Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ikea, an adventure

Well, as I predicted, Ikea happened. It sort of had to: I had no furniture (I am still sleeping on an air mattress, living out of a suitcase, and I have ONE pair of clean knickers, because the laundry... well, story for another time. My real estate agent is the original ditz.)

So, Ikea. Yesterday, The Flattie and I went to buy furniture. It was almost, but not quite an impulse visit. We both knew what we wanted, a bed (for her) and study furniture for me. I left the flat at 1 to meet Flattie, who was at Central. I thought the buses at the Glebe flat were bad. Nothing compared to the new place. I am startled to discover I possessed a depth of loathing for Sydney Buses I did not know was possible. But I digress.

We got the train from Central to Rhodes, and arrived at Ikea at about 2:30, only to discover that half of Sydney was also at Ikea. There was a clearance sale on. Good for Flattie, who discovered the bed she wanted (a completely awesome metal Tim Burton style cartoonish bed frame) was on special. Less awesome for me, because it forced me to dither.

I am a champion ditherer. Massively indecisive. Like my mother.

Did I want the small book case which was on special, or the bigger one, which though aesthetically more pleasing, was $200 more expensive. I appealed to The Flattie for help with the decision, and she told me that since I had cruelly forced her into making the final decision re: her bed, I was on my own.

We also got yelled when we asked if we really needed to fasten the book case to the wall. Apparently we are unrepentant baby killers for even considering going with out wall fasteners. I don't know why, as there are no babies in our flat, nor will there be any time soon.

I called Dad, and in his expert opinion, we wouldn't need wall fasteners. He also cruelly refused to make a decision for me.

Finally, I decided to bite the bullet, and buy the big book case, helped by the fact that I saw it set up with books in it... and it is pretty.

Then came the hard part. The self-serve section, with the disobedient trolleys and the big heavy trolleys. I don't think Flattie quite got the point of the big heavy trolleys, because she took one of the neat little supermarket style trolleys, and seemed to think we could share...

Needless to say, I very hastily took myself off to get a big trolley, and with the unwilling help of Flattie, loaded myself up with boxes. Many, many boxes. Many, many heavy boxes. I bought: a desk/ small book case combo; the big book case and a desk chair. I spent TOO MUCH MONEY. The Flattie had one little packet of bed slats in her trolley, and so we went through checkout (her bed was at a separate merchandise pick up place).

And then Flattie discovered that she had to load her mattress on the trolley, in the self service aisles. I don't know where she got the idea that it was different (I hadn't known she was buying a mattress). So she decided not to bother. Then she said she'd just buy one from the place that does free deliveries for UTS students. I told her that you had to spend more than $500. She said surely I needed more stuff? I looked at my boxes, and thought of the pile of stuff waiting for a removalist and said: NO.

So she decided we needed to run back in and get a mattress. By this point we were waiting in the home delivery line, and had been at Ikea for 2 and a half hours (!!). So I asked the nice man (and why it was me asking I don't know) if we could leave our trolleys and run back into the self service section just for ten minutes, we'll be quick, really. Finally, he relented and said yes, but warned us that our stuff might not be safe.

Meanwhile a young couple were improvising a taped up cover for some lounge chairs to avoid paying a $25 dollar waiver.

So The Flattie and I ran back into self service hell. (Those shelves are BIG.) I sort of maybe stole a trolley. (It was empty! And alone! I called out!) We powered to the place where the mattresses were, only to discover... the model Flattie had chosen was sold out. So then we had to test mattress (yes, right there, climbing into the gap between mattress and shelf) to find a replacement. Then we managed to womanhandle it onto the trolley (the mattress had handles on it. The plastic it was wrapped in? Not so much). I left Flattie at the checkout, and rushed back to out thankfully undamaged trolleys. The young couple were still wrapping couches.

The Flattie finally got through checkout, we left our stuff to be home delivered and left Ikea having spent, collectively, $1500. We were carrying one item: a set of $15 chair arms. Everything else arrives tomorrow, whereupon there will be a veritable orgy of assembling. But I am the Allen Key Champion, so.

We ate food court Thai (too poor to afford anything else) and rushed to the station in the rain, missing the train by 15 seconds, and thereby having to wait half an hour for the next one. We were blessed by buses (amazingly, this has not softened my feelings towards Sydney's public transport system joke.

Much wearied, with empty bank accounts, we arrived at home at 9.

I have to keep reminding myself that I am not actually that poor: I have savings, and besides there are plenty of people who would not have been able to afford that shopping spree at all. But I am a student, living on Centrelink, and about to descend back into Hospitality Hell AKA my old job, because "living" on Centrelink is impossible.

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