Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Joys and Terrors of Ikea (aka “ee-kay-ah”)

Though it may be hard to believe (I have already shocked several of my roommates with this information) our shopping trip to Freiburg on Friday was my first time ever shopping at an Ikea. Unless, of course, I just forgot ever going to one…but, as one of my roommates clearly pointed out, “Ikea is not a store that you just happen to forget.”

Ikea in Freiburg
Well, as I was saying, I had my first experience at the German Ikea on Friday. If you are a frequent shopper of Ikea, then you probably know how huge and overwhelming it can be. You begin by traversing an enormous show room on the top floor where you basically take a walking tour of a thousand different little apartment rooms. During the tour, you use your nifty Ikea golf pencil to write down all of the furniture that you are interested in purchasing. If you survive the showroom, you continue down the stairs to the “small items” area where you can pick up everything from bed sheets, to lamps, to clothes hangers, to picture frames, and ceiling fans. Then, if you somehow make it through all of that, you enter this gigantic warehouse where you push roller carts up and down aisles searching for the items that you had written on your card from the showroom. These items are packed away in large boxes that are often extremely hard to lift and awkwardly shaped.

Now, I want you to  take that image of Ikea and imagine how you would feel if every sign and product description was written in German, every measurement was using the metric system, every price was in Euros, and every employee was speaking in German. This is exactly what I experienced. Let’s just say that after 3 hours of intense shopping, I finally crawled out of Ikea, barely alive, and feeling even more tired, hungry, and thirsty than I do after a long run. However, I did end up with some pretty exciting bargain-priced furniture…and a green polka dot duvet cover! ;)

Yay! New duvet :)
Now, the big challenge is assembling all those wonderful bargains into actual furniture and not just a random pile of wooden boards and screws that is lying on my bedroom floor. I assumed that with all my training constructing Lego sets as a kid, I would be more than equipped to handle some Ikea furniture. Not so! I ended up assembling an entire dresser only to find that I had left the backs off all of the drawers! Live and learn, I guess. ;) 

Ikea construction kit...please note the beautiful rock that we substituted for a hammer!

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