This morning I headed to Ikea! I have always loved Ikea – despite having been a little disappointed in the quality and durability of some Ikea furniture that I have purchased in the past. I still love wandering around and imagining what my future house may look like.
Apparently, I wasn’t taking it far enough. Some people were really chilling out and pretending they lived in the display rooms. I saw one guy enjoying a cup of coffee on a couch, and in another area there were two women sitting at a kitchen table, seemingly having a proper catch-up. Well, they all looked very relaxed.
So, I wasn’t sure at first how to get to Ikea. I checked out the map and unfortunately it is not right beside any subway stations. I decided to take the subway to Longjing 龙井 and then, as a friend had previously recommended, take a taxi from the subway station to Ikea. It took just under 20 minutes to get to Longjing from my station. I used Exit B and found that Longjing was a really lovely area! There were mountains and so much greenery. I’m still getting used to how many well-established trees and gardens there are all over Shenzhen.
As the weather was quite pleasant, I decided against taking a taxi. Following the Maps APP on my phone, I wandered the streets toward Ikea. At one point, I thought I needed to cross the highway, so I used the footbridge and walked on a little. Luckily, before it was too late, I checked the map and saw that I was in fact on the wrong side! I walked back over the foot bridge, down a different street and saw the blue of the Ikea building in the distance.
I walked under a few very dark and scary tunnels – one particularly dark tunnel had a dozen or so very old, dusty, graffiti-covered cars on either side of the tunnel. I hesitated as I walked down it, expecting someone to jump me from behind. Thinking back, I think it was pretty stupid to walk through it… Anyway, on the other side of the tunnel was the Ikea car park! So, all in all, I’m sure it wasn’t that dangerous.
So, it took about 20 minutes to walk from Longjing subway station to Ikea, and despite that hairy tunnel, it was quite a pleasant walk.
I grabbed a coffee and a croissant at the cafeteria before I went shopping. One would think buying a coffee would no longer be a challenge for me here in China, especially at Ikea, however I cleverly lined up in the VIP checkout line. The checkout lady muttered something to me and waited for a response. I wracked my brains as to what she would be asking me. Was there something I’d forgotten? Perhaps she was reminding me to pick up cutlery. A friendly guy nearby told me that she was asking if I could show her my VIP card. 沒有！ I don’t have one! She looked a little peeved, but let me buy my croissant and coffee nevertheless.
I found a few cool things in Ikea. I wanted to buy a plant or two for my apartment, and a table mat to make things a little more homely. After about an hour or so, I found myself at the checkout with more items than I had intended to bring home. I think this is a given when one goes to Ikea. Surprisingly, it cost me much less than I had expected. I paid only 177元 for quite a few fairly nice decorations!
On -L1 of the carpark, there is a taxi rank, so I hopped in a taxi and headed back to Longjing subway. There were quite a few other shops near the Ikea that looked interesting, but I decided to save them for another day.
When I got back to my lovely neighbourhood, I headed to the fruit shop to buy some fruit for my new fruit bowl. I ended up buying three pretty, white apples, some longans, a bunch of bananas and three, very expensive oranges! There were two types of oranges, and naturally the ones that looked super nice and really fresh were the ones from America. I hadn’t realised this at the time, but it turns out they were 11元 a kilo.
I also found some Loquats 枇杷 which I haven’t eaten since I used to climb the loquat tree in my back garden in Australia. That would have been almost 20 years ago… They also had some mini mangoes. I had seen them several times at the grocer but I was never sure if they actually were mini mangoes or some other mysterious fruit. This time, I picked one up and smelled it. It smelled so sweet, and yes, it was definitely a mango. I bought a bag and have just eaten a few. They’re very nice, but very fiddly and messy to eat.
I love the fruit shop down below my building. The people there have been so friendly to me. Once, I went in and smiling, they yelled out to me, telling me to come back. They knew that I had come for bananas and a pomelo – my usual – and they had none left in the shop! It was so nice that they had remembered what I usually buy. It made me smile.