Lets first start off with saying that I normally HATE IKEA here in Brussels. Long lines, tons of people, children running amok, carts blocking every conceivable aisle and pathway as their owners walk away for what seems like hours causing long traffic jams and fierce tempers.
Well, when I was awake at 8 am on a Saturday with nothing to do, I decided that I would head to the grocery store. On my way out to Carrefour I decided to run around to Ikea and deal with the chaos to buy some new pillows and odds and ends I've been needing.
I get there, the parking lot is almost empty - as in I got a front row right at the door spot without having to fight for it and basically being able to choose one of multiple different spots. Cooooool!
I take a deep breath, walk toward the big massive doors, and prepare myself to enter hell. The doors slide open and silence reaches my ears...wheres the noise from the screaming kids in the play land? I slowly ventured into the building, riding the escalator up to the show floor where I expected to be greeted with the sight of children running around, playing tag, hide-n-go-seek and other assorted mayhem.....nothing. A few people my age wandering around looking at furniture.
This continues as I wandered the pathway, weaving my way in and out. I finally hit the stairs down to the section where the fun begins and I start buying. Empty. Yet again a few folks looking about. I grab a cart from the full to overflowing cart corral and begin weaving my way through the shelves like a Roman Chariot Race driver. I go straight, I go left, turn back around, head right, another right, around the bins, grab the pillows, dodging displays not people. I see the exit and slide my cart in sideways to the cashiere...woo hoo!! No bad tempers, no screaming, no crying kids.....shopping at its best!
I pay the bill...after cringing at the total...it seems with the lack of crowds I was able to see more things, hence I was able to throw more things into the cart. Like I really needed that bread baking pan! I rush to my car....wait a minute, this is not the same parking lot. Every spot is filled, people are honking, I can taste the bad tempers of folks as a steady stream of bodies head toward the doors.
Success was mine. I relinquish my parking spot to another, and head off down the road....thanking the powers that be for a shopping experience at Ikea that I am sure will never be repeated!