Yesterday’s vacation adventure was a trip to IKEA. This would be our first trip that required taking both the subway and a bus. We walked to the subway station and discovered it empty compared to the last trip we had taken. No one was running for the train and when we got to the train there were plenty of seats for everyone in the family. We were all wearing masks just to be cautious given the virus that is active in China right now.
It was a short walk from the train station to the bus stop. We had to wait several minutes for the bus and when it came it was also almost empty. The most interesting thing was that one of the men on the bus was a Christian and a very vocal one. He tried to talk to me, but since I know no Chinese, he quickly moved on to talking with my son who does speak Chinese.
After a short ride we got off the bus and began our walk to IKEA. We were grateful for GPS because we initially headed the wrong direction. We were still a long way off when we spotted the big blue and yellow building. Once inside, we were in very familiar territory. We had arrived at lunch time and after washing up we got into line for our food.
I had one mishap related to not knowing the language. I wanted to try the shrimp and mozzarella patties. I just wanted one, but they are the same price whether you get one or three. The server tried to give me three and I should have taken them. Only in looking at the receipt later did I discover that my single shrimp patty was very expensive. It was good, so I’m glad I tried it. We all had plenty of food and were well prepared for an afternoon of walking and shopping.
The organization of the store and the products were very familiar. Most of the signs were provided in both Chinese and English. Occasionally, there was a product that probably would not be found in a store in the U.S. The power strips were different, and it was possible to buy chopsticks in the eating utensils area. The big purchase of the day was a rack for the pantry. I was wondering how we were going to get it back to the apartment. As everyone was eating their ice cream cones, I found out. Instead of Uber the Chinese use a service called DiDi. It is the same principle. With an app on your Smartphone you call for a car and it comes to pick you up. Half of us returned to the apartment in the car with all our purchases and the rest of us returned on the bus and subway.
The new rack is a big success. The reorganized pantry is much roomier. It is now possible to open the refrigerator door without leaning against the windows. Grandma made quiche for dinner. We were all exhausted after a long day and slept well.
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