The More Things Change, the More Things Stay the Same by ExpatrordinaryAmsterdam!

Twenty-three years ago after getting married we moved to Washington, DC for work and it was then that I was introduced to this amazing and wonderful and gigantic store called IKEA. Newly wed, with little to zero money, we needed to buy items that were not expensive, yet attractive and functional to help start our home. Practical in terms of price as well as design, we visited IKEA on many occasions buying items for the kitchen, living room and bedroom. We all know this Swedish store has positively everything one might need aside from the house itself.

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Moving a few years later overseas to Holland, IKEA was a godsend helping to fill the sparse expat apartment we were provided in The Hague. Three years after that, we moved to Copenhagen and I was able to frequent the largest IKEA I had ever seen on a monthly basis. Complete with a play and arts&crafts area, FREE babysitting service, restaurant and massive shopping space, it was like a little piece of heaven for me, a new stay-at-home mom, needing a respite from the cold dark grey day and a couple more things for the house.

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Falling in love with simple and sleek Scandanavian contemporary minimalistic design at every turn, in the IKEA aisles and in Denmark, I took home (to the USA) an appreciation for the modern. Here we are, once again, expats living in Northern Europe, this time in Amsterdam, heading to IKEA to furnish the kitchen, the living and dining rooms, and the empty walls and floors. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

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As anyone who has shopped at IKEA knows, you may go in looking for a few things, but you will check out with a cartload or two. If you are not paying for delivery, and do not have a car, it is a little tricky getting household wares home from IKEA. Thanks to a relatively new American company called Uber, this problem is solved. We quickly figured out Uber drivers who accept to pick up anyone from IKEA come ready with empty trunks and the ability to put down backseats to accommodate you. Cheers to innovative Americans in San Francisco (who founded Uber)! And the smartphone.

Recently, we rented a car for a day to take our Newfoundland to a vet a half hour from our home, specializing in large breed dogs. With this in mind, I immediately planned a trip to – you guessed it- IKEA! It is hard not to get excited at the thought of picking up those things you desperately need for your everyday living but cannot carry them home on your bike or in a shopping bag. Slipping this side trip into the conversation with my husband (the driver), I am greeted with a look of “oh no, really, seriously, do we have to!?”

Backing out of the parking space in front of our house, I gently remind him “Watch out for the bikers.”Again, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

 

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