Thursday, January 14, 2010
If you have ever seen any of the movies about Monsieur Hullot, then that, in essence, was me a few days ago, at the Etobikoke Ikea store, first buying 2 boxes of cookies, (that is after I had ordered my new wardrobe which went incredibly smoothly especially considering how things went thereafter) ...then being kicked by a little kid while lining-up, then looking for a place to buy a bag to put my 2 large boxes of cookies, lining up again among people with large carts full of furniture at the self help counter, with my little blue bag in hand. Asked a very robotic gentleman to explain how you scan a bag, he never looked or talked to me went to the bag shelves, came back, typed on the screen endless rows of numbers at light speed for a whole minute then left. Very Kafka like I thought. There was a price on the screen and I pressed ok.
Having payed for the thing that was for the things I had bought, I felt I deserved a nice relaxing cup of coffee before I plunged back into the arctic cold. I went upstairs to the restaurant bag in hand. That was actually more "on shoulder", rather, for in my hand was a white tray, and nothing on it, and like so I approached the register as is the surrealistic custom ; swallowed up in a long line of screaming parents and children with over-flowing trays of meat-balls, all meeting up this one saturday night in that specific Ikea restaurant, it seemed ; to pay for my coffee. As I got closer, I put a white cup on the tray for the sake of dignity. I was allowed to pay. Then they all watched carefully as I meandered around various counters in desperate search for sugar, milk, towels, spoon, with the tray in one hand, bag in the other, with the coffee cup spilling half it's content in the process ; to finally realize I don't *need* a tray for a cup of coffee! Found a table in the middle of chaos and drunk my cup with great serenity and dignity in a puddle of coffee having ran out of paper towels and without a spoon having never produced one.
you may think I felt like an idiot since I looked like one but no. This sort of place (a large IKEA warehouse on a Saturday night) is a very Monsieur Hullot sort of place by nature. I thought even though IKEA is known for trying to make the shopping experience human, even *they* can not achieve it, why? Because it is all just too big, to gigantic, and human do get lost in it, body and mind and soul.
It's time to rethink our whole society don't you think?