Sunday, March 30, 2008


I just spent 4 hours in hell yesterday. My soon to be roomie and I trekked (and, I'm not using that term loosely) down to Ikea in Croydon yesterday. A tube ride, train ride, and tram ride-and an hour later-and we were there.

The 'shopping' part of the experience only took two hours-an Ikea record, when you consider how much we had to get. Then, as we left to pay, it's like the gates from Purgatory opened up and said 'welcome to hell.' After ringing up our purchases (£750 yikes), since we're both still struggling with the UK Bank thing, and have no UK credit card, Sarah decided to pay with her US credit card. This is where things went horribly sideways. To charge the amount with a non-UK credit card, the cashier had to get approval from the credit card company. So, she called her customer service, who in turn called the credit card. 30 minutes later, we're still waiting for approval. 30 minutes. That was not a typo. grr.

Well, after 20 minutes of it, since we knew we still had to take our haul (bed, bureau, dining table & chairs..) over to the "Home Delivery" section, I set off with the two carts to go queue up and start the process. 10 minutes go by, and Sarah finally makes it over to me. Where, I haven't moved, and have observed perhaps the two slowest workers-who clearly didn't give a crap-in my life. A snail's pace would have been faster. Twenty minutes in line we wait before we're called up, and then 10 minutes later, we're done and are off.

So, in a nutshell, here was a good portion of my Saturday: 1 hour of transportation, Two hours of shopping, and hour of queuing, and an hour and a half of return transport. No wonder the Brits complain about everything-they've got A LOT to complain about. I think my 'American Optimism' may have been damaged a bit yesterday.

Oh, and the worst part? We've got to go back again to get all of the little things (outdoor table, lamps, rugs, etc...) that we didn't have time to get this time. Oh joy. I get to take another trip back to hell. God save me.

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