Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Drive 1050km(667 miles) to IKEA to buy furniture

A completely empty apartment.
A young Norwegian woman sleeping on an air mattress on original wooden floors from the 1930's.
Her office is on the floor consisting of a Mac and a printer in her Art Deco apartment on South Beach, Florida.

Four weeks living in this spartanian home and something had to be done.

Went out every night after work searching all the furniture store in the Miami area, finding nothing but Big, Bigger than Biggest dark brown, plastic, fake leather sofas and furniture with no sense of style and design...

I did find some gorgeous design stores, but my wallet did not seem to appreciate it as much as I did. Then, what is a desperate European doing in her search for a nice looking home without being bankrupt?

The answer is IKEA. IKEA in Atlanta, Georgia. Only 1050 km away (667miles). I called Atlanta and they told me if I ordered online it would take three weeks to receive the furniture. No, no, no....I could not live like this three more weeks!

I have met some super cool and nice Swedish young men during my short time here. One of them have helped me with everything here; finding apartment, banking, parking permits and getting electricity (something you only get with American credits and good reputation). Without his help I would have given up long time ago and gone back to freezing Norway. Tack så hemskt mycket!

I called Magnus and asked if he wanted a road trip to Atlanta. Crazy to go 1050 km to buy furniture? Yes... Luckily he wanted to join me and we could stay with his Swedish uncle and aunt living there. We flew up Friday evening and got picked up by uncle Peter and aunt Harriet. They took us to a very nice restaurant. They were so nice and funny. After one hour the waiter came a bit irritated and wondered if we were going to order the food soon. We had so much to talk about that we forgot we were in a restaurant. Sometimes a good glass of wine and nice company is enough...

Early the next morning, uncle Peter, Magnus and I went to IKEA, after picking up the Penske truck. I did not expect to be happy to see the ugly IKEA building, but I did. When you are far away from home and see something familiar you feel a little bit like home. Just like how happy Americans get when they see we have McDonalds in Europe too.

Do you think it is easy to decorate a home in one day? Well, it is not, and especially not for a girl who knows exactly what she wants and not. After six hours of searching every corner of IKEA my new home was set. How my two Swedish men held their good moods all the time I do not understand. Thank you so much! Maybe it helped that we had Swedish lunch: meatballs with mountain cranberries and Swedish apple pie for dessert. Actually, that meal, with a taste of Scandinavia, is the best meal I have had for a very long time. I ate 15 meatballs and Magnus had 20!

When we came back home completely exhausted to aunt Harriet, she had made the best hors d'oevres and homemade lasagna. We had a very cozy evening and a night stroll to visit the neighbor’s goats. The surroundings were very beautiful with the leaves in orange, yellow and red. It was nice to get some feeling of the fall, compared to sunny Miami.

Early next morning, the 12 hours drive with the Penske truck started. It was a nice sunny beautiful fall day. Everything went smooth. Magnus is an excellent driver and I could just relax and entertain him with some jokes about the Swedes. You know, the Swedes and the Norwegians have jokes about each other. For instance: Why are the Swedes standing in front of the mirror with their eyes shut? Because they want to know how they look like while they are sleeping. I is hilarious. The road trip went very well, and was not so tiring and boring as I feared.

The very next day Magnus gave me a very pleasant surprise. I had been working until midnight and when I came home my apartment was clompletly furnished! He had been in my apartment and built all the furniture. A true handy man! And so good to me!

I could finally go to sleep,
in a completly furnished apartment
as a young Norwegian woman sleeping in a bed standing on wooden floors from the 30's.
The next day I could work on a desk with a nice fury office chair in my Art Deco home.