Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ikea Aieee

Well this wretched bug and its after-effects continue to drain my energies, mental and physical - so I'm grateful to Malty (see under Radio Day) for reminding me of this momentous event, which I somehow missed. It seems that, true to form, Ikea celebrated by creating traffic gridlock in every city where they have a presence. What is it about Ikea? They sell some really rather good stuff, much of it well designed and attractive (as well as some dross) - and yet they manage to create one of the most horrendous retail experiences known to man. Personally, my last visit to Ikea made me vow never to set foot in the place again, and I've stuck to it. There are, after all , several companies that will do your Ikea shopping for you, and deliver, for a consideration. Why would anyone then inflict the full 'Ikea experience' on themselves? Some kind of herd instinct perhaps, or even an evolving national pastime. As for lutefisk - it's scary...


  1. Nige, the ultimate IKEA experience is their Koln/Bonn big shed.
    It makes T5 seem like a cornflake packet, it is huge, massive, enormous, gigantic and, strangely, full of Germans.
    about 3 weeks ago, at 8 o'clock on a Friday night, it was packed to the gills, causing us to miss several hours of serious alcohol consumption (collecting goodies for Malty juniors new schloss)
    As you say the experience is very unpleasant and some of their furniture really is well designed.
    Some future sociologist will have a field day writing a thesis on late 20th / early 21st century family life, centered around their retailing habits.

    Oh dear, just heard the news, "nuke e'm all" has beaten Barack.

  2. Nige, in fairness to the Swedes, Lutefisk is not their fault - the blame lies squarely with the Norwegians. I was induced to try it once and it is every bit as vile as you might imagine. Given your current delicate state, I won't describe in detail how my digestive system reacted to the abuse, but I believe "the English woman who makes strange croaking noises" is still remembered fondly in suburban Oslo.

  3. Sophie, you are exactly right, lutefisk is a Norwegian "delicacy", first introduced to me by my Norwegian friends years ago, tastes like soggy cardboard.
    It is the centre piece in festivals all over Norway.
    My understanding of the stuff, told to me by Mai Britts mum, is that you first catch a cod, leave it out to dry forever, dunk it in brine forever, cook it then eat it with copious quantities of aquavit (must be Linnie, has to cross the equator and return)
    More Norwegians are caught driving over the limit after these festivals than any other activity, and finishing up in the nick for one month, you can choose when, though, in case it clashes with you hollies.

    Their finest nosh however, is pulsa ulumpa (may not be the correct spelling)
    This is a frankfurter in a roll.
    There are roadside cafes all over Norway specialising in the stuff.

    The first time I tried lutefisk I did not notice the taste, I had just seen the price of the bottle of wine and was in shock.

  4. Is Lutefisk what everyone was eating in "Babette's Feast" until Babette served 'em that haute cuisine repast?

    As for Ikea, you are clearly males speaking of it being an odious experience. Young women dreaming of their apartments, esp. those about to cohabit with the young male they're dragging through the showrooms with them, adore the place. It's a place of dreams. I've bought a few things there, but I urge everyone to stay away from their dining chairs. That cheap wood doesn't hold up long when it's got daily weight upon it.

  5. Susan, you have absolutely made Nige and myself's day "clearly males" wow, gee thanks hon, Frau Malty compares me with Quentin Crisp (and, when she's been at the Grappa, Larry David) that's because he smiled at me once, across a dining room floor.
    Just picture Nige and myself as a combination of Redford and Newman.

    None of your odd American Ikea shopping habits seem to exist over here, mainly students dragging parents with open wallets around.

    And !!! shame on Mr B, Hillary bloody Rodham bloody Clinton indeed.

    The Maltys are submitting plans for a nuclear fallout shelter, fitted out with IKEA goodies of course.