far too much writing, far too many photos

runswithscissors


Monday, September 03, 2001

This last Saturday found me following a well-worn trail, one taken by countless hordes of Spanish consumers: the inexpensive furniture pilgrimage out to one of Madrid's 'burbs, Alcorcón. The pilgrimage to Ikea. A trip on the metro, followed by rides on two different buses. All to get me to an enormous store 30-40 minutes outside of the city for a couple of hours' worth of trawling for chairs, lamps, etc. Shuffling along with hordes of Spaniards through two enormous floors of household STUFF, finally emerging out in the late summer sunlight (along with hordes of Spaniards), blinking in semi-stunned fashion, arms full of STUFF, feeling like I'd just spent two hours in a blender.

The weird part: grueling though it was, I'd do it again. And may, this coming week.

I'd never set foot in an Ikea store before this, though the company and I had a brief, gratifying mail-order flirtation a couple of years back, stateside. One that began when I encountered a chair at a yard sale, an extremely comfortable bentwood, slingback-style item. I parked myself in it, found it to be seductively comfortable, so much so that I found myself handing over $20, wrestling the chair into my car, dragging it up two flights of narrow stairs into my apartment. Where with time it became clear that this chair had been a steal, one of the most inspired uses of a $20 bill I'd ever made.

A few months later, an Ikea catalogue mysteriously showed up in the mail. I flipped idly through it, unenthused, until I found myself staring at my yard-sale chair. My wonderful $20 yard-sale find, sitting in someone else's living room. Whereupon I immediately ordered another. One that had never become intimate with another human's hind quarters prior to mine. And when it arrived -- white, inviting, radiantly clean and new -- I pulled it out of the packaging, put it together, sat myself carefully down in it. And found me totally seduced, to the point that I hardly ever used the yard-sale chair again, probably breaking its bentwood heart. (I got a matching footstool with the new one -- an excellent move that greatly enhanced my lounging hours.)

There are many things about my new piso that feel great. Some of the furnishings, however, were not designed with human comfort in mind. Especially furnishings meant for hosting the human butt. Hence I traveled to Ikea with an eye toward finding some slightly butt-friendlier items. And what did I find? That same bentwood, slingback chair. As comfortable as ever, and less than half the price than its catalogue counterpart in the States. Less than half the price. Waiting patiently for me, thousands of miles from northern Vermont, where its brethern (or sistern) are currently lounging about. Naturally, I and my butt were thrilled at this discovery and spent a fair amount of time reacquainting ourselves with this piece of designing genius.

It's an odd phenomenon, Ikea. My best friend once talked about going to a store somewhere in southern New York/northern New Jersey. He told me he found it depressing, that everything looked cheap, shabby. And I saw some of that during this recent Ikea field trip. But I also saw a furniture that I would happily buy and use, especially if I were part of a couple outfitting a new home. In a case like that, I suspect I'd lobby my sweetie re: buying a bunch of it.

The crowd at the store in Alcorcón seemed to consist almost exclusively of Spanish couples and families, the exception being me, the token single male. (Sniffle.) Couplehood and families seem so important to Spaniards, something that nearly always strikes me as endearing. I think they may do it better here than it's done in the States, but then maybe it's just that they haven't traveled as far as the States has re: women moving out into the workforce and experiencing their own freedom, with some of the repercussions that's had on the social structure. That's underway here, but is still a relatively recent development. It'll be interesting to see how they do with it, what kind of effect it will have. Three or four months back, the cover story for the Sunday magazine of the lefty newspaper El País was entitled "Who Needs A Husband?", featuring profiles of a number of successful Spanish careerwomen who'd chosen to remain single. This may not seem like a major deal to someone from the States, or at least to someone from the northeast U.S. or the west coast, but it's a serious change in the societal paradigm here.

They're beautiful, by the way, Spanish females. Interesting, lovely, all that. I saw a woman a few days back whose walk -- whose simple act of walking -- was so graceful, so relaxed and lovely, that for a moment it literally stopped me in my tracks.

But I digress. When Ikea spat me out into the intense late-afternoon sunlight, my hands and arms were full of STUFF I had to wrestle in and out of buses and the metro. A small price to pay for getting it all into the new space where it all looks absolutely bitchen.

As I was in Ikea on Saturday afternoon, when the place was heaving with Spaniards out to spend bunches of cash, there was no opportunity to latch onto a salesperson and flog them with my still-limited Spanish to the point that we could arrange for the purchase and delivery of actual furniture, STUFF I can't haul onto buses. We'll see if I get back out there this week to attempt that.

In the meantime, the moving life continues. Later this morning, the landlord of my current place will show up, we'll go through the piso together prior to me getting out of here. A process that will, if all goes well, be boring and uneventful.

We'll see.

rws 1:35 AM [+]

BLATHERINGS

August 2001
September 2001
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
June 2009
July 2009

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


MORE FOCUSED BLATHERINGS


Travels:
London '01
Pamplona
Italy '03
U.K. '03
Sevilla
Casablanca
Stoke-on-Trent
Barcelona
Québec/Ottawa
Boston/Lisbon/Madrid
Italy '04
Montréal
La Sierra

Events:
Madrid -- arrival
9/11
Emergency Room I
Holidays 2001
Holidays 2002
Holidays 2003
Holidays 2004
Holidays 2005
A neighbor's passing
Madrid -- March 11 bombings
  and aftermath
Emergency Room II
Israeli friend/Madrid Marathon
Madrid -- Royal Wedding
The DELE exam

GONE, a novel:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

THE BASTARD CHILDREN OF
JOE ROCCO, a novella:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3

BURBANK SHRUGGED,
a screenplay:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3
-- Part 4

Short stories:
Murphy's Wife
Another Autumn
La Queja de Una
  Hermanastra Muy Conocida

Autobiography
-- Personal History
-- Hormones On Parade
-- Accidents, Random Mishaps,
    Personal Problems

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


OTHER SOURCES OF WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT

People/Weblogs:
dooce
foxvox
fudge it
fear not
rebekka
bookslut
802online
idle words
madhaiku
wockerjabby
grow-a-brain
rebel market
letting me be
out and about
kung fu grippe
fanatical apathy
baghdad burning
wfuv's music blog
kexp's music blog
mimi smartypants
between the miles
just a hippie gypsy
the impossible cool
tomato can brushes
vermont homestead
sugar mountain farm

Good Clean Fun:
gizmodo
futurismic
postsecret
dave barry
human clock
mcsweeney's
spaceweather
book-a-minute
internet archive
self-portrait day
my cat hates you
out of context quotes
surrealist compliment
  generator
strindberg and helium

Makin' Musical Whoopee:
last fm
stereo8
pandora
soma fm

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


ABOUT RWS/CONTACT





This page and all its contents copyright © 2001-2011 by runswithscissors unless otherwise noted.


runswithscissors would like to thank everyone who's ever lived for everything they've ever done.



Syndicate This Site


Blogarama

BlogCatalog

Bloggapedia, Blog Directory - Find It!



technorati profile

Subscribe with Bloglines

www.flickr.com
runswithscissors' photos More of runswithscissors' photos