The Ikea multistory car park at Ikea, Birstall...

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Even though this is not usually my sort of thing, I’d be remiss to ignore it completely. For one thing, it allows Priscilla to have a voice of sorts, and it is worth a mention, I suppose. Even guys do shop occasionally.

The main reason that this is on my mind is that we spent much of yesterday morning at IKEA in Coventry. For South Africans, this is a shop we hear about, and see the effects of in movies like Fight Club, and watch inept Americans trying to assemble furniture from in the Amazing Race. So going there, buying flat-pack furniture and a large number of home accessories, and spending much of the afternoon assembling the furniture was an experience of sorts. Not an epiphany as much as another check mark on the list of Essential International Experiences. Actually, now that I think about it, pretty low down on that list. Well, pretty low down on *my* version of the list. Which immediately begs the question of what comes in above it (or indeed, investigations in to the existence of such a list), to which I’ll come back to later, perhaps. If I can figure out what else belongs on it.

But I digress. My comments on shopping would probably centre around electronics and gadgetry. Such things are varied, cheap, and ubiquitous here. Makes SA feel like a hillbilly backwater. And not just electronic gadgets, but kitchen gadgets. One could fill an entire house with tools and thisses and thats that you might just use for one specific purpose once a month or so, but if you have enough of these things, and spend enough time in your kitchen, you’d never actually need to use your hands for anything. From hooks that hold towels that attach to the top of your cabinet doors, to non-stick silicon wrappers for baking tins (honestly, spray & cook is *so* old school), to prodders and pimpers and springbonkles and plublehammers and hundreds of other essential things you just don’t know how you lived without. It makes me want to become a chef just to have a good excuse to play with all the toys. Probably wouldn’t get much actual cooking done though.

Which is my only other contribution worth making to this topic – the fact that if the food shopping was done by me, there probably wouldn’t be much cooking going on. The sheer variety of convenience food and ready-made treats is astounding. I’ll probably get tired of it pretty soon, but it’s fun whilst it lasts.

And that’s probably enough for today – don’t want Cilla thinking that I enjoyed it too much, or I’ll never get out of the next shopping trip.

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