Since we moved to Korea people have told us that Ikea was going to be built here. At the risk of sounding like "back in my day" kind of whiner, I want to tell you about my mixed feelings regarding Ikea being built here at this time. First of all, I love Ikea-trendy, cheap items for my home? Love it. Sign me up. But listen, you need to know how stinking hard it was to decorate our apartment when we moved here. I could NOT find a floor lamp here. Rugs were not only hard to find, but when I did find one at Emart, it was $700. Now when other expats move here, they'll just pop over to Ikea and get everything they could ever need.
Knowing the difference between how crazy Costco is on a Saturday in the U.S. and how it's 10 times crazier here, I was braced for full on lunacy with Ikea. I heard it's about an hour drive to the north and west of where we live. Officially, Ikea opened on Thursday. Our winter break started Friday afternoon and we decided to go on Saturday. Soo and Heidi wanted to go too, and we decided we would get there right when it opened at 10. I figured that we would need an hour to drive, 30 minutes to sit in the car waiting to get into the parking lot and maybe an hour to wait in line to get into the store.
First we stopped for coffee, were led astray by the gps directions (we crossed the Han River 4 times when really, we needed to cross the Han zero times) and got to Ikea right at 10:00. There was an additional parking lot for the Lotte outlets across the street, so we parked there and decided we'd just pick something up at Lotte to validate our parking. This area is like a little golden triangle of shopping: Ikea, Lotte Outlet and a Costco.
It was not at all as crazy as I had anticipated.
|Looks like a line for a ride at Disneyland, but it's just the entrance to Ikea|
|This guy was wearing a tank of coffee on his back pouring cups to|
those waiting in line.
|They were also handing out these hand warmers|
|me and Soo, ready to shop!|
|see? Normal prices|