Link to Profile Semperoper, Dresden Sieg (auf dem Siegesäule), Berlin Brandenburg Tor, Berlin Skyline, Frankfurt am Main

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Yo quiero nachos ...

Like Jen, I found myself involved in a project that involved the disposition of a giant carpet. Unlike Jen, ours had nothing to do with cat piss.

Nevertheless, we had to do something with the rug the Partnerin's eltern had loaned to us when we moved together. The Partnerin hated it because it was large and dark red and, in the company of my large, black leather sofa, it made for a very dark living room despite what little of the brighter parkett was still visible around it. Yes, that carpet had to go back to the eltern.

That involved a trip to Ikea on a Saturday afternoon. I've liked going to Ikea over the years, and I think I have personally made a Swedish family or two quite comfortable with all the money I have tossed away in ´various flights of boredom to Ikea ... I love walking among the myriad rooms of Swedish perfection, followed by the mad dash through the racks of little kitchen gadgets, dishes, glassware, faux art, lights, and the ever present plants that we always seem to be adding to the collection. I could furnish three apartments with all of the Ikea-ware we have bought in the past few years. In fact, I have somehow managed to shop in Ikea stores in at least 7 countries now. But what does this have to do with nachos, you might ask?

Well, we didn't start out looking for a carpet at Ikea. In fact we have disagreed over one- and two- thousand euro carpets for several months now. I hate most of the high-end carpets that are sold in German furniture stores. We were on our way to yet another frustrating day of carpet shopping when the giant blue and yellow Ikea sign beckoned to us.
"Time to buy some more napkins," I said, referring à l'américain to what are called Serviettes on this side of the Atlantic. Ikea really has nice napkins ... er, serviettes.

"And we can use a new Salatschlueder," she replied. "And I want to get a couple of bath mats ... can we get a couple of new bath mats?" she asked.

"My darling, you're the breadwinner ... you can have all the bathmats you wish."
Well, we wandered around and saw little of interest. Maybe a new chair for the living room and a new office chair for our office in the guest room, but nothing so fetching that we wanted to commit to it then or there. And yes, we found napkins, but they had no blue or red, only yellow and green. Worse yet, the bathmats on display were dreadful ... they had gone what they considered "upscale" in design, quality, and price, but they color assortment had been picked out a decor-challenged buyer. There were no Salatschleuders to be found. Today I hated Ikea.

In the US, it is the death of a retailer to go stock-out on items, especially on the heaviest shopping days. In Germany, it is common practice. Don't go to a large retail grocer and expect to find anything but rotting vegetables after 6 pm on a Saturday. And Ikea probably re-stocks on Sunday, when all of us pesky customers are not in the way.

So as we dejectedly turn the corner to head for checkout, we come across a very nice, off-white carpet that we both actually liked, and it was only a couple hundred Euros. It had to be done.

But this was setting the stage for a serious project for Sunday. A ton of furniture would need to be moved, a large (2m x 3m) carpet moved out, cleaned, and wrapped for return to the parents, and then a lot of parkett would need to be scrubbed and reconditioned to adjust for the giant white square now left in our living room. That was a day long project.

Having gone through that, the next question was one of Dinner. "I want nachos," said the Partnerin. I had introduced her to nachos several years ago, but I had made the mistake of doing so with a sub-par batch made with the few off-the-shelf mexican food items one can find in a german grocery, including that gooey jar-cheese-food stuff. Since then, I can't entice her with fresh-grated cheddar. Only the jar-stuff will do. Ugh!

But it was 5 pm Sunday, and we had no ground beef. So, like all industrious expats, I made a dash for ... the Airport. No, not to travel to somewhere with Sunday shopping ... the airport is where you go to do your Sunday shopping. Besides, we had a few packets and letters to post, and that's where you go when you need a post-office on a Sunday. No harm, no foul, no problem.

So Nachos it was. Fresh guacamole, fresh salsa, and jar-stuff cheese. Yum!

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