Monday, March 1, 2010

IKEA on the wknd

Yesterday we did the unforgivable: spent the afternoon at IKEA. Those of you who’ve already visited IKEA on a wknd in Shanghai are probably rolling your eyes/shaking your heads now –and I know I know. It’s unforgivable. To the rest of you –allow me to explain.

To hang out at IKEA is super popular in Shanghai. Not quite sure if the store sells well or not, because far from all the “people who likes to hang out at IKEA” actually shops at IKEA. Sounds puzzling? Well, again, allow me to explain. You see, IKEA, being set out to be the store that caters for everyone, offers a lot of options to personal money spending. Instead of shopping furniture, you can:

• Buy 1 rmb ice creams or 5 rmb hot dogs from the small food shop downstairs.

• Play with your kids at the IKEA child section –plenty of fun toys on display, sorry, to play with. You could actually refer to it as a large, mall based playground! Perfect way for the kids to burn some energy.

• Have a nap in one of the large beds on display (you need to try it anyways, so why not go all in?)

• Have a seat in a sofa, chair or why not on a table (grab a chair cushion and place it under you –as comfortable as a kitchen chair)? Bring your own magazine or your best people watching goggles and you are set to kill a few hours.

• Take photos of all the furniture on display. Or even better: take photos of YOU in front of all the furniture on display!

• Locate a laowai (they are minorities during the wknd, but if you look hard you can still find them), follow them around and make comments about everything they put in their shopping basket (“scented candles for 20 rmb?! Laowais sure knows how to waste money!”)

• Browse the Swedish food shop downstairs –if you are lucky they have jars of nibble freebees that you can munch from until someone tells you to stop.

• Eat at the IKEA restaurant on the second floor. Not the best food in the world –but it’s cheap and you can tell everyone that you’ve been international enough to try Swedish meatballs.

See, IKEA’s so much fun on a Sunday!

Oh, I almost forgot, you can obviously also go there to shop –like we did. And escape 2 hours later –promising yourself that you’ll never challenge destiny that way again. Some survival know-hows if you are stupid enough as us:

• Try avoiding the showrooms and head straight to the market place. Crowded as well, I know, but you’ll win some time, and who knows, you might still be in a recently good mood once you are done.

• Don’t wear anything yellow.

• Wait until the Pudong store opens later this year (?). Two stores in Shanghai will probably ease the numbers of visitors. 


Reyjr said...

haha! i love Ikea. I wish they'd open a shop here in the Philippines.

Unknown said...

IKEA and more,eh? Got to try it when I'm in Shanghai!!!In Petaling Jaya,Malaysia, IKEA bustles too but this sure beats a shopping experience!

조안나 said...

I think some people do the same thing in the US too... maybe not quite as bad.... I think they always find some useless things they can by anyway.. .

Sharanya said...

Hi Jonna! I started reading your blog about a month ago when I moved to Macau and was trying to find some inspiration for my own blog about my new life here. I laughed at your Ikea story as I had a similar one in the Hong Kong store where I was mostly amused at how many people seemed to be just hanging out there with their friends on a Saturday evening. I was trying to read a price tag on a sofa and felt like I was intruding in one group's gossip session. Its good to know that others have similar thoughts on these things!

Jonna Wibelius said...

reyjr -oh, they are still to open in Philippines?! You've got something good coming! I really love the stores too. Never manage to walk out of there empty-handed.

Keats -uhh, not sure if I recommend u to try it, but if you wanna challenge your patience/stress level, then why not? ;)

조안나 -I think I am one of those people who always find something useless to buy.. whoops... then again, I don't sleep in IKEA beds, so I hope I am forgiven!

Sharanya -Nice to hear from a new reader, and glad to hear you found (did you?!) inspiration for your own blog!! :) (Made me smile, big time!). Yeah, the sofas are the most popular "hang out" spots.. haha! It's funny when you think about the situation afterwards, but while you are there you feel suicidal.

Kate said...

HA! I LOVE/HATE Ikea! I love the inexpensive, yet very cool furniture and decor options, but I hate how difficult it is to get in and out of the store! It was the only store in which I could find a true armoire. You know, the kind to hang clothes in, instead of putting a tv in it. And I love the lingon berry jam!

Brad Farless said...

You could have just described typical behavior at Singapore's Tampines Ikea branch on a weekend. My wife and I are guilty of it too. We go there with no intention of buying anything. We just want to look at the displays, lay on the beds, sit in the chairs, ogle strangers and then maybe eat before leaving. It's also a nice way to get some free air conditioning. In fact... maybe we'll do that this weekend...

Jonna Wibelius said...

Kate -yeah, once u r in you cannot get out until you walk through it all... u like lingon berry? Try a lingon berry martini -now we are talking!!!

Brad -busted!!! Haha, well that shows that my wknd guide is universal.. or maybe asia-ersal?!

tour and travel said...

Nice information, this really useful for me. There is nothing to argue about.
Keep posting stuff like this i really like it. Thx.

Hans Li Engnell said...

"Don't wear anything yellow." Best advice ever! :-)

Melody said...

Haha oh god, are you kidding me? Taking a nap in a bed in the store?!

But I LOVE IKEA! I live almost next to the IKEA here in A'dam, and I go there often, just to buy the apple+cinnamon scented candles :)

And you're so true about 'don't wear anything yellow'! Everytime I wear a yellow top, people will come up and ask me something about the MIKAEL desk, haha.