Monday, February 13, 2012

Ikea and the Game Table

You may wonder why I write about such mundane, ordinary things. But for me, these are all the little pieces of this foreign experience that I will take with me. And the other part is that my life has lots of mundane, ordinary bits. Sure, I live in a foreign country, and that can be exciting. On the other hand, the demands of taking care of five children do take up a large portion of my day.

Back to Ikea though. After unpacking for a couple of weeks, I was anxious to finish organizing. I knew Ikea would have the things I wanted to finish the house. We arrived at Ikea in the late afternoon. We were planning to eat and then shop. Alas, the restaurant closed just as we arrived for prayer time. Fortunately, you can still shop, so we wandered throughout the store, as is customary when you go to Ikea.

There is something very comforting about the familiarity of Ikea. We loved visiting Ikea in Sweden and New Jersey. Walking through the doors, seeing familar products and great design felt really good.

We buzzed through my list pretty fast. After going through the upper section of the store, prayer time ended, and the restaurant opened. Sadly, Swedish meatballs are not the same without pork. I had to ask for the gravy and lingonsylt (jam) when they were serving the food. Perhaps the local population doesn't care for lingonsylt? We sat in the family section and enjoyed our little booth.

I just realized that I haven't explained seating arrangements in restaurants. Family restaurants have two sections (even two lines): one section is for men only and the other section is for families. Men will join their families in the family section, but will eat in the male section if they are alone or with sons or male friends. Women always eat in the family section. Restaurants sometimes have two lines with a barrier in between. One line is for men and the other is for women. I think men can go in the women's line if they are with their wives.

The real news of the Ikea excursion is that we found the perfect game table. We had looked for a game table that was a bar table, but large enough to accomodate a big game--like Samurai Swords. (B and the boys love playing these epic games. We wanted a table that we could set up and leave without being destroyed by little hands.) We found the perfect table, but it was really WAY over budget. We decided to wait and save up.

After we had made our way through the store, I mentioned that I wanted to look in the bargain section. W found the table we had wanted at a huge discount. There were a couple of scratches on the surface, but nothing major. We were thrilled. The discounted table was below the price we had budgeted and so we purchased it. Somehow, my husband managed to fit everything in the trunk, yet another reason why he is a genius.

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