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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Trip to IKEA

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI'm moving to my new place in about a week, and today I decided to go furniture browsing with Tiffy at IKEA. Everytime I drop her off at Kipling station, I walk past signs pointing to a free IKEA shuttle. I've always imagined that this shuttle would be a shiny, white bus with conservative styling, similar to a large Volvo. Imagine my surprise when the real "shuttle" arrived and I saw that it was a modified Ford pickup truck with a cracked windshield, driven by a Chinese man with thick gloves and a large puffy vest. There were no IKEA signage anywhere on this vehicle, an absence I suspect was insisted upon by IKEA's lawyers to reduce company liability. The seats consisted of two wooden benches and a small folding chair anchored to the flatbed of the truck by four screws. I suspect this is the sort of bus people use to transport migrant workers along the Mexicali border. In short, the quick trip from the station to the store was eye-opening, but uncomfortable.

This whole experience has forced me to re-evaluate my former admiration for the Swedish furniture giant. But I suppose their shady shuttle buses shouldn't really surprise me in light of a recent article in the Economist that claims the whole IKEA operation is a huge accounting scam. Apparently IKEA is a owned by a tax-free Dutch "charity" devoted to advancing interior design. You can't make this stuff like this up if you tried. That a Swedish store, owned by a Dutch charity, can induce people to drive for miles for a chance to buy overpriced, flimsy, unassembled(!!!) furniture is a testament to Swedish genius. Incidentally, their green-herb salmon (pictured) is a delectable treat.

Your Favorite Jerk

That picture was taken with my new phone :)


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