After scouring the Ikea catalog for days on end and pondering the gloriousness that would be Quirky, I finally had my master list of things I wanted to purchase. How much would it end up being? I didn't even want to think about it. Who cares when you can make apartment heaven come true? And it'll all match and be beautiful and have the right mood lighting? That's right: it's priceless.
It was finally the weekend and time to actually go to said Ikea and buy said items.
How did it compare to Helsinki? It was bullshit in comparison, to be honest.
Instead of a fabulous free shuttle bus that picks you up from the center of town (a convenient location), you have to take public transportation all the way there. And it's not conveniently located (I know realistically it can't be, since it's a warehouse after all and London is already huge and sprawling enough as it is with its 20 million people or whatever...actually it's 8 million but whatever), but did it really need to be out there in like zone 4 or 5? Mehhhh.
Anyway, the reason I am pointing this out is that there used to be a free shuttle bus. It wasn't fabulous or conveniently located (it would only pick you up from a place that was already 5/6th of the way there), but whatever, at least it got you to the door, which after our experience there, is quite a thing. Getting off the bus and trying to find the pedestrian way in was an adventure in it of itself. Quite terrifying. I almost slipped in some oily mud and ate it (as in "fell") in front of a car. Luckily my supreme yoga balance saved me.
We did get there though, after a time (about an hour) and made our way in for our 7 hour excursion in the depths of IKEA. 7 HOURS. Seven.
Now I've always loved Ikea and what it holds for me (fond memories, hilariously cheap and decent food, despite the recent scandal with the whole horsemeat in the meatballs thing...again I ask whether or not this is important and where these horses are all coming from...apparently Scandinavia somewhere...they did a population count and it didn't match the records), but even that's pushing my limit. And I'd slept 4 hours the night before because I came home at basically 5am. My own fault of course, but it's not the best circumstance in which to go to Ikea. You need to be a real person when going to Ikea. It's already exhausting enough as it is having your neurons fire at every single perfectly designed room they have to show you. And I had real decisions to make; I couldn't find everything I wanted online.
Anyway, we did make it through the maze (and a maze it realistically is). I bought almost 700pounds worth of goods and furniture for my new place (yes, I'm revamping some of the furniture I brought with me...replacements, improvements, necessities...you name it). But we barely made it. Near the end there we were this close to snapping, and here's why.
We'd already gone through five and a half hours of shopping, carefully selecting all my goods. We even did the awesome thing of collecting our own furniture (and all of the pieces) onto the cart to wheel it to shipping so they could deliver it to us on the appointed date (a few days later, when my apartment would finally be available to me, after all this fiasco).
What did we find, after paying almost 700quid and gathering all this business and shopping 5.5 hours and not eating since 10am that morning?
...they only do same-day or next-day delivery.
Excuse me )*&*&^ what?
None of your signage says anything of the sort, you fools!
The people there kept trying to tell us that there is clear verbiage posted that says they only do next-day delivery but all we saw were things that said "next-day delivery available." Uh, sir, that looks like you're trying to encourage me to upgrade to next-day shipping, not that you only offer (in poor taste, I might add), next-day shipping.
Fool of a Took!
Anyway, after calmly explaining the situation (my apartment really isn't available until x date), I charmed my way into influencing the delivery man that he really should deliver my furniture on the right date (well, the day before I really wanted it, but we'd have the apartment that date) and he wouldn't even charge me extra. The only catch? I had to carry all the little items home with me, because they weren't insured if the little things got lost.
Sigh. Whatever, that's close enough.
So that's what happened.
After our fiasco we carried all of the items (three Ikea bags' worth) to the restaurant and had the most ridiculous fish and chips meal of all time. Three plates of baked fish and chips with peas, heaped high with tartar sauce, an extreme amount of ketchup and mustard, two apple cakes, an organic orange soda and lager beer...and we were revived.
Amazing how simple things like a full belly can make you feel so much better about things.
And then the hour-long public transportation (bus then tube) journey back.
UK Ikea I hate you so much. But eventually you got my goods to me so I guess I can't complain too hard. Maybe. I still kind of hate you.