Monday, September 26, 2005

Meet you at the Ikea

Ikea is a whole world unto itself here in Ottawa - and I think in Canada generally. I am amazed everytime I walk into that Swedish realm of fresh-smelling wood, flexible furniture, and 50 cent hot dogs.

I visited Ikea this past Saturday. "People, like, go to Ikea for the day," my sister commented (pictured above) as we skirted family vans to squeeze into a parking space. Looking around the packed parking lot, I realized how right she was. Families with multiple strollers walked in and out of the store as though they were visiting the mall for the day, or to check out a massive side walk sale the place was hosting. The funny thing is, more than half the people who walk in, walk out empty handed, or with a tiny bag of light bulbs, or a $3.99 potted plant they could have nabbed for less at Loblaws.

This weekend was a madhouse in Ikea. You couldn't walk in a straight line in the aisles because there were people everywhere. Kids screaming and waving sloppy snacks, yuppie couples contemplating their first bed or maybe wondering if moving in together is really a good idea, first year students shuffling in flip-flops and too much midriff showing buying art and frames and glass bobbles that hang from the ceiling. Ikea art makes me shake my head. It is everything art shouldn't be. Generic, standard, mass-produced. Yet, people gobble it up.

I have to admit, however, I'm a big Ikea shopper. Over half the things in my room (home) are from the Swedish retailer. We live in a realtively small apartment and you have to give it to Ikea - their stuff fits. I recently bought a vertical chest of drawers which has earned my room some breathing space. It matches very nicely with the bookshelf and table top I bought about 6-8 years ago (and which are still available).

But this Saturday, my mom, sister and I just had a drink at their cafe and walked out. Empty handed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How true about the fruit- there is nothing worse.I found it to be very intertaining and humrous

5:10 PM  

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