Sunday, 23 September 2012

Episode 6: Ikea, where art thou?

I have a bit of a situation with my bed. We've had quite the tempestuous relationship for the last month we've laid together. Rather than welcoming my open arms, I am met with menacing coils, begging for release from their foamy kingdom. If I didn't have deal with this almost hourly pleasantry, perhaps I would not be so sour about the reverb that comes from my wonky bed- as it clashes, suggesting to my housemates that I am encountering far more exciting liaisons, I am more sure than ever that three wheeled objects only belong in Only Fools and Horses. However, I have one problem that is well within my realm of control- one month into living here I still do not have a duvet sheet, which after trailing around numerous overpriced shops, left me no option but to travel out in search for an Ikea in a galaxy far, far away.

In all of its Swedish glory, the Ikea outing was top of the list for the Andersson clan. My Dad's unwavering loyalty to all things Swedish could remain in tact whilst he boasted about the cheapness of "Billy", "Ofelia"and "Henrika", which swiftly made their way into my house/the Ikea showroom. My sister and I could really believe we were half Swedish there, as we were met with insane plastic products with English prices. If I'm not concentrating, I still get the real place and the store mixed up.

However, it seems Madrid are not as keen on their Swedish brethren. Shunted to the suburbs of Madrid, I was given a 50 minute metro journey to La Peseta, it in itself a relic of Spanish past. Rather than questioning this dubious travel time, I grabbed my copy of The Female Eunuch as a battle weapon to prevent the gaze of slimy metro creeps. A satisfying amount of pages through, I made my way out of the station, to see rows and rows of apartments with no other sign of life available. I tried blaming apple maps, I tried blaming google maps, and any other map I could get my hands on- but I knew it was all down to me- I had decided to trust some twat on google answers to send me in the right direction. Twenty miles away from my Swedish homeland complemented by my twenty years of stupidity, I feigned from throwing my phone at the wall and decided to come home.


Making my way to the nearest (and only) cash point, I went to withdraw ten reluctant euros for the ride home. Thinking I must have entered my pin wrong, I watched the machine reject my pin twice. Unavailable funds, please try later. x 2. Out of the several bank cards I have, I thought one of them might have some money on. Oh, no. 1 doesn't have a pin yet. No. 2 has no money on. No. 3 has passed its expiry date. I made the mistake of looking at my phone to see exactly how far I was from the centre of Madrid. Oh, an hour and twenty minutes? That would be great- IF I HAD BIONIC LEGS.

The residents of La Peseta must have freaked out whilst I jogged up and down the streets to find another cash point. Considering they already think I am some replica from day of the dead, I wasn't surprised to hear a child scream as I went by. Trying not to sob like a five year old, I made my way down into the Metro station, wishing I would have asked the beggar I gave five euros to for some tips.

Ready to demolish my card for the third and final time, I submitted it into the murky depths of three metro card machines to get a response. When it came to the final card machine, I got it stuck. At this point, I was ready to sob my life story to any passer-by available. Shame there wasn't any, so the guard got this (best Spanish accents please) :
Me: "My birthday card, sorry, my bank card, is in this machine. It will not say bye. I don't know why it won't say bye. It won't leave... my Spanish is not very good."
Guard: "It's just gone into the machine now. Can you not use the machine?"
Me: "Oh it's okay now! It's in it's in, I never wanted it to say bye, more hello."
Guard: "Do you need some help?"
Me: "Not the type that you can give me."
(Guard misunderstands broken Spanish)
Guard: "You have to get ten trips because if you spend less than five euros it's cash only. See? (points to massive sign)..."
Me: "Oh yes, that makes sense. Thank you for your help. (sheepishly abandons paying two euros on card)..."

As I got off the final metro stop, I was caught in the rain. I got some penny sweets, and skipped the rest of the way home. It seemed apt, somehow.

One day, we will be together.

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