Wednesday, October 08, 2008

IKEA Update

With winter upon us (see previous blog for more info), today was the day to venture back to IKEA to purchase some nice, thick blankets and a few other comfort items. Actually, although the days are really nice right now, the nights do get a little chilly. Our apartment, which is known for its great feng shui, will not be heated for several weeks so the breeze that we enjoy so much on a warm day sends the thermometer down a couple of degrees more than we'd like on the cooler days.

Now that I'm so much more comfortable with the layout of several areas of Beijing, I'm a bit more confident when I hail a taxi. Knowing the general direction of IKEA, I can offer the shifu a few tidbits of information to assist him...well kind of. In this morning's episode, we got to the main district (Chaoyang) on the 4th Ring Road when I spotted Taiyang Gonglu on a sign. I motioned to the driver to exit but he turned a bit too soon. I could see the big blue building off to the right but we were heading a bit off course. Quickly, I asked him to pull over and "told" him that where we were was fine. But when I went to pay him the 41 kuai with a 100 kuai bill, there was a problem...he didn't have enough change.

Never a dull moment.

Without missing a beat, the shifu motions to the right..."a bank." He says "hello" to me (I guess this was his way of asking me to get out of the taxi and follow him to the bank), and we walk to the ICBC. He has a quick argument with some guys who are apparently guarding the parking lot (they didn't like where he "parked"), and we head in. He goes to the teller, gets some smaller bills, gives me my change, and we part. This leaves me with a couple of blocks to walk...good exercise before I get ready to shop and dine on some of Sweden's finest.

I love it here! Even the process is exciting!



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