Saturday, March 5, 2011

IKEA for Everyone

We have been to IKEA two times since moving to Denmark. We also went to IKEA when we moved to DC and I went frequently in college once the IKEA in Chicago opened including a memorable post-graduation trip when I purchased many many things Neil and I still have (down comforter, accent pillows, cutting board, etc.) In fact, nearly every move we've made has been punctuated by the assembly of IKEA furniture.

The other night, while assembling Riley's spiffy new toy storage thing-a-majig and looking at the wordless illustrations that told me how to assemble it I thought the following, "Assembling IKEA furniture is really a uniting experience. I could meet people from many many different countries and maybe the one thing we'd have in common would be having assembled something from IKEA."

Yes, it was the middle of the night and I was on day three of four as a single parent because Neil was out of town, but maybe I was onto something. A lot of people have assembled IKEA furniture.

Today, we took two buses and one train to get to IKEA where we bought a rug and a bunch of other stuff. But we went with the intention of buying a rug. Our rug came with a little booklet on how to care for your rug translated into 31 languages.  31!

What Neil likes about shopping at IKEA in Denmark is that all the crazy names for the products that sound totally foreign in the US seem to fit right in here - ORGEL, KOMPLEMENT, etc.

For me, going to IKEA here is a bit like the time I went to Wal Mart in the middle of Nebraska. When feeling completely disoriented and out of your element, it's sometimes comforting to go into a familiar retail establishment that looks basically the same wherever you are. Funny that I feel at home while in a Swedish megastore in the middle of Denmark.


  1. I think you have an article in formation in this post. Maybe you could even pitch it to research -- around the world in IKEA!