Is 1 hour and 10 minutes long enough to visit Ik*a?

December 9, 2016



The short answer is no – especially if you don’t have anyone helping you – but let’s start by pronouncing things properly. If you go back to the shop’s nordic roots, the name should be pronounced “i-kay-uh” (with the i sound as in igloo) and not as us Aussies tend to say “eye-key-uh.”
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I would like to share with you my visit to a retail prison.

It was a cold and rainy night. I thought it would be best to visit after work because there would be less people. This was certainly true, but I faced some other difficulties: finding all the items on my prepared list, deciding whether the items met my standards of quality, resisting unnecessary purchases, completing the circuit before close, getting back to my car and escaping the carpark.

I piled my plastic containers and half-size bookshelf into the trolley, paid and wheeled myself out to be met by steel barriers- no trolleys past this point. I wheeled out to the pick-up area and asked the last teenage staff on deck how I could get to Lower Ground Green.
“I can look after your trolley for you while you get your car”…
“But don’t you close at 9pm?”
“Oh yeah. You’ll have to get back here by 9pm”
“Well it’s 8:55 so I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
“You can’t take the ikea trolley out.”
Fenced in. Trapped. Would I sleep on this loading dock? Or would the boy be kind?

“You can use that” he said pointing to the small Coles trolley standing in the rain. The trolley for unorganised single people. The trolley allowed into the carpark.
I transferred my purchases into the smaller, wet trolley – playing a special balancing game. The teenager had to “buzz” me out of the carrells – a privilege saved for wheelchairs and prams. I moved carefully toward the carpark lift – no access to Lower Ground.
Ok then what? A long ramp. I rolled down and checked for another lift- no access to Lower Ground. Ok then what? A long ramp. I rolled down and checked for another lift- nothing – but a crash. One of my plastic containers fell onto the concrete and cracked.

No lift or ramp in sight. I went back into the shopping centre towards the travelator. A sign: “No trolleys -please use lift” (with vague arrow)..But where is the lift? I started to sweat. I finally found it and I found my car, but where was my parking ticket? The one I thought I put in the small pocket in my backpack. I was thirsty. The ticket finally appeared – creased. I managed to get free parking, but was it worth it? My plastic was cracked.

In a tizz. Drink bottle, wallet, parking ticket, receipt, phone, strewn across the passenger seat. I accelerated out of the boom gates. I had escaped the labyrinth, but the night was not yet over. The orange petrol light came on.

I will leave you know to ponder the most perplexing riddle of my visit – why does the green pear-shaped lamp cost $24.99 whilst the exact same version in white costs only $9.99?