Today, to celebrate our (18th! [bah]) anniversary, Isaac and I left the girls in the dust (literally; we had them sweep and do the sponga) and took a trip out to Rishon L'Tzion, which recently acquired the newest branch of Ikea.
(Sometimes I think Israel is looking more and more like a Long Island mall. Between Gap, H and M, Ikea, all that is missing is Old Navy and Target.)
The place is huge. Since Friday is Israel's Sunday, it was packed. This is after all, the time of year when people are busy cleaning their homes for Passover. This has nothing to do with being religious; the non-religious clean just as zealously as the religious. Everyone not only cleans, but paints, repairs, buys new towels and shower curtains and adds new touches to their homes, large and small in honor of the upcoming chag (holiday). And so we joined the horde of people converging on the store.
Ikea, as you may know, offers babysitting with a fun-and-saliva-and-other-bodily-excretions-filled giant ball pit. Unfortunately, lots of parents didn't take advantage of this so there was lots of whining from little ones as the big ones admired wooden hangers for 6 shekel a piece. Most of them didn't find it at all helpful when I suggested the service. Oh, well.
I enjoyed the models where they showed how you can fit a whole apartment worth of Ikea stuff into a home the size of 22, 35 or 55 square meters (230-600 square feet). Makes the place we bought look huge by comparison.
We didn't go for any serious buying. Isaac wanted a feather pillow to replace the one that is falling apart; he loves that pillow and stapled it together, but I refuse to go near it, as in change its pillowcase, because everytime I do, the feathers fly everywhere. He found one and is testing it out even as we speak. From the sound of it, I think he'll be happy with it.
But the highlight of the day was visiting the massive cafeteria and eating those KOSHER swedish meatballs. As Isaac and I sat there, reminiscing about the Plainview, LI and Elizabeth, NJ Ikeas we had visited in the past, we both felt amused at the self-satisfaction a little 'ol meatball eaten in an Israeli Ikea could bring.
Shabbat Shalom, have a great weekend!