This Monday afternoon I embarked on what turned out to be an epic struggle to buy two bed legs, two planks and a screw. These were the items broken due to poor workmanship and violent sex on the various beds in our house.
To get to the only known IKEA in Prague I had to first get to Zličin, requiring a ten minute tram ride then two metro trains to the silent dead end of the line. On arrival at Zličin, I was disappointed to find that the free bus to IKEA Lisa had told me about was nowhere to be seen. After a five-minute search I gave up and, on spotting the shopping complex on the horizon, made the understandable mistake of thinking I could walk there.
One path appeared to go in approximately the correct direction, so naturally I took it down to a brick wall with a long disused gated staircase to the flyover above. It was all I could do to continue to walk along the side of the wall (later a barbed wire fence) that led me into a frozen workyard at the back of a factory, and no way through.
Back at the staircase I discovered a fairly obvious (though wildly seedy) subway, which led me to an area reminiscent of any service station in England. Slip roads and garages everywhere, but not so much as a pavement for pedestrian me. Dodging my way across an empty car park I found that IKEA was now only fifty meters from where I stood, but on the other side of a motorway. There was one bridge, but it was a long way behind me.
Tired and hungry, I went into KFC and sat by the window staring at IKEA, determined that it would not beat me, and picked the gherkins out of my burger.
Refreshed, I was able to begin my journey afresh and made it to the bridge over the motorway, where two free IKEA busses flew past me. From then on all I had to do was run across two motorway sliproads, strut across some flowerbeds and the McDonald’s drive-through they were protecting and make my way across the immense car park to the gleaming doors of IKEA.
Inside thousands of people were lining up to buy identical poorly fabricated self-constructed beds and wardrobes. At the end there was a bloody-mined troll at the helpdesk who told me they didn’t have any bed legs for me (‘they’re too old’) but who did have two planks and a screw. Though I did admittedly forget to ask for two planks and only got one.
Yesterday I rebuilt my bed in the dark with some putty and an adjustable spanner. I am now the DIY god and naturally all must kneel before me and tremble in fear.
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