Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cooking, not complaining

Moving out doesn't just mean painful IKEA shopping. It also means cooking, for oneself. Honestly, there are only so many sandwiches you can eat before you decide to buy a cookbook and get creative. While my own cookbooks came with my mother last week, I have been desperately searching the web for easy, non-oven necessary (because my owners never had it plugged in), recipe.

My first success was this Black Bean Couscous Cakes from the Flippantly Vague Musings of a Quirky Vegan. The only problem with this recipe is that it makes tons and tons and tons and tons of food. And there are only so many ways to serve or top black beans.

I enjoyed it.

The IKEA pledge

Let this be the first/test post

Moving to Spain was also moving into my first flat. And as any aspiring new apartment dweller will know, IKEA is the staple of habitation and decoration. Unfortunately.

Maybe my experience has been Spanish, as opposed to Ikea-an, but it has been enough to turn me off IKEA for the remainder of my life. Definitely, the European store branches are less intelligent than their North American conception.

I own the Hemnes bed in Montreal. And it remains the nicest bed made by that company, and so I bought again when I moved to Spain. Now, let me explain, first of all, that I don't speak Spanish. I can read it and understand it fairly ok, but I cannot converse in the language. But it wasn't difficult for my mother (who was with me early in my move to help out) and I to be clear about what we wanted, i.e. the bed. When the structure arrived were we told that it could not be mounted because the bed was missing it's lateral structures. These needed to be purchased separately. So we found ourselves with only the head and foot of this stupid bed. Also, the store sold us the wrong table, we had asked for the living room table and instead they brought us the kitchen table (which is still in it's box in the entrance of my flat... waiting to be picked up one day).

We ran to IKEA the same day of the delivery and tried to explain that half of the bed was missing and we could not understand how they would miss parts of the structure when we mentioned we wanted to buy the "todos estructuras". The girl was very sorry for the misunderstanding and had the laterals sent to my place for free. Also, she arranged to have the table taken away. And mum and I bought a couch during the same visit.

So the next week, arrived the laterals and the couch. The delivery men, who had indeed worked very hard to get the couch to my floor realized they were on their break just as the dropped the couch outside my door. The couch, unfortunately did not fit by a fraction in the door. And instead of helping me, they left. Leaving my couch outside my apartment on the landing. I was stuck that afternoon with removing my front door from its hinges, pulling and pushing in the huge couch, and setting my very heavy door back in its place. It took my hours and I nearly broke my foot and right hand.

For all the frustration I would feel then, nothing would come close to this past week. My mother returned this week to spend a week with me. We was set on putting my bed together, never knowing how long it would take IKEA to come back to do what we had paid them to do a long time ago. As we set the head, foot, and laterals together it was obvious that something, to our great dismay, was missing... the metal bar that holds the whole thing together. It was 5pm on Wednesday, and we needed to go back out. So we did. We found the piece easily, we bought a couple of missing things, paid, and then needed to wait 2 hours for something to come out of their warehouse. 2 Hours. 2. Hours. It was nearly 10pm by the time we came out of the store. And we were not the only ones who waited forever for their stuff. An elderly couple also waited 2 hours, families with children waited as long.

What is wrong with IKEA? What is it with them to mess around with people like this. Making people return over and over and over again to their stores because their entire structures don't come as entire structures? Making people wait for hours to get the stuff they paid for and their only answer is: "You'll just have to keep waiting..." Sure, their products are great to a certain extent, but their service is terrible and they're staffed by kids who don't care, which at minimum salary don't have to care.

All this to say that I pledge to never buy anything from IKEA ever again. This week was the last moment I will ever give to that place. Even if I have to pay more money for less I will. I pledge to boycott IKEA.