Thursday, April 5, 2012

Adventures In Furniture: My Trip To IKEA Kohoku

The current state of the guest room
One thing that has been bugging me since we moved into our house is the fact that our guest bedroom remains unfurnished.  Every time I walk past it (which is several times a day since it's across from my bedroom) and see the emptiness and empty boxes littering it, I wince.  Sure, I could just close the door, but I prefer not to do that.The guest bedroom had fallen in terms of priority, but with summer approaching I wanted to clean it up and and make it less of an eyesore. So, after many months, I finally decided I was really going to furnish our guest bedroom with the hope that one day soon we'll actually have some guests to use the new furniture (hint hint to my family and friends). 

I had been periodically checking the NEX furniture store to see if they had anything I liked (and within my budget), but most of their stuff is so big and bulky (or chunky as I like to say).  I knew there was an IKEA in Yokohama and one of my friends that lives down the street just furnished her home with stuff from there so I decided to check it out.  Having lived in Seattle and California, I had shopped at IKEA many times so I knew the drill.  In anticipation of the IKEA shopping experience, I went online and went through the catalog and basically picked out the pieces I wanted to get pending my in person viewing.

That morning I did a few things which I do every morning before I get out of bed - check the weather and the Yen rate.  The weather report said it was going to rain much later in the day and the currency exchange site said the Yen rate was down (or up, depending on how you look at it - all I know is that it was going to cost me more $$ today than the day before).  As soon as I sat down on the train, I pulled out my iphone to check my email and was greeted by an email from Rich forwarding an email from the Base Command notifying us that destructive winds were expected within 12 hours (i.e., a typhoon).  I figured I still had 12 hours, so I continued on to IKEA.  I got off at the Shin-Yokohama station and made my way to the IKEA bus stop (it wasn't hard since there are signs in conspicuous locations throughout the station directing you) - that's right, IKEA has its own bus that takes customers to/from the train station. 

I had barely even gotten into the store when I got another forwarded email from Rich stating that the winds were now expected within 2 hours. Ugh!  But I had come all this way and I was determined to get my furniture.  So I continued on with the intention of just getting what I came for, but if you've ever been through IKEA, you know they make it hard for you to do that by practically forcing you to walk through the showroom.  Of course I'm a sucker and I get sucked in and rather than head straight for what I need, I went through the whole damn store looking at everything (although at the end of the day, I am proud to say I left with exacty what was on my list). 

At first I was nervous about how I was going to get all of my items onto the cart by myself and then try and set up delivery.  Thankfully I found a very friendly staffperson, and with her help and my passable Japanese skills, I was able to get an itemized list of my pieces (with specific aisle and shelf information) and schedule home delivery.  After that, I raced downstairs to pick everything up (except for the bedframe and mattress, which luckily I didn't have to get myself).  Initially I had wanted to grab lunch in the restaurant/cafe and shop around their food store but with the typhoon fast approaching, I decided to get the hell out of Dodge and hightail it home.  By the time I got on the IKEA bus back to the train station, it had already started raining and the trains were packed with people trying to get home.  Even though the train ride home was miserable because we were packed in like sardines, I was happy because I had accomplished my mission (and within the budget my  husband gave me). I also made it home before the crazy winds started (and which kept me up all night irrationally afraid that the windows that didn't have typhoon shutters on them were going to shatter in a million pieces on me while I slept).  Now my impatient self just has to wait until next week before my stuff is delivered.  To be continued....


Marissa said...

yay!! you got your furniture! you're lucky you didn't have to get the bed frame and the mattress. i had to get all the furniture i bought :( the bed frame, the mattresses, the dresser...all sooooo heavy!!!! will the furniture arrive by our meeting?? cant wait to see!

Shannon said...

I know, I'm so excited for it to come! You know, I was going to call you when I was there to ask if I was supposed to get the frame and mattress myself but then I asked 2 employees and they kept saying (well I think that's what they were saying) all I had to do was pay for it and take my paper to the customer service desk. I can't believe you had to get all the furniture! YES, it will be here in time for our meeting so you'll get to see it. Yay!!

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