I was reading the other day how the Russians screwed Ikea over. One city refused to connect the electricity at the local outlet for three years so Ikea decided as a matter of policy that all stores must have their own generator, only the guy who was leasing the generators for them was taking kickbacks so that the generators wound up costing the company something like 200 million. At this point I begin to think Kipling was right, and Russia is much more easily understood as the most westerly of the Asian countries rather than the most easterly of the European ones. Complex bureaucracy making things difficult just because? Bribes needed to get anything accomplished? Infinite patience rewarded by glacier-like progress? Sounds familiar to me, even if the bribes come in the form of New Year gifts in the version I know best.
And I was all 'Oh poor Ikea president', who sounds like a principled if stubborn man. Except, except. I need a new Ikea knife. My old one fell into a black hole shortly after slitting open the bk1 package with the Ima Ichiko illo'd weird tales. Ikea has them on their website. **Ikea will not sell them from the website.** No no no madame you must come to our inconveniently located stores and with luck buy a whole bunch of other stuff. I understand the logic of this, but it makes no sense to *me* to pay $6 on the TTC to buy a $9 knife. Go the Russians, say I.
Now I'm wondering if I could indeed bike past Royal York Rd to the Etobicoke store, and back. Would have thought nothing of it a dozen years ago, so maybe.