Yesterday, I ventured to IKEA with my friend Andrea. This is her first year here and I was asked to be her social buddy. You might not know this but currently here in China, it’s the Chinese National Holiday, which is similar to the Fourth of July in the US. As a result, I have a five-day weekend. Go Mao.
The thing is about a holiday here is that everyone is off work, so everything is just bit busier and more crowded. And that means more people shopping.
We get to IKEA pretty early in an effort to avoid the masses but we do have some things to purchase so the time got away from us. At one point after I stopped a woman from rifling through my shopping cart, I looked at Andrea and I said, ‘We need to get out of here. Now.’ I was suddenly very aware of the massive amount of people and noise that surrounded us. At first, I let Andrea try to get us out of the kitchen section and I realized that’s she just a rookie. It’s like sending an elementary school soccer club to the Olympics. So I grabbed the front end of the cart, she let out a sigh of relief, and I lead the way. I tell you it was a battle of wills, no eye contact, that’s right, I am Westerner and I am going first type of event. I was even a bit sweaty afterwards. But we got out.
Shopping anywhere in China on a weekend or holiday is not for the weak. Below is a video that I took last year from my Saturday trip to Walmart. Now is a good time for small children to leave the room. You’ve been warned.