"...and god said, let there be tiny pencils, and disposable tape measures... and ye shall transcribe the numbers from the tag, and go help yourself at the end of the shop... and all was right with the world"

I took an unscheduled trip to ikea yesterday, where i found this vignette of love, hate and tiny tape measures at the checkout. Usually a trip to ikea is something I like to plan, and preferably take a day off work so I can go on a day when there is only half a million people there, not the full million. But on account of the spring mattress at Super crAp-Mart stabbing me in the knee when I tested it out, I made a detour to ikea, given I had borrowed a friend's ute and was half way there anyway.

I always get disoriented and slightly panicked in there. I go excited because I've seen all the nice things in the catalogue but then I can't find the nice things from the catalogue. They seem to be perpetually out of the size, colour or shape I had in mind, then I get annoyed, then I start to feel trapped and like I've been walking in circles for hours, and may never be able to grope my way through the maze of funny shaped bathroom mats and poster prints of the Brooklyn Bridge to the frozen meatball place at the end.

I can never tell if I'm upstairs or downstairs, and my brain oscillates between "ooh that's so shiny and nice..." and "holy crap I am trapped in hell..." to the point I can't shop very well, and tend to come away without whatever I went there for or with something I don't really need.

I don't understand why there can only be one ikea, so everyone from bloody Joondalup to Mandurah has to cram in there on a Saturday. But I do like its comforting efficiency, and actually do like most of their stuff. I find the thought of ikea stuff very calming and predictable, but the experience of going there manic and chaotic. I think I will always be prepared to go there again, unlike Super crAp-Mart which was so crap in so many ways I will never bother again.


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