Saturday, January 7, 2012

Adventures in Ikea and a meal in GBK

Today I went to Ikea.

It was my first time. I had heard of Ikea, seen it in movies, but we do not have them in NZ and I had never actually been to one. I insisted on entering through the exit, then spent quite a while wandering around the self-serve area and wondering what the fuss was all about. Sure, they had pretty pictures of beds and wardrobes that you had to strain your neck to look at, but otherwise it was just a huge warehouse full of boxes.

Then I realised that, as the aisle I was in was labelled 53, the store must be quite a lot bigger than I'd first thought. I followed the aisles around and around, and, low and behold, mirrors! And plants! And travelators! (Going down to my floor, with none to get me upstairs. They seem determined to guide customers in one direction. There are even arrow painted on the floor. Of course, having come in at the exit, I determinedly ignored the arrows throughout my visit).

On the next floor was the Market Hall, with just about any smallish household thing you could think of (not the kitchen sink - that was the next section). I went past candles and vases and photo presentation solutions and sheets and pillows and curtains and cups and plates, until finally I saw a map.

Maps in Ikea seem only to show the section you are in. Thus, if you are in the Market Hall, a map will show you only the Market Hall. If you are in the Showroom, it will show you only the Showroom. There may have been hints as to how to get from one to the other, but I wasn't really paying attention, so I kept wandering and finally entered the Showroom.

My goal was to find a bookcase/bedside table that I would be able to carry home on public transport. This proved difficult, probably in large part because I wanted my exact previous bedside table, bright blue and NZ$10 at The Warehouse several years ago. I wound my way through the living room section, some of the bedroom section and the kid's section, against the arrows, and didn't find anything that was exactly right.

At one point I found myself standing in front of a bookshelf four times too big and more suited to dividing a room, but that really was a very good price and I'd kinda always wanted one and it would be quite nice... I could use it to divide my bedroom!

In the words of a guy to his girlfriend (overheard while I considered a stuffed toy broccoli sitting on a shelf) "Step away from the exciting storage solutions." My bedroom, while reasonably big, does not need dividing.

There were some scary things too: cupboard doors that opened and closed every two seconds in an exhibit about quality testing, and a bedside table thing that looked like it could be used to imprison someone (imagine one of those tea-trays with legs that sits over your lap for breakfast in bed. Now imagine it GIGANTIC and touching the floor on both sides of the double bed).

In the end I found a kitchen cabinet thing that seemed to do the job, so I got it and some pretty stick-on mirrors. I've now assembled it and placed it beside my bed, ignoring many of the instructions because I am not using it as a kitchen cabinet, and I'm quite pleased with it. Must find some way to brace it, though, because not attaching the backboard means it doesn't have anything but screws to keep it square...

Ikea is where you mix and match your life.

My next stop was Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which is a chain started by Kiwis. This was immediately apparent on walking in - tomato sauce bottles in the shape of tomatoes at each table, retro-bach-mismatch-chic chairs and a huge bowl of Minties on the counter. It was understated, nostalgic kiwiana, and it worked really well.

My burger was very good, and came with the skinniest fries I have ever seen. They were just about Borrower size. My L&P (World-Famous in NZ) was also very good, and the milkshakes they were serving came out in silver metal cups. The chill factor looked satisfactory - the metal was all misty up the side. If only I drank milk...

Anyway, a good day. I've decide I like Ikea and GBK. Next time I will try the Wellington burger and report back.


  1. YAAAAYYYY!!! I remember when milkshakes came in those tall aluminium things :-) had forgotten completely but YESSSSSS, takes me quite back to the Queen Anne shop on The Strand in Tauranga, with its 50's-green milkshake maker and 3c double header ice creams (admittedly very small - the ice cream only just peeped over the side of the cone lol)...

  2. yes, it was like going back in time, sort of, and with style! I must have been somewhere where they had those too... Maybe somewhere on Cuba St? Dunno. Some of the decor was quite Cuba St.


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