Today was the longest day ever. Seriously… I left the house at 9.30am and other than a few trips back to change shoes, returned at 10.30pm. Whew.
A few weeks ago, I joined the local ladies center and have been taking pilates. So my morning started there, where I met a super sweet fellow classmate who invited me out for tea after class. She’s lived in our neighborhood for 40 years and knows this place like the back of her hand! It was great langauge practice and I got to make a new friend. Good start to a day. Then, this afternoon the Photographer and I went to the castle to look for 2 things: a new knife for him and a nightstand for our guest bedroom. We found neither. Instead, we spent an hour at the top of the castle talking to people. More language practice! And by the time we made it back to the bus, my feet hurt sooo bad! I broke out the sandals for the first time today… I think I’m gonna need more bandaids. The plan from the bust stop was to head to a mall with this cool outdoor store, eat dinner, then go for a run. We got the first part of the plan accomplished, but then a friend texted about the new Ikea that just opened today and we decided to go.
And that’s where the madness began.
First, we didn’t leave until 7pm to get there. In America, I never would have started something that late, especially when it takes close to an hour to get there. But we’re not in America anymore… and that’s just what we do here. So when we got off the ‘exit’ thingy by the new Ikea, all you could see were cars parked on the side of the road for a few miles. The store was still pretty far away. It was like the state fair or the State-UNC game. But, we really want to go, so we kept driving. Then we passed the store and there was just a sea of people in a massive queue to get in the place. But, we kept going. After looking for a parking place for a while, the Photographer just droped our friend and I off and we waited in the line while he parked and then met us there. Now, we Americans like our personal space. Think Dirty Dancing. This is my space, this is your space. That’s how I like it. That is not what the queue felt like. I felt like a sardine! But after an hour of waiting and shuffling foward (or being pushed, rather), we made it in the door!!
Once we made it inside, it wasn’t as crowded as we expected but it was still nuts. We couldn’t see the arrows on the floor and went the wrong way, but I don’t think anyone else was following them either… so no biggie. We found our spoils (the most prized of which is the Photographer’s new knife magnet) and perused our way to the cash register. There was soooo much more I wanted to look at. Just stroll through and take my time. But, every 10 minutes we heard the countdown to closing time, so I guess we’ll just have to go back 🙂