Friday, November 30, 2012

Have you seen my (frozen swedish meat) balls.

As I promised on the last post heres a quick heads up on the result of the Grey Cup.....
Toronto Argonauts won by about 15 points and with a great display from their Quarterback Ricky Rae - so I picked the right team to shout for!!

Its now half way through the week and its getting really chilly. It hasnt risen above minus 10 degrees since the weekend and with a little more snow falling on Monday afternoon, it really is a winter wonderland now.

This morning I went for a walk in the cold, but it wasnt just any walk. Todays walk was so that I could attend the biggest thing to happen in Winnipeg this year...... The much anticipated opening of IKEA. Yep, there is now a little bit of Sweden just down the road from central Winnipeg.

Shoes on the way to IKEA



The city has gone mad about IKEA ever since it was announced a couple of years ago that a store would open here. There have been adverts on the TV and the kind of excitement you would expect if a film star was coming to town (In fact Samuel L Jackson was here last week and went  mainly unnoticed as he filmed parts of a new movie).

The store itself is huge and opened at 9am this morning with a fanfare of excitement and a queue of people who had been waiting overnight - the queuing was allowed to start at midnight. The first thousand people received a $75 gift token to spend and one lucky winner won a $5000 voucher. According to the TV there was a huge rush as the barriers were opened at midnight and everyone rushed across a busy road to get to the front of the queue. They then had a 9 hour wait in temperatures as low as minus 23 degrees Celsius. Unbeknown to them at the time though, they were actually allowed inside the new store to keep warm (they were held in the checkout area till 7am). These people were fully prepared to wait outside though and some even had their kids with them!  I suppose IKEA thought it would be slightly bad advertising if some old people and kids died of exposure whilst queuing outside a store full of quilts!! haaha!
TV news in the air

and on the ground

The wait

Anyway, I arrived at a quarter to nine and was greeted by a crowd of about 1500 people, listening to a final welcome speech from the store owner and a countdown to the official opening at nine. There were security guards everywhere, a full car park, TV reporters and a helicopter flying around overhead! We slowly snaked our way around the barriers and past the free hot chocolate stall before  we finally ended up piling in through the doors and past a horde of the store workers banging noise makers together to welcome us to the oasis of flat packed furniture and kitchen tit bits. Most of the people who had queued for hours seemed to make their way straight to the cafe where they could feast on a bit of breakfast costing just $2.99. So that's what they queued for 9 hours to get - some American pancakes, Swedish sausage and a scrap of bacon.

The doors open!

9 hours to queue for a $2 coffee and cake

Yes, we know!

I had a wander around the store and it looks good! There are some excellent displays of bedrooms and kitchens and for once the televisions in IKEA are real instead of plastic. I was one of the first to make my way all around the store as a lot of people seemed to be trying to get as much out of it as possible - stopping at every bed and sofa. Its just a shop though and unless you are getting a load of furniture for a house or apartment, its just a shop!!
There were queues for people hoping to get interviewed on television and a few people who appeared to be signing autographs, although I didn't recognise anyone.

I made my way to the checkouts and bought the only thing I wanted from the store - a big bag of Swedish meatballs. Yum! I looked around and saw that the other people who had queued were buying packets of tea lights, brushes to clean the dishes and waste paper bins. I wish I had gotten there at midnight so that I could say I was the first person in Winnipeg to buy a $4 reading lamp at IKEAS new store!!
Greeted by the staff

The queuing continues

Nice kitchen though

and a bedroom

I didnt buy any of these

nor these

I bought these!

I just wonder how mental everyone would have gone if they had opened a really special store  - Like a Greggs pasty shop!!

If only one of these had opened!!

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