Fata Morgana (chimerically) wrote,
Fata Morgana

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IKEA is a religion

I went to IKEA for the first time ever today. I went in looking for a bookshelf. I came out with bookshelf parts, two wastebaskets, a lamp, and some batteries, feeling quite overwhelmed. The size and scope of that store borders on absurd. I must have been a sight, shuffling from arrow to arrow along the course they set to maximize the opportunities for us consumers to decide to buy stuff, gaping slack-jawed at the seemingly endless supply of cheap, trendy consumer goods.

I ate a late lunch of quiche and salad (all spinach! quite impressive) in their cafeteria, looking out over the freeways and bay and reflecting on how this experience compared with experiences at other megamarkets. IKEA does seem quite user-friendly compared to other similar stores such as WalMart and Bed Bath and Beyond. I appreciated the varieties of shopping carts available, as well as reusable bags, pencils and paper, and healthy (and so cheap! how do they do it?) fare in the cafeteria. I also appreciated that they were up-front about where items were made and how recyclable they were, and that they let us pull the items from the shelves and put them together. The process of shopping felt much more transparent than it does at other stores. And the Swedish names added an air of cosmopolite that I'm sure helped as well. :~)

I found it interesting that while I usually hate shopping, in IKEA several times I felt the urge to buy something I didn't really need just because it looked intriguing or cool. I usually try hard to minimize the amount of "stuff" I have to what I really need, but some of that stuff was hard to resist. I still managed to make it out with just things I actually did need, though (I've had years of practice overcoming the urge to get lots of books at bookstores, after all).

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