Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week have been public holidays. The sun has been shining and we have been able to take advantage to the full.

However, with visitors arriving tomorrow, Thursday, there were a few bits and pieces I needed to help make their stay more comfortable. Nothing major just a few cushions, candles and plants. Ikea seemed the best place to go to pick up all items in one place.

Reluctantly my husband came along. As soon as we arrived at the car park we realised we may have made a huge mistake visiting on a bank holiday. Down and down we went into the bowels of the car park, eventually our driver had to drop us and drive off to find somewhere to park. The omen wasn't good.

As we entered the store we were faced by swarms of people wandering aimlessly, and often against the direction of the arrows, horrors of horrors, they were committing the ultimate Ikea no no, one which my husband cannot resist doing when he is directed on where he should walk.

But the really strange thing was that the Chinese seem to view Ikea as an extension to their own homes. In fact we were left wondering whether some of them had actually taken up residency. There were people sitting around on the chairs reading, or in some cases taking a quick nap.

In the areas where room settings are on show people were making themselves quite at home. No one was bothering them, and Ikea staff seemed happy to leave them to it. In UK I was told to leave the store for photographing something! I couldn't help smiling when I saw one family eating some food and checking their phones in one of the room sets, they had even pulled in a high chair for the little one. Somehow I don't think Ikea in UK would put up with this.

Kids were drawing in room sets and older people sitting around on beds as if ready to take a nap.

The lady above looks as if she has had enough and is pondering on whether she should have a lie down. Also I couldn't help thinking that someone had already had a quick nap in this bed! 
 "Who's been sleeping in My bed?"
sprung to mind when I saw this unmade bed.

We arrived at the cafeteria and realised a coffee was out of the question. It was full and overflowing, not a spare seat anywhere, and it seemed many had brought along their own food to be consumed in the comfort of the Ikea restaurant. Once again I swear it seems as if people have moved in and treat it just like home. So on we went picking up the items on our list as we went. The crowds thinned out the further into the store we went, and by the time we got to check out areas it was practically empty, once again enforcing my theory that people were actually living in store, lol.

Think it's time for a bedtime story before this little one goes to bed!

So all in all a very interesting visit to Ikea Shanghai. Take out the people and you could be in an Ikea anywhere in the world, and I've been in a few. Put the Chinese people back in and it reminds me of just how different the culture is here in China, and that at every turn I am reminded of it. That's what makes my experience here so exciting and so different. It is an amazing experience, they are warm and welcoming people. I am so happy to be able to enjoy this time.
Still don't think I'll be able to drag my husband back any time soon. He's done his "duty" visit to Ikea China, just enough to keep me happy. Never mind there is always someone who will go with me, just next time I think I will avoid the public holidays when I visit.


  1. Amazing how different our cultures are - The very odd time I go to Ikea over here, I just skip to the kitchen section and then put my head down and head for the tills!!! I think I'd quite enjoy the Ikea Shanghai experience!!

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