic. These are not easy qualities to emulate if you are a misanthrope and a non-shopper.
Everything is bright and easy and instructions abound. Need a lesson in how to shop at IKEA? No really, if you don't know how it's done they have tutorials on TV with captions. They also sell food. Free! Cheap! Swedish!
Refreshed with American style scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes, we took off across two floors of stuff. Crowds and crowds of shoppers and miles and miles of stuff. It was enough to make a non shopper pass out from exhaustion, just by looking.
The standard here is to make maximum use of minimal space. Imagine you live in a one room cabin north of the Arctic Circle, and you are tired of the moose skin and caribou decor. You pop down to neighboring Sweden and get yourself a prepared room kitted out with all necessaries in 215 square feet. Well, if you live in Florida in a not yet repossessed McMansion, you can do the same thing, thanks to IKEA.
It is supposed to be inexpensive and much of it is, but all of it is labeled in impenetrable Swedish which makes shopping a real adventure.
$1500 to store a TV may be cheap for Swedish socialists but its a lot of cash for impoverished capitalists struggling to pay their medical bills. They sell inexpensive straw chairs which felt to me more like lying in a haystack than reclining in a chair.
And you know how in normal stores they put fake books on shelves to lend verisimilitude to a display...Well here they are real books. Only of course they are, once again in impenetrable Swedish.
I read a lot of reviews of stuff and meals and ride reports on ADVrider and elsewhere and everyone is terribly leery of mentioning a price. People use electrons to do all sorts of execrable things but there is is weird online Victorian prudery when it comes to money. I found IKEA to be refreshingly forthright when it comes to prices.
And their pictures scattered around the store of Scandinavian designers is almost Gothic.
By now it was time for lunch which was lucky for me as I was ready for Swedish nourishment. Robust stuff they eat in Sweden it turns out, and for not much money. Four bucks for fifteen meatballs in cream sauce with mashed potatoes and ligonberry sauce. Weird but true and it tasted as good as Chuck promised it would.
Chuck thought I was weird when I noticed the bizarre designer portraits hanging around the store, but when I caught Wayne in an attitude of prayer above the Overboard Chocolate Cake, and I started giggling his initial observation was confirmed in his mind.
In the end Wayne got up and left the cafeteria exhausted by the noise and confusion and he forgot to taste the cake. Which was by the way excellent.
Then we charged up and down the warehouse helping ourselves to the big ticket items we had noted down on the pad (per IKEA regulations) and eventually left the temple with a new office a new bedroom, bits and pieces and a thousand dollars poorer. We are postponing a few other projects as a result, but my wife is now an official member of the IKEA cult.
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