Tuesday, October 23, 2007

IKEA - Israel style

Saturday night we made the grave mistake of going to IKEA which is roughly 1 1/2 hours from Jerusalem by car. We even had to use our son-in-law's car as our car is useless in the evening because it doesn't go into gear when you turn the headlights on. Go figure what the hell that problem is, we don't have the patience nor the money to find out. So with spending 200 NIS ($50) on gassing up son-in-law's tank we were happily on our way.

We found most of Israel's population parked in IKEA's parking lot when we got there and wandered around happily for an hour looking and jotting down items we wanted for our new apartment. One was a coffee table, another was a bathroom cupboard, a sliding garbage bin for our kitchen and a few other assorted small things.

It was 11:00 pm and the store was closing. I had no idea how things work there. I went to the sales office with my organized list of things to buy and she was like "you have to mark the number on the red sticker which was on the item". So we had to trudge back through the maze to look at the stickers. Unfortunately the coffee table was out of stock as well as the garbage bin's track. We were left with the bathroom cabinet and the mirror we wanted for the hallway. The women at the sales desk told us we'd have to go back to the department for the bathroom cabinet, make the order there, go back and pay them here and the wait for the item is just a mere two more hours.

"but that'll be after 1:00 am. Hubby just shrugged and was willing to wait it out, but knowing him, he'd get miserable after an hour of waiting and waiting (or in reality after 15 minutes of waiting and waiting - such is the character of many men) and I really didn't want to get home at 2:30 am having to get up for work at 6:00 for Sunday (yup, working on Sunday is still a drag - even after 12 years of doing it).

At least I had my mirror. Hubby was pissed off by this time and walked way ahead of me with "I'll meet you at the car" and adding "and don't even fucking buy anything in this fucking place." But I went towards the "get-it-yourself" warehouse to get my mirror as I had the location on hand. I saw it. I was thrilled. There was one left. I gently took it down and saw ......that the mirror - the last mirror in stock - was cracked down the middle.

So it seems the gods of Perpetual Spending somehow didn't want us to go shopping at IKEA for whatever reason....


Shari said...

So you too had the IKEA
nightmare experience!

I live 10 minutes from IKEA and
NEVER go there; I discovered that
anything you really want is always
out of stock, that the quality
of the stuff is real garbage (I
bought a mirror there, and 2 years
later it started rusting around
the edges). Its an annoying
humiliating place to go; for your
own sanity, stay away! However, next
door and down the street are many
good furniture stores, where we
have bought most of our furnishings.

Paul said...

moving into nearly empty house in jerusalem -- would like to avoid ikea humiliation -- alternatives? tx, paul

Anonymous said...

I have bought many things at ikea

There are great deals. It is hard when you onlhy have one store to service 7,000,000 people.

I'm getting use to Israel. Things have to be imported, so good things run out quickly.

I'm in the process of buy a new mercedes. It takes 4 weeks to get it. Because you can cancel the cobtract during the first 2 weeks, so they dont begin to process it until the 3rd week. Then it has to go thru customs & dealer prep. Then you get the title & tags.

I may get done in by the end of the 3rd week, but they say 4 just in case.

once you know how to shop ikea it's fine. If it's out of stock they will give you an pretty close time frame. you then go online to see that it instock and hurry over.


jerusalemgypsy said...

Paul - try ID design, Beitili or just plain Ace stores in Talpiot or Home Center. Not quite like IKEA but fun stuff.

Anonymous, you don't need IKEA if you're buying a Mercedes. You can shop at Tollmans !!

Anonymous said...


I also had the disappointing experience of taking the long journey to IKEA from Jerusalem and back. I went by bus and the bus stops in every small town along the coast so it was all told about 5 hrs each way with the waiting.

What did I buy? NOTHING. Almost everything I wanted was out of stock and I didn't want to pay delivery for the one thing that was available.

But I am grateful that happened. I found wonderful things in Talpiot: beautiful closets, beds, desks, a side table and a dining room set so far. Just get off the #14/14a bus at Yad Harutzim and walk up the street and turn left at Poaeli Tzedek and check out the stores in the building north of Supersol. You'll find all kinds of stores all along that route. Or go right along HaTnufa and up Beit Lehem. There's a building with several furniture dealers on your left. I'm sure there's lots more to discover that I haven't found yet.

The nice thing is that I have much more interesting and well-made things than I would have if I had bought in IKEA and the cost was not much more.

But I still need that one thing in IKEA. It's a unit that you nail to the wall beside your front door. It has a mirror, a shelf, place to hang clothes, a place to put shoes, purses and hats and it doesn't take a lot of room.

I'm glad someone wrote about the other stores in the industrial area where IKEA is located. I wondered about them but was too tired to check them out. Are there any stores that specialize in wall units for the living room?

By the way, where is Beitili and what do they sell? All of the ID Design stuff was for a much larger apt. than I have.

Ontario, Canada -> Jerusalem 10/07

jerusalemgypsy said...

Hi Leah - I think Beitili is on Pierre Koenig. Great stuff there too. I'll have to take one Friday and walk around all the furniture stores. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Cabinets and countertops offer the much-needed storage space in the bathroom to store your toiletries, keep medicines and first-aid box, cleaning milk, moisturizer and deodorants, towels and napkins besides other things that you use daily while showering in your bath. They are powerful accents to your bath d├ęcor and help you to define the tone and style of the bathroom wall cabinets and make the best use of the wall and floor surface of the area. http://bathroom-wall-cabinets.blogspot.com .