IKEA Am Legend

As per my previous post, my schedule on Saturday morning had me at Austin Books for Free Comic Book Day at 8:00 AM, then at Rudy’s for breakfast and finally off to IKEA to be there when it opened at 10:00 AM.

What I was expecting was something out of my memories of going to the Elizabeth, NJ IKEA back in the 90’s at the crack of dawn.

Back then, the traffic was bumper-to-bumper into the parking lot with local police officers directing the traffic flow.  Once parked, it was like  something out of a George Romero zombie movie with groups of ravenous looking Yuppies wandering in packs aimlessly outside of the store,  waiting to rush the doors upon opening so as to “feed” on POÄNGs or BILLY bookcases.

Thing is, apparently a lot has changed since the late 90’s (insert your “no duh” statement as sarcastically as you like).

The parking lot at the IKEA Round Rock store was mostly empty.  As I pulled up I noticed a couple go inside the open doors of the building.

IKEA (at least here) opens their showroom and restaurant before 10:00 AM and invites customers to browse and eat before they open the warehouse.

So, at 9:30 AM, I decided to enter and even though there were some people already inside, they were mostly in the restaurant which meant I was left alone walking through the empty showroom.

It was easily one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had in a long time.  And I highly recommend it.

It’s like Career Opportunities, but without roller skates.

Walking through room after room of an “empty house” without anyone around reminded me of driving on the highway on Christmas morning in Austin.  You can drive and not see another person for miles.  You’re the only person on the world in that moment.  If I was an outdoors-type of person, I guess that’d be what camping would be like.

Maybe I’ve defined a new pastime?  “Urban micro camping” (“micro” in that you can only do it for a few minutes at a time).

Anyhow, it’s kind of an eerie and messed up experience, especially contrasting this with the fact that two hours prior I was standing in a line that wrapped around the building and cut to me standing in a mock Living Room isolated from humanity.

Like I said, it’s worth a go.  And if you do, don’t forget to stock up on your “urban micro camping” supplies (I’ll have to figure out what those are).

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One Response to “IKEA Am Legend”

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