The joys of buying furniture
As I outlined in a previous post, I have recently moved away from my home country to my own apartment. Since said apartment was entirely empty upon my arrival (save a mystery key I found on the floor, which turned out to be for the not so mysterious mailbox) I was left to buy furniture on my own.
Now, on its own, this would not pose much of a challenge. I have been to Ikea before, and there was one quite close to my residence. The problem however was twofold. One, I do not have a car, nor a drivers licence, making the matter of transportation quite a challenge. Second, Ikea (and others) did not allow me to place an delivery order without a phone number, something which I cannot obtain without a national ID number.
As you might be able to imagine, I was not willing to sleep on the floor as the cogs of bureaucracy turned and processed my ID application. Slow as this process might have been, surely getting a drivers licence would have taken even longer, which left me with just one option, to use the mode of transport we are all born with, and haul all my furniture home on foot.
Now, as I said, the Ikea (where I bought all of my furniture) is quite close to my home, being only about 20 minutes away. However, things would not be so simple. You see, the Ikea is 20 minutes downhill, meaning that the journey upwards (where I also would carry more weight), would take significantly longer and require more energy.
Nevertheless, over the course of 3 days, and 5 trips, I managed to turn my empty apartment into a liveable space, with a bed, desk, lighting, curtains, and storage.
By far the most difficult was the bed, which currently consists of nothing but a mattress. The mattress thankfully was packaged as a roll, which allowed me to coerce it into my backpack, where it comfortably sat with only two thirds sticking out the top. Then, by adjusting the straps, I could heave the great volume onto my back while sitting down, only standing up when I knew the bedding to be secured.
I image the desk was also quite a sight to behold, as my trusty backpack held the four legs (all of whom were sticking out of the top), while I carried the table top, constantly changing my grip on the inherently unmanageable shape. I should add though that this may be the first time where I genuinely preferred buying plywood over something more solid, as the weight was actually quite bearable.
Once I am allowed to have goods delivered, I will certainly upgrade my sleeping gear to something less utilitarian, but I am nevertheless quite happy with what I have accomplished. I would be easy for me to end here with a line stating something like: “You can do anything you set your mind to”, or “Do not underestimate the power of your own body”, but that would discount large parts of what went into getting the furniture here. Firstly, I came prepared with an extra duvet so i would not have to sleep on the actual floor as I went looking for a bed. Secondly there is of course the flatpack-like design of Ikea’s products without which this would not have been possible. Had that mattress not come on a roll for instance, the whole process would have been nearly unmanageable. The last, and arguably most important, piece of this puzzle is the area where I now live. My parental home is 40 minutes away from the nearest Ikea on a bike, I have never even attempted the distance on foot, and had I lived in a more suburban area (or in a more poorly designed city), these joys would have been even more stressful both on my body and sanity.