We had heard rumors that IKEA at Tempe near the airport was magic. Friends of ours told us via Face-book they had bought an entire kitchen there. He had loaded up his large SUV vehicle with 6 trolleys of flat-packs and that it even included the hexagonal Allen key. He confessed he was exhausted afterwards. It had been a big day.
We needed a lamp shade after having bought one from Aldi. The Aldi lamp shade came also in a flat pack and with a tiny Allen key as well. It was made of stainless steel tubing that would slide into one and other to form the stand. On the picture it showed a lovely curved shade that would, because of its curved steel tubing and shape, hover over the reader and his or her book while its stand was modestly kept behind the chair or, as in our case, behind the comfy settee. After assembly on the carpeted floor it looked a bit strange and the curve was far greater than anticipated. Also, because of the canter-levered construction, the lamp would totter and hesitate, could hardly keep itself upright and threaten to topple over at any moment. To counter this, I put a small piece of wood under the stand. It now tilted the opposite way. After looking at it for a few weeks we thought it was too ridiculous. Hence our plan to visit that Mecca of interiors, the IKEA store at Tempe and buy a ‘good’ one. It would be Swedish and therefore good.
We left Bowral on a bright sunny day. We had driven past this IKEA some months before and had even flown over it. You could not miss its blue and yellow, so sternly Swedish with hints of Ingmar Berman’s ‘seven seals’. The position is perfect on a busy highway and right next to the airport. The import of flat packs (from China) could almost be parachuted right to the front door or even onto the roof. The over- flying aircraft are so close you can see the rivets in their metal coverings and stroppy standing passengers hauling their luggage from the over-head compartments.
When going to its entrance one is already greeted by the first umlauts and strange Swedenised Anglo words. The shopper softens up, bulging with pride being introduced to a foreign language. After entering a massive cathedral like entrance space we half expected a moody Max Von Sydow to greet us. No such luck though.
There were young girls handing out oversize and brightly coloured yellow bags. The large bag had us stumped. What was this for? We felt a bit silly. We noticed everyone going up the elevator all had those large empty yellow bags. Surely it would not be possible to put a bed or chair in it. Once upstairs we joined a throng of other shoppers going through a vast maze like area of endless beds, settees and completely fitted out rooms with a décor of items all ladled with umlauted names and price tags. There was so much of it, a dizzying choice. I felt overcome but noticed many of the comfy chairs had already been taken up by elderly people like myself, overcome and freaked out. (With and umlaut)
We shuffled on hoping to see a suitable lamp stand. At what price a well lit reading enjoyment? This Tempe IKEA is so large and so full of Sweden and its China produced umlauted articles, it must be tempting not to book the hotel next door and take a couple of weeks to see it all.
With dehydration setting in and a spell of agoraphobia we needed to make a quick resolution. Out! Of course with the planes roaring overhead ever thirty seconds or so counter blasted with equally loud music, many shoppers just get on with the business of filling those yellow bags. It transpired there are many kinds of objects that one is tempted to buy. Tea-light candles for example. Two hundred for just $ 4.99. Who can resist? Put them in the bag. Packets of Swedish tissues or napkins put them in the bag. Tea-pots with a name dual vowelled and umlauted; in the bag! Swedish embroidered shopping bags, 6 for $ 19.90; in the yellow bag!
We found, after an exhausting two hours our lampshade, all in a small flat pack; in the yellow bag. We made it to the exit, emptied our yellow bag. I noticed IKEA catered for the exhausted shopper. There was a huge eating area. They were selling frankfurters on a roll for just one $1.-
I was dragged away. Back to Bowral. I sat on the carpet and assembled our new shade stand. Perfect! Thank you Sweden. (China)