Friday, February 8, 2008


Last weekend we decided to drive 180km to a well-known Swedish furniture store, since we absolutely could not live with our horrid computer desk any longer. We were also in need of several other items, such as a rug for the hall, some end tables and something to keep Ro's dollhouse on. Since prices in any regular furniture store are outrageous, we decided it was well worth the drive.


We got lost. This place should be easy to find because it's big. No, let me rephrase that: it's huge. And you would think there would be lots of signs saying, "This way to the Swedish meatballs, yah." But no, there was only one sign and even that one wasn't clear (maybe saving on signs helps keep the prices down). So we got lost, and an hour and half turned into two.

When we finally found the place, we descended upon the store with our best "Eye-kee-uh!" war cry, ready to get the best deal matter what. Never mind that besides the necessary desk, rug, and tables, we also came home with some extras.

There were these fabulous cushions for the couch that we absolutely couldn't live without, and even though our closet is bursting at the seams with sheets, we found some that were too pretty to leave behind. And the kids had to have a prize for behaving so well. After all, they spent two hours in the car and got dragged around from one furniture display to the next. So, they were appeased with an offering of some beads and a few tiny stuffed animals. Oh, and they also got a mosquito net for their beds. There aren't any mosquitoes in the winter, you say? Do you think the kids care about that?

What's amazing is that we actually managed to find our way out of the store again, because it's a labyrinth. Once you're in, there's no going back, and no shortcuts to be found. You just have to allow the wave of people to carry you from one section to the next, and even though it seems like you're hopelessly lost, eventually you will somehow end up at the exit. You end up finding all sorts of treasures along the way that, after driving for two hours, you just can't leave behind because who knows when you'll be back. And if you were to wait until the next time, you might not remember the name of the item since they have these impossible names.

"Wait, it was the Ofattbar, wasn't it?"
"No, that's not it, it was the Skitsnygg."
"Well, I don't see it, but there is a Skitdålig, will that do?"*

One thing's for sure, I'm not buying the Fartful desk...just in case.

So, once you work your way through the maze and find what you were looking for, you leave with twice as many things as you had planned to buy in the first place. But all of them are useful and necessary. If anybody tries to tell you they're not, just shut them up with your war cry. "Eye-kee-uh!"

After finding the exit, we had to brave the seemingly endless lines at the checkout counters. Why is it that every time we come here, half of the Spanish population seems to have had the same idea? Don't these people have something better to do on the weekend?

We finally got to pay and we went home, which was a feat in itself. It took us nearly an hour to fit everything in the car, and we actually had to open some of the packages to do it. But nothing would keep us from getting our loot home and, with a bit of determination and a husband with a talent for packing the trunk, we came away 500 euros poorer, but victorious.

That was the easy part. We still had to put all the stuff together, and that's one of the things that have been keeping me from my blogging. But it's done now, and while there are still a few urgent things I need to take care of, at least I have a fabulous new desk just waiting for me to get to all the really important things, such as writing a review for The James Bond Dossier. But first things first. I have to vacuum up all those tiny beads that got spilled all over the floor, before I step on them...skit!


At Scrivel you never have to stand in line.

*Remember, this is all in good fun, so if you're Swedish don't get your trosor in a bundle. I actually do like IKEA and Swedish meatballs. Oh, and the accent is cute, yah?


  1. I live withing thirty kilometers of the large Swedish furniture store near BCN, and I have spent a full two hours looking for it as well. An extensive tour of outer Barcelona. It isn't lovely.

    Love the new desk...I have to go too one of these days.

  2. very cool. i love that writing desk. I love the glas space underneath as well. What in improvement.

    I love IKEA...stuff goes so quickly out of fashion and you taste changes. With Ikea can accomodate this :)

  3. very nice. your desk will stay that neat? if so i am in awe. complete awe.

  4. Laughing out loud!

    I witnessed many dramas in the -well-known-Swedish-meatballs-place, from people buying way too much to kids jumping on beds and breaking one in the process, from couple arguments over a set of chairs to teen rebellion over buying first furnitures...

    I like the place but I always feel sorry that I can't buy the whole store. And I'm so with you on the names!

    "Oh, I love your new table"

    "Yes, it's a hywetwvv".

    "Can yu write me that on a piece of paper? I need to replace my own table at home?"

    etc. :D

  5. orneta: Well, at least now that you know where it is, the next time should be easier. We only go when it's absolutely necessary because it ends up being an all day affair.

    minka: What we didn't foresee was that the cat would like the glass space too. Now she spends all her time sticking her paw inside and knocking things to the floor. :)

    lime: Oh yes, absolutely...right. Actually, it probably won't last a week that way. It's already starting to accumulate papers and stuff the kids leave lying around.

    Zhu: My kids keep asking "Where are the toys?" the whole way through. It's really a great place to do a sociological study, because you can really learn a lot about people just from watching what they do at this place. We always get a kick out of the names too, and wonder what we're really saying. For all we know they could be swear words. ;)

  6. HAH! I don't even know where the keys are on my computer to type some of those names.

    Coooooool computer desk. Nice.

    I think I had a bad experience with Swedish meatballs at some point, because the thought of them makes me feel ill.

  7. Welcome to the club. We too make a 100 mile trek to visit our nearest Ikea on a yearly basis, you know - to restock for the winter. The last time I was there though I grabbed a ticket for a faucet, and after working my way through the maze for 1/2 hour was sent back UPSTAIRS to go get it because that particular item wasn't stocked in the warehouse. I felt like a game piece on a board game.

  8. Congrats on the skitdålig (shit-dough-a-league)!
    I hate IKEA but recongise it is a necessary evil. You do not want to be heard saying this in Scandinavia for fear of the Immigration police!

  9. Wow - it looks great! You should see where I blog... even the cat doesn't want to come in here!
    Maybe my blogging area is a labyrinth too...
    Catherine, the redhead

  10. I think all marriages should perform the 'put the furniture' together test to see if you can survive it. In fact, that should be a practical application test when applying for marriage.

  11. frogster: I don't know where those keys are either, but I'm really good at cutting and pasting. ;)

    jeff: Yeah, we're all just pawns in a giant game of IKEA chess.

    beaverboosh: I have to confess that I googled it. You hate IKEA? Better watch out, the immigration police are on their way right now. ;)

    catherine: Hmm, if the cat doesn't want to be there it must be bad. All the more merit for writing such funny posts. :)

    ve: We've done this many times, so no surprises here. The first time was before we ever got married and it came off without a we got hitched.

  12. Dang, but the new desk space looks grand.

    I have the IKEA addiction, too!

  13. the only place in Spain to go if you want a good price.My kids call it the "hot dog" store. Really it is probably a svot dog, no?