Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ein Neues IKEA

If you keep your eyes open, it's amazing what you will find. Yesterday, I decided to bicycle in East Berlin, specifically in neighborhoods of Lichtenberg and Marzahn. Surprisingly, East Berlin is a good place to ride: wide streets, plenty of bike paths, few pedestrians, and lots of trees. There's not much to see other than block after block of massive apartment buildings built during the Cold War.

During these rides, I focus on the surrounding environment, enjoying the solitude. Yesterday, I was thinking about the depressing weather we've been having in Berlin. It's been cold, gray, and windy-not summer weather! It's June, and I was wearing a sweater, gloves, and rain jacket. Just think, I thought, it's summer in California. People are wearing t-shirts and shorts, even running air conditioners. 

Then, all of a sudden, out of the corner of my, I caught sight of an IKEA directional sign. Was it possible? Could there be an IKEA in the heart of the former Socialist East Germany? An IKEA, the very definition of modern Capitalism! Suddenly, my heart skipped a beat. I had to find this IKEA.

I generally hate shopping, but not with IKEA. For some reason, I find the IKEA "experience" entertaining and even soothing. I can spend hours wandering the store looking at the cool Scandinavian furnishings, the cleverly designed household products, and the reasonably priced gardening supplies. Furthermore, I never miss an opportunity to eat at the swanky IKEA cafeteria. I guess you could call me an IKEA junkie. In any case, I found the store, bought some "necessary" household goods, and left feeling better! It's astounding what a dose of IKEA can do to lift the spirits.

BTW: In addition to the standard IKEA cafeteria and snack bar, the IKEA-Lichtenberg store has a pleasant café located in the garden/patio section of the store. 

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