Day 41: Yin and Yang and What I Love About the Dutch

So Ikea… what thoughts come to mind?  For us, it’s mixed – great, functional, inexpensive way to set up a house quickly, when all things go right. BuT — when things aren’t right, IKEA stinks!!  IKEA does not know what customer service means and they try to be helpful, but they are not and they create a nightmare that won’t go away. We’ve had a table wrapped in cardboard in our kitchen for 1 month now, waiting for them to come and pick it up so we can get our money back. We’ve called Customer Service multiple times and no luck. They keep saying they are too busy and they might try to call us another day and to wait and that it’s not possible, and blah blah blah. Well, today – we squished the bits and parts into our rental car by folding down the back seats, and brought it back ourselves.  We waited and waited and explained our story again and again and we’re glad to say we got our money back and got rid of the bad table.  This made me very happy and we learned to do things for ourselves and not wait and to not listen to their it’s not possible stories.

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So after the nightmare ended, we went over to the Woon Mall – an indoor furniture and household goods shopping center near the Amsterdam Arena. We walked into a store to buy sheets for the beds and to inquire about what to do about the seam between the two mattresses that make up a king sized bed. You see, king sized beds don’t seem to exist here. Instead, you buy two twin size mattresses and put them together – sort of like in I Love Lucy where Ricky and Lucy have separate beds, but here you just smoosh ’em together to make one big one, throw a Molten (bed cover) over it and a sheet, and supposedly that works. But there’s a crack – and you fall in it. So today, the nice lady, Carla – at the Droom Domein showed us a wedge that you can put in the crack – I guess others have this problem too. And she helped us pick out sheets and was so kind and friendly and was the yang to our Ikea ying.

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The Wedgie!

Not only was she helpful and kind, but after we made our purchase, she invited us to sit down for a (Nespresso) cup of coffee. She said we should sit and relax and take a moment to enjoy a cup of coffee and that she would serve us. And then she sat and talked with us and it felt so weird and so comfortable at the same time. It made me wonder if people in the States would take the time to have a drink and relax while shopping. We loved it and really enjoyed the customer service and the personal connection that she made. When we went out to do a bit more shopping, she invited us to leave our packages and to come back when we were done so that we wouldn’t have to carry them.

I love that the Dutch people slow down and drink coffee and just enjoy each other’s company in the middle of the day. My mom always has coffee on at her house, but I never really thought about it until today. It’s just something we do. When she comes to visit, I always have the coffee ready too. It’s our tradition and our little connection. I’m going to extend this tradition… Who wants to come over for coffee? Come on by, and I’ll brew you a cup or two and we can sit and chat and be Dutch together.  xo

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