Monday, September 17, 2007


Ikea in Finland

Do you know Scandinavian god of cheap and sort of stylish furniture? First of all, I do not want to make any adds. However, this worldwide chain is by all means a cultural phenomena, worth of serious analysis.

The housing office, which provides flats for students in Jyväskylä, has organised a bus trip to - yep, Ikea. Despite Sweden is close (or just because of that), there are only two Ikeas in Finland. Okay, it would be reasonable to put one near Helsinki, and another one more up north. Like closer to us. Hell no, both current Finnish Ikeas are in Helsinki surroundings. The bus trip itself was cheap, but still we required a couple of hours to reach the promised land. It was Saturday and it looked like half of Finland decided to do such trip as well, nevermind several miles. And it also seemed bus pilgrimages to this house-item sanctuary were quite common.

It was my first time in Ikea, despite I could visit those close to Slovenian border some time ago. But for some reasons my first Ikea happened in Finland. And, well... the store itself is big. It took me an hour, I guess, to locate all the stuff I have been after. Finnish students usually hire unfurnished flats, so such a trip is really useful. Alright, I live in a furnished flat, but I required a couple of other basic things. So, my commercial self awoke...

Basically, I do not like myself going commercial. I like shopping, sometimes, but I also despise it. Kind of love-hate relationship. Once I was told - of course people need this and that, yet too much things, this is nonsense. Like piles of things lying around the house one do not even use... The sentence stayed well in my mind, though I am not in touch with the one who said it no longer. Perhaps it is even hard to tell. Bad conscience because I spend some money? Might be, too. I am ashamed of my commercial self, I even hate it - yet at some occasions, I would still behave commercial. Join the shopping crowd, howl with the wolves... and so on.

The shopping crowd was big. Saturday-like. Even when I let my commercial self out, I certainly do not like shopping in crowded mega markets. Nevertheless there was no other option. And I filled my trolley. So, now I am a proud owner of, for instance, two Ikea table lights. I actually needed two, but one of them I bought because its name in Swedish meant Darkness. And yes, it was really cheap.

Now my Roninmäki room looks cosy. Somehow, my commercial self would like to visit Ikea soon again, oh dear... but my modest self is also satisfied. Finally, the practical visit was useful by all means; we will be given a whole seriously theoretical lecture on cultural phenomena named Ikea within our studies.

Our stuff


alcessa said...

I have always thought Ikea was actually "going basic", not "going commercial"...

Our flat is basically an Ikea - a good thing if you move from time to time and don't want to damage your 18th century, 5000 EUR wardrobe :-) or silk-clad chairs and cristal lustres and stuff... :-)

kaneli said...

Going commercial title is applied mostly to myself... as I have had some bad feeling considering spending money. :D But still Ikea is so popular that it is commercial, in a way...

However, I have got quite some stuff for a very reasonable amount of money. Now I like my student room. :) Thus, I am really looking forward to my next Ikea visit, whenever it will happen.

P.S.: Perhaps, I am also slightly growing up as I am more interested into house-stuff rather than clothes and shoes only. :D