Suburban Swedish Embassy

So my fucking cat pissed all over my goddamn bed again last Saturday night and while I personally felt that my duvet could survive one good cat pissing, I had to draw the line at two. I can eat a chip that’s fallen on the floor, but once it’s rolled around and gotten hair all over it, you just gotta let it go. And so it was with my duvet. Once yea twice, but alas, ne’er thrice pissed upon ‘twould it be.

It would cost at least a tenner to clean the fucker and it would probably still smell like cat piss to my fucking cat that’s gifted with a superhero-sized sense of smell. Since we bought it at IKEA in the first place and they had one like it in their catalog for £35, Saturday night cat-cursing quickly gave way to Sunday afternoon shopping. Perhaps it was fate’s way of keeping the Swedish motif going for me. Cheers.

IKEA International Airport, Terminal 5

After a Northern Line train from Camden Town to Euston, a transfer at Euston to the Victoria Line and then quite a journey up to Tottenham Hale, we had the pleasure of waiting for about 50 years until the shuttle bus arrived to take us from the suburban tube station car park to the IKEA. In Chicago, you had to have a car or know someone nice with a car if you wanted to shop at IKEA, as there weren’t any trains or shuttle buses to take you there. I really do appreciate that in London one can get to IKEA via public transportation, but I think a part of me misses travelling there by car. Because whilst shopping in IKEA, knowing that a car is at my disposal in the car park gives me comfort. I have an escape route, an exit strategy.

All that standing around waiting for the shuttle made us hungry. The smell of fried chicken wafting over from the nearby KFC didn’t help either. So upon entering IKEA, we made haste to the restaurant, in search of cheap Swedish meatballs and pie.

Once we waited through the long queues and got our food, the desire to hurt small children subsided and we found a place to sit down and eat. It was then that I experienced an IKEA-related emotion that I never thought I’d have: I started to like it there.

The IKEA restaurant was completely anonymous. It was sterile and neutral. It was an in-between place, like an airport. After two free coffee refills and a half plate of meatballs, I started to believe I was in international waters. Whose laws applied here? Maybe we were on the edge of slipping into anarchy and then if we ran out of meatballs, we’d have to eat people.

Rin at IKEA Edmonton

Outside the large wall of windows, suburban sprawl stretched as far as I could see. British suburban sprawl, American suburban sprawl, it’s all the same. Maybe it’s because I so deeply associate suburbs with America that I found this experience especially disorienting. At any rate, I was fastly drifting into the arena of the unwell, so I finished my fucking meatballs and pie and went to replace that pissed on duvet.

Later that night, tucked under the warmth of my dry, unsullied duvet, with my cat locked in the kitchen away from any absorbent fabrics, I found myself closer to resolving the question of what North London football club I should support: Arsenal can go fuck themselves, Tottenham has an IKEA!

IKEA Restaurant and Cafe