Last Friday I went to IKEA (pronounced Ee-Keh-Ah by the way) (that’s right, I have a secret pass to Swedish) and as usual said to my client that day: “Wish me luck. I’m going into the bowels of hell.”
So I shopped around for a while, getting the last pieces of furniture for the guest room/ big bathroom I’m building downstairs, and in the middle of Elaka Brallor or Bögjävel or Myspågarna or whatever that folding table was called, I suddenly realised something.
IKEA isn’t the bowels of hell at all! I had spent a whole 30 minutes without having my eardrums perforated by “Hah-llo! Welcome!” Nobody had stood right next to my elbow, breathing softly on it, saying “We have many collah”. Yes, there hadn’t even been a single “can I heltchiu”. The management at IKEA obviously think people know how to shop and can choose stuff for ourselves. And, when I did need help, the blue-yellow little helpers were extremely service-minded and efficient.
Best of all, I probably talked to five or six of the staff and not one of them started clapping or laughing when I spoke Cantonese, they just answered my questions in Cantonese as if I were a normal human being.
IKEA, you have my vote! Now forget the meatballs and start producing clothes and shoes. Then I will, like the people in the video above, move in.