18 June 2008

IKEA projects

As we had the cooker installed the week before, this past weekend was spend assembling most of all the flat IKEA boxes that have been waiting in the kitchen since 'the great IKEA expedition' May 2nd. Since Tue had borrowed a hammer drill at uni, we were also able to mount shelves in the bathroom as well as the kitchen, which certainly makes our little home a lot more functional. Once the next big step of having two table tops shortened - and mounted - has been accomplished, we might even be through with the furnishing this time around.

The great IKEA expedition also calls for some comments on its own. Since we only brought very few (kitchen) things with us from the US, we had to go shopping big time before we could stay in the new apartment. A bed and some bedding alone would be practical just as pots, pans, cups, chairs, tables, lamps, ...

We had made thorough preparations by measuring the apartment; scouring IKEA's homepage for suitable and available items in the nearest warehouse; and envisioning several alternatives if for instance the chosen table wouldn't be available in the desired colour. Since we had hired a driver with a truck to pick us and the furniture up, we wanted to make sure that we could bring back all the large things that we wouldn't be able to pick up ourselves on a later occasion.

So we caught the train to Aubonne in time to arrive at the entrance to IKEA just before they opened. Apparently some 75 other people had had the exact same idea which was quite a few more than we had expected despite having been told that Swiss IKEA is always very busy.

Unfortunately, these circumstances were less than ideal for Tue to loose his IKEA virginity (yes, this is true: Tue must be one of very few Danish students that have avoided going to IKEA at any time during his years of studying) but we managed to elbow our way around the exhibitions, note the correct numbers for finding the furniture in the stock room, and also - after a bit of a wait - to order the kitchen units. That Swiss apartments are rented stripped of any kitchen furnishings is probably a huge factor in IKEA's attraction on the numerous expats that are constantly moving in and out of Geneva.

During the shopping, we also ate Swedish meatballs (kötbullar) in the restaurant (cf. photo: they even provide a little trolley to help you bring the self-serve food to your table) which probably was very good for our blood sugar levels, since we kind of started to panic when we were about halfway through the kitchen utensils department. By that time we had spend more than 5 hours in IKEA and still needed to find all the bigger furniture items in the stock room as well as queueing up for the cashiers with all the other people. So we decided to split up - Tue was sent off to the stock room to find all the furniture on our list and Lisbeth proceeded to the lamp department for a quick raid.

The queue at the cashiers was fortunately not too long so we had actually just left the warehouse when our driver showed up. And despite the last hectic hour, it was quite a successful expedition: because of a wrongly noted number the dining table ended up being black and not of oak, and we never actually picked up extra beddings, but apart from a few small sold-out items (such as wheels for the laundry basket) we actually brought back everything on our long list - including a couple of practical items such as tools!

Sadly we didn't get a photo of the two overloaded carts that we pushed out of there but based on the amazed/sympathetic/shocked/astonished/worried looks we received, it all probably looked a little overwhelming.

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