Yesterday we bought a freezer from a fellow service member who is getting ready to PCS. What I did not realize was how absolutely large this freezer was. It's about 5 feet tall and twice as big as I was expecting. The good news is we will not have a shortage of freezer storage for meats and any other frozen goods we want to keep. This will actually work well for meal planning. Both Michael and I have trouble with cooking our meals and tend to opt for quick fix-me-ups and eating out. There's no reason we can't make our own food ahead of time. Thus - a super large freezer!
Today Michael and I went to Ikea Korea. It's a 40 minute drive from the house, and there have been some things I've wanted to pick up for the house. We had time before Michael set off to go hiking and camping with a friend and we knew there was a mall in the same building, so off we went on our trip!
The drive was incredibly green. I forgot that the last time I took pictures of the scenery and shared it with you guys, the world was either brown or white.
About to drive under a tunnel! Since Korea is about 70% uplands and mountains, traveling through mountains is an everyday occurrence. We paid about W2,200 in toll road fees for this round trip.
Once we hit the city area again. I took a picture of this guy to show you the drivers we have to deal with. Yes, he's stopped. If you were going to stop 30-something feet beyond the line (the line between the car and pedestrian cross walk doesn't count) you may as well continue through the light. The best part was right after I took this picture a huge bus came in from the rightmost lane, drove in front of this car, and turned left.
The best part of this trip? Free parking! WOO HOO!! I've gotten so used to budgeting for parking if we ever take our car off post, this was a nice break.
The outlet mall that's connected to Ikea.
Confession time. Before today, I'd never been to an Ikea before. Assuming Ikeas are the same here as they are in the States, this is an interesting concept. I don't know how to describe it. There's a show room/'shopping' floor, where you go through a maze (not really, there are tons of arrows and signs to tell you where you are and how to get places) of model rooms. You're provided with pencil and a pamphlet so you can take down the information of whatever you want. Each item in the model room has a tag that gives you the pertinent information - Price, whether the item is self-serve or employee help for the checkout process, whether it's in stock, basic product information... the works.
I found the two items I wanted. A Helmer and Alex 9-drawer system. It was hard for me to figure out the information I needed from the tags. Turns out, these tags were saying the item was out of stock! We also picked out a wardrobe for the entryway. I'm sick of our kitchen table being used as a coat rack/shoe home/paperwork home/Michael's "I'm done with shift and I'm tired, dammit!" place. I've set up places for him to put stuff before.... but all of these places are further from the front door than the table. As Mom told me, this was my mistake, of course. I convinced Michael to pick out a wardrobe that he would actually use to put his belongings in. We found one! Woohoo! Unfortunately, today was not a good day for us and Ikea.
Once you get through the shopping section, you get to the self-serve checkout/shopping section where you find your furniture/items you want to buy and take them to the check out. It was there (and with the help of a computer search terminal that had an English option) that I found out what the hard to understand tags for my Helmer and Alex drawer system meant: Out Of Stock. Of course Michael's wardrobe was in stock.
We went to pick up the boxes, only to realize that our car would very likely not fit the boxes for his wardrobe. I was upset at this point because of the out of stock situation. The size of the boxes made me seethe with anger. Why could things not go my way, dangit?!
We were able to find an employee that spoke English and he helped us get the information we needed. Because this Ikea already had a shipment of Alex 9-drawers and Helmers coming in, we couldn't just purchase all 3 items and have them deliver it to our house whenever they could. Instead we have to come back next week when everything is in stock and make our purchase then. At that point I didn't even want the wardrobe and we left empty handed. I don't know why I was so adamant that we pay for delivery only when we have all 3 items available to us. I guess I'll use this time to take measurements inside our car and find out whether we truly cannot fit his wardrobe boxes in there.
Once that was over, we went to the Lotte Premium Outlets mall and to a camping store Michael's been wanting to check out.
I almost bought that itty bitty folding chair. It was comfy, even though it was half the size of my butt. and a foot tall. LOL Michael got some ideas for future camping trips and we finally headed home.
I'm disappointed that I don't have any furniture to put together while Michael is camping, but maybe there's a bright side to this. I'll put some more effort into looking into Ikea's products and what I have that I want to store and figure out whether the Helmer and Alex 9-drawer are what I really, truly want. At the very least we will get that wardrobe.
Have you ever been to Ikea? How was it?