image: headache

I’m surprised to learn the Swedish word for toilet pan isn’t Ikea.

What I don’t get is why that company goes out of its way to make their stores an unpleasant experience. You have to trawl through what seems like miles of irrelevant crap to get to the part you want, and the routes are carefully designed to be indirect and full of disorganised gawping junkies blocking the way. Mind you, I can understand the junky bit: Brave New World’s Soma is about the only way a good mood could survive the Ikea experience.

You know those nightmares you have where you have to go somewhere urgently and you never seem to get any closer? Welcome to Ikea.

So I had to go there. I’d planned what I wanted on the Internet, and, for that, their website is useful. It allows you to identify everything, and even gives you the aisles and places where things can be found in their warehouse. This is what I did today. It worked a treat. I went in round the back, found what I wanted, grabbed it, paid for it, and got out. I spent the minimum time there and I avoided the junky dens.

But my plan was ruined by my partner. We’d agreed we’d do our thing independently. I could go buy my stuff, while she did her thing. Once I’d finished, I’d go and hide in the cafeteria, muttering under–my–breath comments about food worst than the British (which would have been a lie, although it’s appalling in the local context), and wait. But no, she rang me and told me she wanted my opinion on something. I fell for it, foolishly. I lost two hours of dawdling amongst junkies in that cold hell, when I could have been doing a merely irritating sod all. I’m writing this three hours later, and am still in a foul mood.