Monday, April 14, 2014

Sweet Home IKEA

The familiar IKEA logo is found all over the world
This photo is from the Hong Kong home furnishings mall
My friend Jonathan, our Hong Kong correspondent, says he went to IKEA a few weeks ago.  It was very similar in set-up to the California IKEA franchises, except for the size.  The store was about a third of the size of its American counterparts.

Jonathan also noted that some of the furniture seemed miniature compared to furniture found in the States.  He goes on to note that smaller furniture makes good use of vertical space.

Space is at a premium in Hong Kong, and most residential flats there are small - averaging between 400 and 800 square feet.  When space is precious, you make the best use of it, which includes buying much smaller furniture.

The Home Furnishings Mall
The home furnishings mall contains all kinds of stores in addition to the IKEA which is found in there.

Jonathan is proud of his sons, who are getting quickly accustomed to life in a foreign country.  Jonathan is of Chinese descent, but having grown up in the United States, his Chinese is limited.  When he was at the mall, his 5 year-old son asked him if he knew how to say the two Chinese words on the wall:

Jonathan said, "no", and asked his son if he knew.  The boy said the two words with a big smile on his face. Not bad for a child who has been in China less than a year.  Jonathan was quite embarrassed that "even my little baby has better command of Chinese words than me."

When I asked what the words meant, Jonathan told me the first word means "commercial" and the second stands for "site", in translation that is a shopping mall.

I asked if it helped him to feel at home, to have an IKEA close by.  He writes:
Not when there are 100 Chinese sitting around on the sofas.  It is very crowded.  We tried eating at the IKEA restaurant and gave up because there were no available seats.  People stand next to the occupied tables to wait for people to finish eating.  This is common practice at crowded places.


I really enjoy hearing about life in Hong Kong.  I hope you do, too!

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