|What a mess!|
The printer, sitting on a footstool with printer paper piled on the floor beneath wasn't a long-term solution, so we needed something bigger. In Iowa, we would have just gotten in the car and driven to a thrift store like Goodwill for all of our furniture, clothing, and junk needs.
In Dublin, charity stores are great, but we have yet to find one of the cavernous warehouses like a Midwestern Goodwill store. All of the charity shops we have found here have a great selection of clothing, but not as much room for furniture and junk. Besides, we don't have a car, so we rely on the Dublin Bus for getting around town. Thus, we can't gamble that any given charity shop will have what we need on any given day. Having no choice, we had to go new...
"Where can we get new furniture at low prices?" Of course the answer, especially in Europe, is IKEA. I had never set foot in one of the colossal temples to consumerism, even back in America. I had no idea what I was in for.
We set out first thing on a Saturday morning. The IKEA store in Dublin is 18km (11 miles) from our place, so walking is out. To save some bus fare, we walked to City Centre to where we would have had to make a bus transfer. We arrived at City Centre before the crowds had grown too large, and caught the bus north to IKEA.
We had packed a lunch for the long trip, and were glad we did, because we arrived at IKEA just about lunchtime. We decided to eat lunch before we went in just so we weren't tempted to get Swedish Meatballs once inside.
|The Dragons' Den|
My problem came (probably) not from the setup, but the intense crowds of a Saturday afternoon. The one-way stream of appraising shoppers gave me a distinct sense of being trapped. It is impossible to turn around because the crowds are pushing behind you and impossible to move faster because the crowds are touching the sheets and discussing at length their various attributes.
Also, I noticed a startling number of young children. I have never seen so many kids in a less kid-friendly place. IKEA is full of small, fragile objects at kid-grab height, with innumerable bouncy chairs, beds, and other pieces of furniture. I fully respect each parents' right to choose what to do with children, but I was just surprised at how many large families brought the whole clan along. I have to respect the men who came along with the wives and all the kids. In America, I would imagine many families would leave kids home with Dad while Mom goes out to shop. Maybe they have evolved beyond those kind of gender roles here, and maybe we were just out and about before the hurling match began that day.
I swallowed my agoraphobia as best I could, and we made our way through the showroom. We found a TV stand that would fit our needs and our budget. We took down the warehouse location and moved on. We picked up a few more household things, including two black boxes to act like desk drawers before we got to the end of the showroom and arrived at the warehouse.
The crowds thinned in the warehouse, so I calmed down enough to find our TV stand in a flat, manageable box near the end of the first aisle. We checked out and emerged into the bright sunshine at last. Luckily, the next bus was just arriving as we came out the front door, so we hurried to the bus stop and caught the bus home.
Below is a photo essay of the assembly and setup of the TV stand.
|First, dinner! Home made Pizza Margherita, beetroot salad, and extra sauce|
|Opening the box|
|Opening the Hardware|
|Instructions that transcend language barriers. They are told only in|
images, no words.
|Assembling one of the legs|
|Driving in a screw with a special tool included with the kit|
|Screwing in a peg with a real screwdriver. The screwdriver|
is part of a bicycle repair kit we received as a gift.
|Finished! After just a few errors corrected.|
|File box (after assembly, yep, assembly)|
|Watching Parks and Recreation with the printer and file boxes.|