I’ve arrived! I’m now officially resident in Budapest! I got my first Ikea catalogue in the post today. And what’s more, I read it. Scary. I found a book shelf that would fit my kitchen. Not quite the black wrought iron job I had in mind, but it would do the trick. And the job I was waiting on hadn’t arrived (and still hasn’t arrived), so I decided to take advantage of the moment and head east.
From my flat, it’s a 7-minute walk to the korut, a 5-minute tram ride to Blaha Lujza tér and then the piros (red) metro four stops to Ors Vezérs tere. Door to door about 30 minutes. Ikea has opened a shop in Dublin and are expecting so much traffic that they’ve had to delay their opening hours to 11am so that people have a chance to get to work before the hoards descend. Myself, I don’t quite get the attraction! And I’ve just finished work on a marketing book with a case study on Ikea in CEE and it certainly made me think twice about shopping there again… I’m not a chardonnay girl!!!
But it was going to be a quick in-and-out job – I knew what I wanted and could carry nothing more. I was back, job done, in 90 minutes. The only moment of indecision came in the CBA (the corner shop) on the way home: a beer or a G&T – which was more appropriate for the task ahead? You would think I’d know this but, although I have Ikea stuff in my flat, I have never put anything together myself. I have some great friends who know my limitations. In the end I decided on a beer – it was a job I reckoned that would require more brawn than brains!
Four shelves graduating in size (check); four metal legs (check); and 16 screws (check). Everything present and correct. I had a quick look at the instructions. Clear.Simple. No bother. It took me a little while to figure out how I was going to do this with only two hands (and yes, it was a little easier when I put down the beer!). I tried propping up the frame, but it kept falling. Metal frame hitting stone floor in the calm dead of night… that’s a sound that resonates! After the third fall, I thought it time to think a little. I laid the frame across two chairs. Good job Maro… not half as stupid as you look girl! Then it was a matter of lining up the holes and getting the screws in with one hand using that funny allen key. At some stage I realised I must have been absent the day God was handing out coordination skills! After many a wonderful cuss word had been set forth upon the unsuspecting universe, I finally had it together. Standing tall….but slightly leaning to one side… mmmm… I checked the instructions again and saw that the holes where I was to screw it into the wall were not where they were supposed to be. So I took it all apart.
This time I was more careful. The holes were now where they were supposed to be. I put it back together again, a little quicker this time as I sort of knew what I was doing. But something still wasn’t right. It still wasn’t level. So I looked at the instructions again, and this time noticed the little arrows underneath the legs (isn’t Ikea clever!!!). They all had to be facing a certain way. But they weren’t! So I took it apart again, swapped them around, and put it all back together again.
But something still wasn’t right. So for a fourth time, I checked the instructions (both diagrams) and noticed that I hadn’t matched up the legs properly – the extensions were on the wrong sides. So I took it apart yet again and once more, put it back together. And then, the moment of glory. I set up up against the end of my units and it didn’t fit! And yes, I had measured… but I’d measured from the wall and not from the skirting board. That loud wailing you heard in Hawaii Deb… that was me! And I wasn’t crying because the bloody thing wouldn’t fit; or because I couldn’t read the instructions properly; or because I had to redo it so many times; or because it was a wasted journey; I was wailing because the beer wasn’t cutting it. Ikea is definitely a G&T job!