1. Ikea. The world’s not-built-yet furniture store. The home of meatballs and arguing couples.
Olivier Pon / Reuters
2. You step through the celebratory Swedish balloons. Either that or you’re crashing the world’s worst birthday party.
3. “OOH that’s cheap,” you say, spotting a small piece of furniture that you don’t really need. You have no idea of the horror that is to come.
4. Stock up on little pencils to write down all the things you can’t afford to buy.
5. You have your yellow bag and shopping trolley. The helpful arrows show you the way to go.
6. The signs tell you where you can go. And where you can’t. Deviance is not tolerated.
7. FOLLOW THE ARROWS AT ALL COSTS.
8. You slowly realize the “shortcuts” to the exits don’t exist. After two hours you slowly realize you will spend the rest of your life in Ikea.
9. The technology is no use.
11. Step into a sinister semi-houses with Mondrianesque curtains. No one’s actual house looks like this.
12. Celebrate Drake’s birthday? Ikea isn’t really friends with Drake.
15. Gaze upon the inhabitants of Ikea world. With their perfect mocking faces.
16. Admire the tables, always set for a spooky dinner that will never happen.
17. You wonder why Ikea doesn’t make anything just that little bit more exciting.
18. You may laugh at the moderately funny Swedish names for things.
19. And wonder what these wicker animals would say if they could talk. Probably, “How do we get out?”
20. You search, in vain, for the Ikea Monkey, who has yet to make an appearance in Croydon.
21. Be careful not to contract “casserole crazy,” a condition that sadly affects 1 in 20 Ikea shoppers.
22. Kill some time in the cavernous downstairs area full of boxes imagining you are in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
23. Then play the exciting game “How the Hell Are We Going to Fit All This in the Car?”
25. When you see the bill, you wonder why you didn’t just get your furniture from readily available sources.
26. If it’s all too much you can always indulge in some meatballs. Or because the café is so rammed, try a no frills hot dog.
Patrick Smith is the UK media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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