August 2007


I’ve got a Bug

Convertible BugWell, a Volkswagon Convertible Bug, that is.

Because today’s wedding is in a public-transport inaccessible spot (particularly in the evenings), I’ve rented a car for the weekend. I was supposed to get a BMW 1er class car, but because the car I was assigned was not at the car rental agency, I got a VW Bug instead.

Mind you, had it not been a convertible, I would have objected, but because it was a convertible, the first question I asked, upon sitting in the drivers seat was, “how do I open it up!?” That question quickly answered, I was on the road.

I had to reacquaint myself with stick-shift because I’d been driving an automatic all summer in the States—I managed to stall the car only twice, with two other near misses before my left foot understood its basic purpose in life: prevent the car from stalling and to help my right hand shift gears.

After that, it took some adjusting to the fact that I could go anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted, and buy more than I could carry – meaning that I could go to the grocery store and buy cases of food and only have to carry them across the street, not across several streets, down a couple of blocks, and then into my flat.

Yellow RestaurantIn the edible consumption department, I visited Real, Penny Markt, Toom, and Globus; along the way buying cases of canned tomatoes, canned kidney beans, and canned back beans in chili sauce. I cleaned out the stores—investing in lots of things, like pasta, tortilla chips, and Happy End toilet paper.

It was a grand time—I got to see places that I’d never seen before, including the poorly named Yellow Restaurant—an Asian cafeteria located outside the doors of Toom. If it were in the States, I imagine there would be regular protests in front of its doors for its (slightly) racist name

Ikea LunchBut that was not the only thing I did with my Bug—I took it over to Erfurt (top down, naturally) and went, for the first time in my life, to Ikea. I’d heard a lot about the place—from close friends and on the net, so yesterday I decided to lunch there, eating the highly recommended Swedish Meatballs. A colleague advised me to get the large portion—so I did, and although they were incredibly tasty, I regretted it almost immediately. Twenty Swedish Meatballs is too much—and eating them, along with potatoes and the ill-advised, but delicious muffin, stuffed me to the gills.

Ikea EingangAnd since I was there, I decided to explore the store—no point in going to the Vatican without seeing the Pope, right? Without meaning to, I was almost immediately enchanted. Before I even really got into the designer showcase aspect of the store, I found myself with a stuffed rat, which is now living above my bed, which is covered in my new Ikea duvet cover, Ikea pillow, and Ikea pillow cover. Maybe I need a new Ikea Bed to go along with everything I have so far.

The store, for those of you unfamiliar with Ikea, is laid out like a rat’s maze (appropriate considering the stuffed animal I already had in hand), and although there are a few shortcuts, you’re pretty much committed to seeing everything that Ikea has to offer, from Kitchens, to Bath, to Bed, and for children. Let me just say, Ikea is a very child friendly store—I saw lots of children, but for the most part they were invisible because they were playing with the stuff designed just for them—mad props to the store designers on that point.

Hanging NapikinsI really lost track of time—I remember entering the store behind these two young men (one was quite cute), and then, later, after I finished the designer showcase part of the store and had moved on to the “we’re flogging all kinds of light and easy to carry crap” part, they passed me. I was absorbed in the lamp department, since I needed a new lamp for the flat. I then got stuck in the bedding department looking at what had to be at least 20 different kinds of pillows, before making my final selection (no more polyester filled pillows for me).

By the time I made it to the gi-normous furniture in flat boxes warehouse part of the store, I’d had my fill: I’d been in the store for about 90 minutes and there was no way I was going to buy any large, flattened, furniture objects, so I headed to the cash register and then to my car.

I had completed shopping at four grocery stores and making my trip to Ikea, all in 22 hours, and I was exhausted.

Suffice it to say, I went to bed early last night; mindful of the fact I am staying up late for the wedding tonight.

11 comments to I’ve got a Bug

  • I found myself with a stuffed rat

    Ha ha! EVERY time we go to IKEA our younger son tries to talk us into buying one of those rats! And in my humble opinion, you lucked out with the Beetle convertible. 🙂

  • I’m glad you had a great time at I-queer-ya.

    In the states, this is definitely the store where the boys are.

    We don’t have one in Conservative Hell, though I’ve seen a sign along the interstate between here and Civil War Starter state saying that one is coming soon.

    And… A stuffed rat?

  • In his usual contrary style, my partner James always insists upon starting his tour of IKEA at the END (near the registers) and works his way “upstream” to the front doors.


    Our favorite section of the store is the kids’. They used to have wonderful plastic reflective mirrors in various op-art designs.

  • haha. i love this blog entry_yeah! ikea’s got its magic, because one cannot leave that place without buying at least…lets say, a coffee mug, or candles or swedish cookies…

  • koko

    why don’t you have a photo of you with your new rat on here…tisktisk.

  • Ed

    I have never been in an Ikea store. I didn’t know they would have food. I can’t drive a stick shift.
    Maybe TQE should have a car all the time? Oh the convenience, oh the fun, oh the freedom.

  • @mausi: I questioned my sanity when I picked up the rat; on the other hand, I had a convertible, so I felt like it was a lucky weekend. You should give in to the temptation of a rat…

    @cq: I think the closest one to where I lived in the States was up near Chicago–way too far for a short trip. I wouldn’t go more than an hour to visit one.

    @Cameron: The kids stuff was cool, but I didn’t end up buying anything from that department. Not even Pippi Longstocking.

    @anki: I hope you’ll consent to taking me with you the next time you go… I could get lost there.

    @koko: so many things to photograph, so little time. BadAdam.

    @Ed: It’s nice having a car for a short time; and I think I will rent one again down the road, but they are expensive to own. As for the stick shift, I am happy I learned how to drive one, and I would prefer to never ever touch an automatic again. Unfortunately rental cars in the US usually only come as automatics.

  • yes, let’s get lost at ikea. great! anyways, if you ever need to go somewhere, tell me and i will saddle my little vehicle.

  • B.

    Et tu, Adam?? Another comrade falls to Ikea…

  • @Anki, that is quite generous… I may take you up on it every once in a great while. Now that my pantry is stocked, bringing home veggies from the market is not such a nasty chore.

    @B: I like the Meatballs, what can i say?

    @Carol: Maybe we need a global Ikea Blogging Day: everybody go to Ikea on the same day and blog about their experiences.