A hot date that was

What do you do when you’re on a hot date sans baby with only two hours to fill? Visit the largest home furnishings store in the southern hemisphere of course! Well… actually, we started out the night with the best of intentions. With only a few hours to fill, a movie was out of the question so we dropped by our favourite sushi-restaurant-that-shall-not-be-named and ordered up. I think I may have gone off sushi. I am not sure how or why this has happened but it really didn’t go down too well at all. So that puzzled me and was slightly disappointing plus we were massively tired and grumpy and at one point I announced that this was the worse date ever. Perhaps I was exaggerating just a little, especially when the sushi-restaurant-that-shall-not-be-named chef sent us over a couple of free icecreams and things started looking a little brighter.
So then we were at a loss as to what to do next. We headed on down Victoria Street and voilร ! IKEA’s new super store presented itself as the perfect Hot Date spot. It was 8.30 so even though the store has been only open a week or so and from all reports is a crazy, crazy place to visit and should be avoided if one has an aversion to crowds I figured that only a very few people would really want to spend their Saturday night killing time at IKEA half an hour before closing. And we have come to the conclusion that IKEA at 8.30 on a Saturday night is the perfect place to go on a date. Not only can you oooh and ahhh at amazing amounts of Scandinavian cheap design, but there are hundreds of little mini apartments / rooms done up to look as though someone really lives in them and at 8.30pm they look very lived in. It’s as though you get to walk through all these little houses and peer into someone else’s life. Most of the beds looked as though someone had just got out of them sporting huge hang-overs, rugs were rumpled and tripped over and most of the bathrooms even looked as though some one had just used them – greasy finger marks on mirrors and rubbish in the display rubbish bins.

There was a kind of surreal atmosphere created by over tired kids, frazzled parents, inner-city hipsters and eager-to-get-out-of-there IKEA store people, all following the arrows on the floor that allow for no short cuts. With a guy announcing periodically over the loud speaker that the store would be closing in “20 minutes…” 15, 10 and 5, there was a slight sense of panic to get through all the different sections. A sales assistant told me that the record for getting from the start of the store to the end is 7 minutes. You would have to be truly belting through the place at a rate of knots to do it 7 minutes. The most amazing thing about IKEA is the pure hugeness of the store. The smell of pine gets a bit much, and if you actually wanted to buy something the queues at the cash registers were phenomenal but it was definitely an experience. In fact, I would go as far as to say that IKEA Richmond would be a great place to go after dinner (and a few ales) on a first date. You can wander aimlessly through the store and there are plenty of opportunities to make gags, gawp at other people and suss out what kind of person your date really is. Does he go for the slightly bizarre ILEN tv bench? Perhaps he goes crazy in the pots and pans section (a good sign for sure) or maybe he keeps smoothing down quilt covers and tugging at stray threads hanging from sofas, all the while tsk-ing over little kids who are experiencing IKEA in their own way.

Following our trip to homewares heaven, we dashed over to Borders to kill the last half hour and browsed the magazine section along with the multitudes of others who were perched on any surface possible flicking through their chosen mags. I purchased the Martha Stewart trifecta (1, 2, 3 – I really need to do something about this Martha Stewart fixation. It’s getting a bit sad and expensive) and we got out of there within the “free half hour” car parking time limit. So our date that could have been the worst date ever turned out to be pretty fun.

And P? I wasn’t scared of those swans on Sunday. I was wary. And rightly so. They were big, mean and hungry (but they did have very pretty wing feathers).

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19 Responses

  1. “Gone off sushi”?
    Pure tragedy. I don’t know what I’d do.

  2. I wouldn’t blame you if you were scared of the swans. They are intimidating birds for sure!

  3. verashiro@hotmail.com says:

    Claire, I love your new design style, but also I miss your old cute way… would you please me with some more old style drawings, uh?Thanks,

  4. Thanks vera, for the kind comment about my new style and my old style. I like my new style at the moment so new style it will have to be for a while, and then perhaps I will dabble again in my old style making it my new old style as opposed to my new retro (current)style. We shall see.

  5. i can feel and share your excitement! i was so over the moon when i heard about the opening of this huge ikea (planning to go this wkend)! there are too many lovely things and now i just need my own apartment to put them in (i won’t even try to buy and then squish them all into my shoebox of a room). so now i’m praying for a drop in the price of apts hopefully by yr end. wishful thinking?

  6. celblaus@yahoo.com.br says:

    What a coincidence!!!Yesterday (at brazilian time) I purchased the Martha Stewart Living too… The recipes and new ideas make me crazy!!! I am reading and looking for something to do first and fast. I have another ideas from Martha, specially about Christmas that I made last year. These are really “a good thing”.

  7. Going to IKEA *after* dinner? Heck, if your IKEA is anything like ours (and in my experience, they’re all pretty much alike), you could go to IKEA *for* dinner. Mmm, Swedish meatballs and lingonberries! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Wow – sushi and Ikea sounds like the most perfect date ever ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I can’t hardly wait to get an IKEA here in Florida, USA! For now I have to order from their catalog. They say they are opening lots of new stores through out United States. I just love their kids furniture! and everything else!

  10. gone off sushi? does that actually happen?

  11. perhaps this says too much about me, but i have the ikea ILEN tv bench. it’s strange modular style just cracks me up! mine is much more GREEN than that picture though. i think that’s half of what i like so much about it.
    also, the worst thing ever is trying to get through that store quickly (like if you are only looking for a few small things). “the ikea stroll” must be the slowest walking pace possible. the store near me does have a few little shortcuts, though you still have to walk through all of the mini apts first.

  12. Actually, Lucky and I have often gone to the North New Jersey (USA) for a dinner date.
    It’s usually a Monday or Tuesday since the New Yorkers who want to take advantage of the 3% tax zone aren’t filling up the parking lots.

    We generally go for the swedish meatball special with the lindonberry juice drink and the 75ยข piece of chocolate cake. Then, while holding hands and sipping that Swedish liquid goodness, we gaze at the sun setting over the NJ Turnpike. With about a half hour left before closing, we rush downstairs and I look through all the seasonal stuff like the really cheap paper napkins and leftover Christmas decorations, while Lucky laughs at my excitement.

  13. suzette@neuronwave.com says:

    Re: Martha Stewart, I’m waiting for the photos of your efforts of a dreamy dozen of enchanting marbleized eggs… ; )

  14. eh@oboj.net says:

    Oh, IKEA! Maybe it’s just the patriot in me, but I love IKEA… I really could wander around in there for hours.

  15. whenever I go to IKEA, it’s inevitable that I end up walking around for hours… lost. ๐Ÿ™‚
    i like a lot of the furniture, but the shopping process is pretty labor-intensive. i bought a bed/frame there a few months ago, and you basically have to to go a “self-serve” warehouse, find all the huge pieces, lug them onto a cart, and wheel them to an isle that’s wide enough for a car to drive through.

    then you hazard the parking lot from Hell.

    all in the name of cheap furniture!

  16. I used to like visiting Ikea. Then I changed my mind when my parents started buying stuff from that store and I ended up assembling everything! I ask them why I always get stuck with the assembly and they always reply with “You’re the engineer!”. It’s useless to remind them I took COMPUTER Engineering and nowhere in my education did it include assembling furniture.

  17. My favorite thing about Ikea are the cinnamon buns. I also love the cheap linens.

  18. porgeness@hotmail.com says:

    That IKEA is insane…dropped in today and played dodge the prams. You should come in to the food section of Victoria Gardens and visit Toscano’s (the fruit shop that I work at) for some yummy veg! Toscano’s of Kew has branched into Richmond as of April 10.

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