March 25, 2012. I woke up to a steady beam of sunlight on my face. I had unintentionally left Luffy and his crew(curtain patterns) separated before going to bed, and this morning, I paid the price for that mistake. I extended my right arm onto the outskirts of my bed and felt a familiar hard object just below my waist. I grabbed it, pulled it closer to my face and pressed the home button. It was 9:30 AM.
Before going to bed I had planned on going to Nitori(ニトリ), the Japanese one-stop home-improvement super store, early the following day. I checked the bus schedule on my phone to see when the next bus for Shin-Yokohama(新横浜) leaves.
I jumped out of my bed, more accurately called futon(布団), went thru the kitchen, and into the dressing room. The next bus leaves in 20 minutes. Hastily I brushed, combed, gurgled, sniffed, undressed and immediately left the house, as soon as I put on a comfortable pair of jeans, shirt, and the obligatory winter jacket. I made it to the station before the bus left, with more than a minute to spare . It was sunny. A perfect day for walking around town, which was great since Nitori is located 10-15 minutes away from the station.
When you enter a Nitori super-store, the thing you immediately notice is the scent, the smell of money being burned. They sell lots, and loads, of cheap but good quality items that just begs you to pick them up and put them into your shopping carts, which incidentally is the thing you’ll notice next. Nitori shopping carts are ginormous. It can fit 2 whole adults comfortably sitting down on it. Being the experienced Nitori shopper that I am, I got the smallest hand cart without the wheels. That way, you are forced to buy only as much as the cart and the other free-hand, if you have two, can hold. Then I entered the fray.
I was quick. It took me just about an hour to finish roaming the first floor, and I did not dare go to the upper floors, not today. I bought mats and curtains and a bunch of mini items that are used to organize the kitchen.The main purpose of this trip was to buy curtains for the second room, a.k.a. Idea room, the only area in my apartment that is solely dedicated for churning out ideas, creative or otherwise. Being the “idea room”, it needed to live up to a certain vibe, which was “structured freedom.” The pattern on the curtain I picked I think did just that. Happy with my purchases, I decided to head back for the station.
Along the way, the blue IKEA bus drove in front of me. Since the curtains were drawn out, you can see the people inside the bus, packed like sardines. And then I heard it calling me. The bus, not the people on the bus.
“Come on over to IKEA…” it started.
“We have hotdogs and ice creams for 100 Yen.”
Yummy, I thought. But it still wasn’t enough to…
“You can get that 10,000.00 Yen table you’ve been eying for half-off.”
Deal-sealed. I got on the next bus. Giddy.
As always, you don’t go to IKEA to just shop. You go to IKEA to live out your fantasies. Big rooms, big beds, big sofas, all impractically big furniture for the petite Japanese apartments. Oh my goodness what big kitchen counters they have. I could do all sorts of things on that counter like cook, and chop, and dice and a bunch of other neat and interesting culinary activities.
Anyway, as I was browsing through the “room-ideas” section, I found one item that caught my eye. It’s called Mala.
This item, completes my “idea room”.
I do still need some watercolors, pens and a bunch of other painting items but, I’ve finally found it. The missing piece to the puzzle. I have a computer, a musical instrument, and a canvass for abstract thoughts, all in one room.
Now I’m definitely excited to get my hands on those curtains.