Ikea Saturday

Ikea at Rhodes is big. Really big. Much bigger than the one I used to have at nearby Moore Park.

I was so upset when Moore Park Ikea closed. It was so convenient, being only a ten minute walk from home. Getting to Rhodes was a far more complex affair, especially since there was track-work today.

I went there with a couple of goals in mind: to buy some household goods and to eat some “typically” Swedish food.

The meatballs were a bit of a disappointment to be honest, falling far short of the meatballs I enjoyed in Sweden, and most memorably at Skansen. For a start, the accompanying potato was mashed. And secondly, the meatballs were a little dried out, and definitely in need of that murky brown sauce and cranberries to make them edible. Yes, I knew it was always going to be the case, but I hoped nonetheless.

Still, I enjoyed some Marabou Chocolate which is the same all around the world, thank goodness.

After lunch I went in search of some new cutlery. That was all I wanted. Though of course I ended up buying some saucepans, a bedside light, and some some cards.

I also walked around practising my Swedish by saying as many words and names as possible outloud. Clearly, I have no shame anymore, or perhaps it’s confirmation I’ve joined the ranks of Sydney’s freaks err bohemians.

Ikea Sydney

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m not a good shopper. In fact, I kinda loathe shopping. And after a while I had a minor panic attack. “Get out of here”, I thought to myself after about an hour or so of mindless consumerism.

Despite this, the whole experience remained wonderfully Swedish. Although the vast majority of shoppers were of Asian descent, I heard three or four people speaking Swedish which was kinda fun.

In particular, as I was looking at some of the Swedish food on the way out, I overheard three young people looking at the food and speaking in Swedish. “Jag har inte”, I heard one of them say, as he looked at the goods in the freezer. Literally it means “I have without”, but in this context it means something more poetic like “I miss them so much!”.

As I sat on the train station at Rhodes to catch the train back I thought for just a moment I was back in Sweden. It was modern and quite clean. The trains ran on time, though obviously less frequently. The colour scheme was the typically Swedish blue and yellow/gold. And it was surrounded by medium-high apartment blocks. For just a moment I was back at Solna Centrum in the dark suburbia of Stockholm. Of course, I was in Sydney’s equivalent.

6 Replies to “Ikea Saturday”

  1. marabou! that’s it -thanks for reminding me. yeah such a hassle out at rhodes…

    I’d always wondered about the food being so cheap and all…

    the swedish are very patriotic aren’t they- stockholm pretty boy actually went around with a blue top and yellow scarf!LOL

  2. Hmmm… there have to be better places in Sydney to eat Swedish Food. I don’t know much about Swedish Food but I’m sure you can get better in a Servo in Sweden than in the IKEA at Homebush.

  3. Mscherry – yes the chocolate is great isn’t it? At least I didn’t wear my Sverige shirt. That would have confirmed me as a total freak and not just a minor freak.

    Tom – yes, there’s a Swedish restaurant at Newtown I’ve been thinking of trying. But no, I’m not sure if I agree with you about getting better food at a Swedish food. Swedish servo food is totally appalling.

  4. Your love for Sweden reminds me so much of my love for Australia. It makes me kind of sad. It reminds me of those first few months after I came home.

    Were you in Sweden a long time? How did you become interested in it? Do you miss it a lot? Please ignore my questions if they’re too intrusive. I tend to be a bit nosy.

  5. We have a trip to IKEA on our list for this week. Lots of little things needed for the house. And if the Swedish restaurant in Newtown is run by the Swedish couple who used to do the food at The Hampshire on Parramatta Rd, Camperdown you’d be on to to a good thing. Their food was marvellous. The meatballs were done with lingonberries and cream sauce. They went into catering when the Hamp was done up about 7-8 years ago, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had since opened a restaurant.

  6. Dina – it all came from the ABBA thing and it’s been a slippery slope ever since. I don’t exactly know why but I kinda “get” the Swedes. And I don’t think I miss Sweden, but I do want to some further exploration. In the back of my mind is a plan to live there for a year in 2010 or 2011, depending on what happens with my career/work, and whether or not I can become sufficiently fluent in Swedish.

    MH – I checked out one place on the net tonight called The Gourmet Viking and it seems more “Danish” than “Swedish” actually. I’m struggling to remember the name of the other place I read about at the end of last year. At any rate, The Gourmet Viking was closed tonight. But somewhere on my agenda this month is a little more Swedish cuisine, of a higher quality than that served at Ikea.

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